Behind the Mask: An Encyclopedia of MJ's Unreleased Music

AlwaysThere

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Last updated on: 15th January 2022
Update report: Reformatting by year rather than album


[updated intro piece coming soon!]


1981
  • "The Toy" (1981) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson

1982

  • "Hot Street" (1982) (Rod Temperton)
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "Slapstick" (1982)
  • "Nightline" (1982) (Glen Ballard, Davey Faragher, Brie Howard)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Rolling the Dice" (e. 1982) (Rod Temperton)
    Michael Jackson
  • "She's Trouble" (1982) (Billy Livsey, Terry Britten, Sue Shifrin)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Slapstick" (1982) (Rod Temperton)
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "Hot Street" (1982)

1983

  • "Buffalo Bill" (1983) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Happy Song" (1983) (Michael Jackson, Buz Kohan)
    Michael Jackson
  • "I'm Peter Pan"(1983) (Michael Jackson, Buz Kohan)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Make a Wish" (1983) (Michael Jackson, Buz Kohan)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Neverland Landing" (1983) (Michael Jackson, Buz Kohan)
    Michael Jackson
  • "State of Shock (Demo)" (1983) (Michael Jackson, Randy Hansen)
    Vocal duet with Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury
  • "Victory"(1983) (???)
    Vocal duet with Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury

1984

  • "Chicago 1945" (1984) (Michael Jackson, Steve Porcaro)
    Michael Jackson

1985

  • "Eaten Alive" (1985) (Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Tomboy" (1985) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "What You Do to Me" (1985) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson

1986

  • "Crack Kills" (1986) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Turning Me Off" (1986) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson

1989

  • "Deep in the Night" (1989) (???)
    Michael Jackson
  • "If You Don't Love Me" (1989) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Jane is a Groupie" (1989) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Men in Black" (1989) (Michael Jackson, Bryan Loren)
    Alternate title: "Man in Black"
    Michael Jackson

1990

  • "Serious Effect" (1990) (Michael Jackson, Bryan Loren, LL Cool J)
    Michael Jackson featuring LL Cool J
  • "She Got It"(1990) (Michael Jackson, Bryan Loren)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Work That Body" (1990) (Michael Jackson, Bryan Loren)
    Michael Jackson

1991

  • "Happy Birthday, Lisa" (1991) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Joy"(1991) (Teddy Riley, Tammy Lucas, Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson

1992

  • "Heal L.A." (1992) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "What More Can I Give" (1998)

1993

  • "Family Thing" (1993) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Michael Jackson

1994

  • "Innocent Man" (1994) (Michael Jackson)
    Alternate titles: "An Innocent Man," "The Innocent Man"
    Michael Jackson

1998

  • "Monster" (1998) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "People of the World" (1998) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "What More Can I Give" (1998) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "Heal L.A." (1992)

1999

  • "I Have This Dream" (1999) (Michael Jackson, Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster)
    Michael Jackson

2002

  • "Heat of the Night" (2002) (???)
    Vocal duet with Michael Jackson & Barry Gibb

2003

  • "I Am a Loser" (2003) (Michael Jackson, Brad Buxer)
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "I Was the Loser" (2008)
  • "World of Candy" (2003) (???)
    Alternate title: "Wonderful World of Candy"
    Vocal duet with Michael Jackson & Nisha Kataria

2004

  • "Days in Gloucestershire" (2004) (Michael Jackson, Brad Buxer)
    Alternate title: "Gloucestershire"
    Michael Jackson
  • Unknown Title (2004) (???)
    ???

