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

SmoothMel7

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"Heat of the Night" (2002)

I didn't know he had a collaboration! Do you have more information about this song?
 

Fuzball

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The writer and producer of "Don't walk away", Richard Stites, has recorded another song with Michael called "Just a lover in my life".

I also recorded a song called “Just a Lover in My Life” that he planned to record but ended up never cutting vocals on. We never mixed it and finished it. Just vocals but Michael kept the reels with his vocals on there. If it wasn’t released in 5 years all rights revert back to me. So I own all rights to it.
Source: Brice Najar
 

dethorro

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I also recorded a song called “Just a Lover in My Life” that he planned to record but ended up never cutting vocals on. We never mixed it and finished it. Just vocals but Michael kept the reels with his vocals on there. If it wasn’t released in 5 years all rights revert back to me. So I own all rights to it.
That’s a bit contradictory, isn’t it? He recorded a song that Michael planned to record but never had the chance to. But then he says that although they never mixed it and finished it, Michael kept the reels with “his vocals on there”.
 

Fuzball

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That’s a bit contradictory, isn’t it? He recorded a song that Michael planned to record but never had the chance to. But then he says that although they never mixed it and finished it, Michael kept the reels with “his vocals on there”.
I suppose he meant MJ did scratch vocals only. That's how I understood it but I could be totally wrong, though.
 

Toby34

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Make sure to add:

Throwing Your Life Away
Ghost of Another Lover

I noticed these were missing. Great list though!
 

Antwort

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It’s so considerate of Michael to write a song about me, “ throwing your life away” is a much respected ode, thanks Mike!

Now, THAT was seriously funny :ROFLMAO: well done 👏

Just you wait till you hear Michael's odeS to me - they are enough to fill a triple album or more, they span decades and even cross continents. I'm thaat cool 😎 🧊 unless y'all didn't figure it out already. Juuust kiddin' 😋



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

filmandmusic

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Now, THAT was seriously funny :ROFLMAO: well done 👏

Just you wait till you hear Michael's odeS to me - they are enough to fill a triple album or more, they span decades and even cross continents. I'm thaat cool 😎 🧊 unless y'all didn't figure it out already. Juuust kiddin' 😋



It is not good for man to be alone (Ephesians 5:25-33)
What are those? Smooth criminal, Dangerous, Tabloid Junkie, I am a loser etc? :p
 

Antwort

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What are those? Smooth criminal, Dangerous, Tabloid Junkie, I am a loser etc? :p

Yeah, pretty much, kinda, sorta........
You left out the main ones though, Beat it and You can't win (can' t get out of the rain) ☔


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

ChanceToDance

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Here's some information on a few songs coming from the book Man In The Music:

Turning Me Off:
Jackson wrote and recorded “Turning Me Off” during the Hayvenhurst sessions in early 1986. He worked on it primarily with John Barnes and Bill Bottrell. “It had some crazy sound combinations,” said Barnes. “It was kind of an Electronica sound—we had three different synthesizers we were using. The synths had enough punch that we left the bass out.” According to Matt Forger, it was “one of Michael’s edgier experiments. Very groove-oriented. It was quite an interesting track.” The song remains unreleased.


Buffalo Bill:
Buffalo Bill” is the earliest Bad-era demo. In fact, its origins can be traced back to 1983, just after Thriller. Jackson worked on it initially with John Barnes. “ ‘Buffalo Bill’ could’ve been spectacular,” Barnes said. Jackson agreed. In a 1983 home video at Hayvenhurst the artist said of the song, “I hate to say, but I know it’s going to be a hit.” Indeed, Jackson was so taken by it, he held it back from the Jacksons’ Victory album in 1984. According to Bruce Swedien, it had “a big symphonic opening and a charming melody.” Matt Forger describes it as “an amazing song” that never quite came together. “It went through such contortions and changes and green writes and variations.” The track was inspired by Wild Bill Hickok, a poker player who was shot in the back and became a dime-novel hero. “Buffalo Bill” remains unreleased.


Make or Break:
Jackson worked on this dance track with John Barnes and Matt Forger. According to Forger, it had a “very driving, terrific hook, but never got finished.” “He did a reference vocal, a background vocal, and a reference bridge,” said John Barnes. “It had an opportunity to be innovative, but we didn’t really push it because other tracks took priority.


Get Your Weight Off of Me:
One of a handful of unreleased Jackson-Jerkins tracks, “Get Your Weight Off of Me” sounds as if it were made of the same cloth as album cuts like “Privacy” and “Invincible.” Its techno-beat grinds with an assembly line–like repetition, as Jackson sings about accumulating pressures and haters. It’s not a standout outtake, but a further demonstration of the sound Jackson and Jerkins were exploring. It remains officially unreleased.


I Have This Dream:
Jackson described “I Have This Dream” as a song to bring the world into the new millennium. It was composed together with Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster. The song, however, ultimately was not finished in time and did not make it onto Invincible. In 2002, AOL Music sponsored a songwriting contest around the track, which reportedly had a chorus but no verses. The contest was won by Nashville songwriter Ric Kipp. That version, however, never saw the light of day. Jackson resurrected the track again in 2005, updating it and giving it a new title, “From the Bottom of My Heart.” It was intended as a charity single to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf Region of my country,” said Jackson in a statement. “My heart and prayers go out to every individual who has had to endure the pain and suffering caused by this tragedy. I will be reaching out to others within the music industry to join me in helping to bring relief and hope to these resilient people who have lost everything.” Jackson assembled a number of fellow artists to participate on the track. That version, however, also failed to come to fruition and remains officially unreleased.
 