2005

  • "I Have This Dream" (2005) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Rumored working title: "From the Bottom of My Heart"
    Supergroup charity anthem featuring Ciara, James Ingram, Jermaine Jackson, Keyisha Cole, Michael Jackson, The O'Jays, R. Kelly, Shanice, Shirley Caesar & Snoop Dogg
    See also –> "Bottom of My Heart" (2008)
  • "Light the Way" (2005) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Michael Jackson

2006

  • "The Future" (2006) (???)
    Michael Jackson
  • "I'm Dreamin'" (2006) (???)
    Michael Jackson

2007

  • "H2O" (ca. 2007-08) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Alternate title: "Dark Lady"
    Michael Jackson
  • "I Will Miss You" (2007) (Michael Jackson, will.i.am)
    Alternate title: "Miss You"
    Michael Jackson
  • "Rocker" (ca. 2007-08) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Michael Jackson

2008

  • "Bottom of My Heart" (ca. 2008) (Michael Jackson)
    Alternate title: "From the Bottom of My Heart"
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "I Have This Dream" (2008)
  • "I Was the Loser" (2003/2008) (Michael Jackson, Brad Buxer)
    Alternate title: "The Loser"
    Michael Jackson
    See also –> "I Am a Loser" (2003)
  • Unknown Title (2008) (Michael Jackson, RedOne, ???)
    Michael Jackson

2009

  • "Breed" (2009) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Remember What I Told You" (2009) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Stranger in Moscow" (2009) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (2009) (Michael Jackson)
    Michael Jackson
  • "Water" (2009) (Michael Jackson, ???)
    Michael Jackson

Non-Indexed

  • "11pm"
  • "Adore You"
  • "Apocalypse Now"
  • "Bang Your Head"
  • "Boots Groove"
  • "Boy No"
  • "Breath"
  • "Broken Chair"
  • "Butter Funk"
  • "Can't Stop Lovin' You"
  • "Children's Hour" (Michael Jackson)
    Alternate title: "The Children's Hour"
  • "Coco Butter"
  • "Colorblind"
  • "Craze"
  • "D.I.E."
  • "Don't Be Messin'"
  • "Don't Make Me Stay"
  • "Don't Walk Away"
  • "Everybody Wants to Be a Movie Star"
  • "For the World"
  • "God Don't Love Us Anymore" (Michael Jackson)
  • "Green Hornet Groove"
  • "I Am That One"
  • "I Love You More"
  • "Is She Coming Back"
  • "Just Remember"
  • "King Tutankhamen"
  • "Lady of Summer"
  • "Leaving Today to [???]"
  • "Lonely Bird" (Michael Jackson)
  • "Lovely Way"
  • "Michael McKellar" (Michael Jackson)
  • "Michael's Affirmation"
  • "Pajamas"
  • "Palestine" (Michael Jackson)
  • "Photographs"
  • "Pray for Peace"
  • "Red Eye" (Michael Jackson)
  • "Rich Girl"
  • "Rock Tonight"
  • "Saturday Woman"
  • "Silent Spring"
  • "Think Twice"
  • "Walk Away"
  • "You Are There"
  • "You Were There"
 
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Hess

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Great list. - Thanks so much.

I would really love to hear Stranger in Moscow with 2009 vocals. - same goes for WBSS. are they really recorded in full??
 

AlwaysThere

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Great list. - Thanks so much.

I would really love to hear Stranger in Moscow with 2009 vocals. - same goes for WBSS. are they really recorded in full??
I don’t believe they’re recorded in full, unfortunately. Michael Prince mentioned on the MJ Cast that they did a little bit of each songs (and possibly others).
 

AmitLal92

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Interesting list. Sadly I believe the majority of these songs are not finished vocally but here's hoping a few are.
 

filmandmusic

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Thanks a lot, hopefully more info will be unearthed in the years to come!
I might have glanced over it but did you mention the alleged classical pieces MJ wrote? David Michael Frank worked with Michael on some, there is also that Janet comment years prior. So we know he was busy composing classical music in at least 2 different periods in his life. From what I understand at least one piece could be fully recorded with an orchestra.

Did you check out the wikipedia vault page?
 

filmandmusic

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Rolling the dice, the toy, victory, buffalo bill, Chicago 1945, eaten alive, tomboy, crack kills, changes, innocent man, get your weight off of me, heat of night, i’m dreaming, the future, i will miss you, H20, rocker, water, adore you, palestine, a pretty face is, groove of midnight, tragedy of a cheerleader, who is the girl with her hair down

are my most wanted
 

Hess

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The Classical pieces MJ worked on could be interesting - BUT the main problem for me is, that if they change as much as one single note, it is no longer MJ's vision.

So if they have something - they have to release it 100 % the way MJ left them. - And since MJ did not get to finish them should they ever be released (which I doubt) it should be very clearly stated that it's NOT FINISHED and a work in progress - just to get an idea of what MJ worked with.

If they try to get someone to finish it or make final changes to it - it is 100 % useless and has nothing to do with MJ.

There is a big difference IMO between classical music and then a normal MJ song. - I can actually live with the fact they contemporize/remix his demoes into finished songs like on Michael and Xscape (especially if they release the demos as MJ left them so we can get an idea of MJ's vision and direction.) But Classical music is totally different, they can not change anything there IMO.
 

mj_frenzy

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Regarding the Unconfirmed sub-list of songs:

According to press reports, Michael Jackson only wrote certain parts of 'You Are So Beautiful' and he never entered the studio to record it.

The writing sessions of 'You Are So Beautiful' took place in 2004-2005, and the song's theme centres on his loyal fans who supported him in that trial.

According to press reports, Michael Jackson fully recorded 'A Pretty Face Is' with Stevie Wonder as a duet for Stevie Wonder's 'Characters' album (1987), and the song has reportedly been described as an outtake from that album.

As will.i.am revealed, 'Still The King' is an almost complete song but it is not going to get a release because of ethical reasons (Michael Jackson did not give that song a final okay for its release).

Authors Chris Cadman and Craig Halstead described (in their book) the 'Seduction' song as an unreleased song from the 'Invincible' album sessions, which shows that it is a complete song.

'The World Is No Church' is a song registered at ASCAP (American Society Of Composers, Authors And Publishers), so in terms of writing it is a complete song.
 

dethorro

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The album of classical music that Michael was working on during the last months of his life is still a bit of a mystery because we know very little about it - this is pretty remarkable considering that it was one of the last things he worked on. We only have one source for it and that is composer David Michael Frank. Here’s what we know from him:

Their first meeting took place in April 2009 at Michael’s Beverly Hills home. During this meeting:
- Michael showed him two “demos“ of classical pieces he had written.
- For one of the pieces, Michael had a section of it only in his head and he hummed it (most likely only the main melody)
to Frank while he was trying to find chords that could go with it on the piano.
-According to Frank, the only recording of this particular section that Michael sang to him is the only recording of it that exists.
-Michael asked him to work on orchestral arrangements of the pieces.

A couple of weeks before Michael’s death, he called Frank:
-He mentioned some more pieces of orchestral music that he wanted to record.
-He mentioned a Jazz piece.

It is important to note that Michael already had two demos which he could show Frank in April 2009. What pieces could these be and when were they recorded? Michael did have a piece called ’Iowa’ which was apparently recorded just before he left L.A. to go shoot The Wiz in New York in October 1977. Could that be one of the pieces he showed to Frank?
It seems like Frank’s job was to arrange some of these pieces that Michael already had and potentially orchestrate some of the more raw ideas Michael had only in his head. If he was able to complete these himself and record them with an orchestra (maybe the London Philharmonic) I would love to hear an album in this style.

Janet did mention in an interview that there were other classical pieces which were written by Michael during the 1970s:

"Just before he left to film The Wiz, he put all the songs he had written on to tape in the studio in our parents´ house. Not one of them has been heard and those songs were songs to cry for. These are the things he has written for orchestras, that are classical music - like something by Bach or Beethoven."

This would mean that at least some of the pieces he presented to Frank were not composed during his final years. This is very interesting because it truly shows that Michael was revisiting a lot of old material during this time. A lot of the songs he wrote on on his to-do list in his bedroom were from older sessions.
 
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Maxym

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"Victory"
Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury
Recorded: Summer 1983

From what I heard, one of the three duets was never recorded because Freddie got pissed off at Michael having a llama in the studio and then leaving the studio. I concluded that if this is true, that non-recorded song should be Victory. But, is it all true?
 