ChanceToDance

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Bad sure has the best outtakes (why was Throwing Your Life Away never released 😭....)

I would really love to see what the unleaked Invincible tracks and even the Post-Invincible ones have to offer though.
 

Richard76

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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"
stranger in moscow 2009?? what?
 

Richard76

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Hollywood Tonight and The Way You Love Me were recorded in 1998 and they were both worked on until 2008.
no. i mean was Michael re-recorded his vocal parts in hollywood tonight and the way yo love me, while he was working for his new album. or he just used vocals from 1998 recordings?
 

ChanceToDance

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no. i mean was Michael re-recorded his vocal parts in hollywood tonight and the way yo love me, while he was working for his new album. or he just used vocals from 1998 recordings?
Oh, my bad! I'm not sure about Hollywood Tonight but for The Way You Love Me Michael recorded more backing vocals in 2008.
 

Richard76

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Oh, my bad! I'm not sure about Hollywood Tonight but for The Way You Love Me Michael recorded more backing vocals in 2008.
i knew it! cool. you mean intro in the begining "this is a sample and this is a melody"^^?
 

filmandmusic

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Jane is a groupie sounds so catchy, love it when the strings kick in or synths whatever it is. Great ad libbing.
 
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ChanceToDance

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Here's some information on a few songs coming from the book Man In The Music:

Turning Me Off:
Jackson wrote and recorded “Turning Me Off” during the Hayvenhurst sessions in early 1986. He worked on it primarily with John Barnes and Bill Bottrell. “It had some crazy sound combinations,” said Barnes. “It was kind of an Electronica sound—we had three different synthesizers we were using. The synths had enough punch that we left the bass out.” According to Matt Forger, it was “one of Michael’s edgier experiments. Very groove-oriented. It was quite an interesting track.” The song remains unreleased.


Buffalo Bill:
Buffalo Bill” is the earliest Bad-era demo. In fact, its origins can be traced back to 1983, just after Thriller. Jackson worked on it initially with John Barnes. “ ‘Buffalo Bill’ could’ve been spectacular,” Barnes said. Jackson agreed. In a 1983 home video at Hayvenhurst the artist said of the song, “I hate to say, but I know it’s going to be a hit.” Indeed, Jackson was so taken by it, he held it back from the Jacksons’ Victory album in 1984. According to Bruce Swedien, it had “a big symphonic opening and a charming melody.” Matt Forger describes it as “an amazing song” that never quite came together. “It went through such contortions and changes and green writes and variations.” The track was inspired by Wild Bill Hickok, a poker player who was shot in the back and became a dime-novel hero. “Buffalo Bill” remains unreleased.


Make or Break:
Jackson worked on this dance track with John Barnes and Matt Forger. According to Forger, it had a “very driving, terrific hook, but never got finished.” “He did a reference vocal, a background vocal, and a reference bridge,” said John Barnes. “It had an opportunity to be innovative, but we didn’t really push it because other tracks took priority.


Get Your Weight Off of Me:
One of a handful of unreleased Jackson-Jerkins tracks, “Get Your Weight Off of Me” sounds as if it were made of the same cloth as album cuts like “Privacy” and “Invincible.” Its techno-beat grinds with an assembly line–like repetition, as Jackson sings about accumulating pressures and haters. It’s not a standout outtake, but a further demonstration of the sound Jackson and Jerkins were exploring. It remains officially unreleased.


I Have This Dream:
Jackson described “I Have This Dream” as a song to bring the world into the new millennium. It was composed together with Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster. The song, however, ultimately was not finished in time and did not make it onto Invincible. In 2002, AOL Music sponsored a songwriting contest around the track, which reportedly had a chorus but no verses. The contest was won by Nashville songwriter Ric Kipp. That version, however, never saw the light of day. Jackson resurrected the track again in 2005, updating it and giving it a new title, “From the Bottom of My Heart.” It was intended as a charity single to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf Region of my country,” said Jackson in a statement. “My heart and prayers go out to every individual who has had to endure the pain and suffering caused by this tragedy. I will be reaching out to others within the music industry to join me in helping to bring relief and hope to these resilient people who have lost everything.” Jackson assembled a number of fellow artists to participate on the track. That version, however, also failed to come to fruition and remains officially unreleased.
I listened to John Barnes's podcast on The MJCast and it gave a bit more info in these songs:

Buffalo Bill: It's the first song MJ made with John Barnes, most of the song was made in only 6 hours, it's a dance track (not as fast as his other songs, it's more like R&B dance speed).

Turning Me Off and Make or Break: They were songs that MJ really liked, but still didn't make it to the Bad album.

Crack Kills: Considered for Bad 25.

I Have This Dream: Started being worked on for the third time in 2004 at Neverland during the trials. Song kept being worked on in Bahrain until 2006.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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Is there a third Stevie Wonder collaboration? From around the Bad era, it was supposedly called "A Pretty Face Is" or something like that?
 

filmandmusic

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I would have loved an album written and produced by Stevie for Michael. Going by “ i can’t help it” and “ buttercup” it would have been awesome
 

Fuzball

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I would have loved an album written an produced by Stevie for Michael. Going by “ i can’t help it” and “ buttercup” it would have been awesome
In 1973/74, Stevie Wonder wrote and produced a solo album for Michael Jackson.

For unknown reasons the album got shelved. Except Buttercup none of its tracks have been released so far.
 

Fuzball

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Didnt know Buxer was given credits for "innocent man" & "thank heaven".

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