Antwort

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@AlwaysThere - I am genuinely impressed with your list, thanks so much for it. Some of the titles included are completely new for me, while others seemed quite funny. I bet even Elon Musk is aware of at least one of those tunes lol. Love the color coding also, makes it all easier to understand.

May I have one suggestion though? Could you highlight with a new color the songs that WERE released, irrespective of origin? My definition of 'UNreleased songs' means tunes that were never heard/released publically - either on Michael's albums/other people's sets/through leaks. For me, the most important factor is the novelty aspect of it all, official setting or not, doesn't realy matter. Sorry, but the neat-picker-in-chief in me couldn't quite help it. Even when I agree with people, I still find stuff to dwell on 😋

Still, I'm in awe at your decade-long effort. As some can attest, I am not easily impressed. Therefore, AT, you should be quite proud of your achievement and......of your username, that one's great also 😎 Keep it up, keep it all up!


It is not good for man to be alone (Ephesians 5:25-33)
 

filmandmusic

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From what I heard, one of the three duets was never recorded because Freddie got pissed off at Michael having a llama in the studio and then leaving the studio. I concluded that if this is true, that non-recorded song should be Victory. But, is it all true?

There was some recording of it as there is a quote where it is said that they slammed the toilet door rhythmically as part of the beat. There was a lack of instruments at the time of recording. I assume this is a song where the lyrics exist and a very basic recording.
As for the llama that's probably tabloid chatter lol

I also hope for solo versions of "night time lover", "eaten alive", "Muscles", "Centipede", "alright now" and "the hurt". All 6 are classic tracks imo

Lyrics for muscles are clearly written for someone else though so maybe he never even recorded his own version

Maybe there should be another section for released songs written or produced by Michael for other artists?
 
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Pentum

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Neat!

No info about the snippet of the classical piece from the 2 Seas website from 2007, re: Bahrain. Amazing short piece, audio is not online however

And what about River's Apple/Breathe, snippet leaked/played during Deepak Chopras interview in 2009?

 

filmandmusic

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That river ripple thing sounds right up my ally, I hope there is more of that. I would also love to hear MJ humming those pieces.
One thing that lust be spectacular is to hear an MJ song completely made up from his voice. He recorded vocals on one tape, bass on another tape, string on another tape etc. I would love to hear for example the full who is it completely made out of his vocals
 

dethorro

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Neat!

No info about the snippet of the classical piece from the 2 Seas website from 2007, re: Bahrain. Amazing short piece, audio is not online however

And what about River's Apple/Breathe, snippet leaked/played during Deepak Chopras interview in 2009?

The title of this song is actually ‘Breed’.
 

Moromete

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Hi!

I can help with a website, which can be built very easy, using GitHub pages. People can add edits, which need to be verified using pull requests (search about git and GitHub - it's into coding, but people don't need to know coding, just to know git if they want to add something).

@AlwaysThere send me a DM and we can talk about technical details.
 

AlwaysThere

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Lot of people to respond to here haha! So glad you're all enjoying the list though. LOTS to add.

Thanks a lot, hopefully more info will be unearthed in the years to come!
I might have glanced over it but did you mention the alleged classical pieces MJ wrote? David Michael Frank worked with Michael on some, there is also that Janet comment years prior. So we know he was busy composing classical music in at least 2 different periods in his life. From what I understand at least one piece could be fully recorded with an orchestra.

Did you check out the wikipedia vault page?
Still have to add the classical pieces! Titles and exact eras aren't known, so they'll probably be added to the non-indexed section.

The Wikipedia page is incredibly unreliable unfortunately. I've kept an eye on it over the years, and there's a ton of verifiably false information and nonexistent song titles on there. I wouldn't recommend it as a source.

Does Going to Rio exist? I believe it was recorded during the Off The Wall era.
It does! It was mentioned during Michael's 1993 deposition. There's no other known information about it that I've been able to find sadly.

Where's Rampage?
Where's the Hurricane Katrina song?
"Rampage" will be added to the "Unconfirmed" section.
"I Have This Dream" is the Hurricane Katrina song!
It'll definitely be easier to identify once specifications are added!

I am genuinely impressed with your list, thanks so much for it. Some of the titles included are completely new for me, while others seemed quite funny. I bet even Elon Musk is aware of at least one of those tunes lol. Love the color coding also, makes it all easier to understand.

May I have one suggestion though? Could you highlight with a new color the songs that WERE released, irrespective of origin? My definition of 'UNreleased songs' means tunes that were never heard/released publically - either on Michael's albums/other people's sets/through leaks. For me, the most important factor is the novelty aspect of it all, official setting or not, doesn't realy matter. Sorry, but the neat-picker-in-chief in me couldn't quite help it. Even when I agree with people, I still find stuff to dwell on 😋

Still, I'm in awe at your decade-long effort. As some can attest, I am not easily impressed. Therefore, AT, you should be quite proud of your achievement and......of your username, that one's great also 😎 Keep it up, keep it all up!
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you find it useful!

Yes, I do plan on adding some sort of identifying mark/color to songs that were leaked online! I'm not entirely sure that I'll be adding tracks that were posthumously released though; I feel the list is best suited solely for as-yet-unheard songs. If people think it would be beneficial though, I'll happily include them!

From what I heard, one of the three duets was never recorded because Freddie got pissed off at Michael having a llama in the studio and then leaving the studio. I concluded that if this is true, that non-recorded song should be Victory. But, is it all true?
I've never heard this one. To my understanding, all three songs were recorded (and "Victory" was even briefly resurrected by the surviving Queen members ca. 2002) but weren't finished for [insert one of several alleged reasons here]. I'm still doing some research though so I'll absolutely look into this.
No info about the snippet of the classical piece from the 2 Seas website from 2007, re: Bahrain. Amazing short piece, audio is not online however

And what about River's Apple/Breathe, snippet leaked/played during Deepak Chopras interview in 2009?

Completely forgot about that 2 Seas snippet. Thank you!

The snippet from the Deepak Chopra interview is of "Breath." The whole "River Ripple"/"River's Apple" rumor started either shortly before or shortly after MJ's death, and has never had any evidence to support it.

The title of this song is actually ‘Breed’.
Actually, all evidence points to its title being "Breath." Joe Vogel is the only person to call it "Breed" as far as I'm aware, whereas one of MJ's handwritten song lists ca. 2009 has "Breath" included.

Hi!

I can help with a website, which can be built very easy, using GitHub pages. People can add edits, which need to be verified using pull requests (search about git and GitHub - it's into coding, but people don't need to know coding, just to know git if they want to add something).

@AlwaysThere send me a DM and we can talk about technical details.
Wow, thank you so much! I'll be inboxing you soon!
 

dethorro

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AlwaysThere

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Pentum

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Looped snippet of a classical piece which is directly pulled/recorded from the 2 Seas Records website from around 2006. This beautiful loop played in the background as you entered their website, along with this photo of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Michael Jackson and Guy Holmes. Although nothing is 100% confirmed whether Michael Jackson worked on this or not, it can be assumed it was part of the work he did in Bahrain back then.
 

filmandmusic

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Looped snippet of a classical piece which is directly pulled/recorded from the 2 Seas Records website from around 2006. This beautiful loop played in the background as you entered their website, along with this photo of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Michael Jackson and Guy Holmes. Although nothing is 100% confirmed whether Michael Jackson worked on this or not, it can be assumed it was part of the work he did in Bahrain back then.
I love it but maybe it is just a random piece of music, kind of a bummer in that case
 

dethorro

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The first 35 seconds of this piece were actually released on March 17, 2007 on the album Dreams Come True by the artist Souls Of The Arena. The piece is also called Dreams Come True and you can find it on Spotify and Apple Music.

Now, I don’t know if they took it from the website or if it’s the other way around but I thought it’d be interesting to point out.
 
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