How did Michael’s troubles with Sony Music begin?

BadTour87

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I know disagreements appeared around 2001 regarding Michael not getting the rights to his music back til much later in the 2000s and Invincible’s incredibly messy promotion regarding singles and delays etc, but I recall hearing that issues with Sony dated back to even the early 90s. Was there any other incidents that kinda damned their relationship?
 

Hess

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I have only ever heard about MJ and Tommy Mottola was not coming along very well and MJ thought SONY wanted the Beatles cataloug.

I think mistakes were made on both sides. - MJ postponed Invincible so many times, had SONY pay many money for studio time, but never showed up. etc. etc.

SONY thought the creation/production of INVINCIBLE had been waaay too expensive and after incredible first week sales (a record I think?) sales declined very quickly. So SONY decided to not "waste" more money on the project. - MJ's SONY is devil and Mottola is a racist outbursts din't help much I think.


BUT - what really went on behind the scenes and what really triggered the whole thing, we might never know...

Never heard it should have started in the early 90' though... - think it was first after HIStory/BOTDF. - But I do not know...
 

mj_frenzy

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Michael Jackson's very early problems with Sony started right after the Jordan Chandler’s child abuse accusations against him (August 1993).

It was then when Tommy Mottola (along with other top executives of Sony Corporation in America) began to believe that Michael Jackson’s image was harming the overall image of Sony Corporation in America (because of that scandal).

Their support and promotion to Michael Jackson decreased dramatically after the release of the ‘Blood On The Dance Floor’ album, when they stopped viewing him as a priority for Sony.

For example, Sony refused to invest a lot of money in his ‘Blood On The Dance Floor’ music video, and thus the budget for that music video was very low comparatively to his previous music videos.

Similarly, few years later, Sony not only refused to invest a lot of money in his ‘You Rock My World’ music video, but they also dismissed his wish for releasing the far more expensive (in terms of production) ‘Unbreakable’ music video.

Around that time frame (late ‘90s/early ‘00s), Michael Jackson's popularity was also beginning to wane and additionally Sony also began to focus more on new, mainly pop acts (with music aimed at a younger, teen audience) at the expense of its already established names like Michael Jackson.
 

Hess

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^^^

MJ was touring while the BOTDF video was sho wasn't he? - I doubt MJ had plans for a more expensive video.
BOTDF was a remix album and never meant to sell as a "real" MJ album. - How could it with only 5 new songs??

It is true (I think) that MJ wanted Unbreakable as first single and a video. - BUT at that time SONY had already spent a lot of money on the album. - Still, I doubt YRMW video was cheap to make.
 

elusive moonwalker

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Is mj frenzy just copy and pasting from books/articles cause it reads like it. Same with the 03 thread?
 

NatureCriminal7896

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I think it start all the way around 1995 when michael release the history album. Sony and him was already having some problems when they wanted michael to make an greatest hits album which he didn't wanted to do so that's why history has old songs on it.

from what i heard invincible was suppose be released in 1999 but push back for other reasons i can't not remember why.
 

Hess

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I neve knew MJ and SONY had problems all the way back to 1995.

Seems weird MJ didn't want a greatest hits album. - Decade was meant to be a greatest hits album wasn't it?? - and that was MJ's idea as I remember...
 

NatureCriminal7896

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I'm not sure why Michael didn't want a greatest hits album during the time. maybe he didn't just want one right now. in my opinion i felt history should of been an album it's self with only new songs and the 2nd disc with making of etc like he did Thriller and Dangerous
 

Hess

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I have always felt that HIStory disc 2 - The new songs - should have been released as a stand alone CD in 1996 - that could have boosted sales when people didn't have to buy the more expensive double album. I know that disc 2 have been released as a stand alone CD now - but HIStory could have benefittet from it being released waaay earlier.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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I have always felt that HIStory disc 2 - The new songs - should have been released as a stand alone CD in 1996 - that could have boosted sales when people didn't have to buy the more expensive double album. I know that disc 2 have been released as a stand alone CD now - but HIStory could have benefittet from it being released waaay earlier.

I agree.
 

mj_frenzy

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NatureCriminal7896;4303933 said:
I'm not sure why Michael didn't want a greatest hits album during the time. maybe he didn't just want one right now. in my opinion i felt history should of been an album it's self with only new songs and the 2nd disc with making of etc like he did Thriller and Dangerous

Hess;4303935 said:
I have always felt that HIStory disc 2 - The new songs - should have been released as a stand alone CD in 1996 - that could have boosted sales when people didn't have to buy the more expensive double album. I know that disc 2 have been released as a stand alone CD now - but HIStory could have benefittet from it being released waaay earlier.

Sony at that time was against the idea of releasing the ‘HIStory’ album with only one disc with the new songs because they did not have much faith in the potential of the new songs.

They found the new songs overall weak, that is why they bundled them with his old hits from the first disc.

There have been also stories when Michael Jackson used to preview his new songs (that would appear on the second disc of the 'HIStory' album) to them, and people from Sony were not enthusiastic after listening to them.

A very characteristic case was the very final ‘HIStory’ album preview, when people from Sony after listening to the entire second disc with the new songs, they just stood up and exited the room without applauding or even making any good comment about the new songs.

This incident brought tears to Michael Jackson’s face, and after that he promised to Bruce Swedien (who was sitting next to him during that event) to never again preview new songs for them.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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back in 2003 michael had the number ones and 2004 ultimate collection and 2005 the essentials so michael did have greatest hits albums later in his life there probably was more out there during the time.

i guess he didn't want a greatest hits album right then.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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mj_frenzy;4303945 said:
Sony at that time was against the idea of releasing the ‘HIStory’ album with only one disc with the new songs because they did not have much faith in the potential of the new songs.

They found the new songs overall weak, that is why they bundled them with his old hits from the first disc.

There have been also stories when Michael Jackson used to preview his new songs (that would appear on the second disc of the 'HIStory' album) to them, and people from Sony were not enthusiastic after listening to them.

A very characteristic case was the very final ‘HIStory’ album preview, when people from Sony after listening to the entire second disc with the new songs, they just stood up and exited the room without applauding or even making any good comment about the new songs.

This incident brought tears to Michael Jackson’s face, and after that he promised to Bruce Swedien (who was sitting next to him during that event) to never again preview new songs for them.

I'm not sure what you are saying is true but i wouldn't be surprise. michael said hundred of times that sony was racist. not too long ago kayne west said the samething.

nothing was wrong with those songs.
 

mj_frenzy

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NatureCriminal7896;4303950 said:
I'm not sure what you are saying is true but i wouldn't be surprise. michael said hundred of times that sony was racist. not too long ago kayne west said the samething.

nothing was wrong with those songs.

Bruce Swedien revealed that story (about the very final ‘HIStory’ album preview for Sony) in his ‘In The Studio With Michael Jackson’ book.
 

Serious Effect

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mj_frenzy;4303945 said:
Sony at that time was against the idea of releasing the ‘HIStory’ album with only one disc with the new songs because they did not have much faith in the potential of the new songs.

They found the new songs overall weak, that is why they bundled them with his old hits from the first disc.

There have been also stories when Michael Jackson used to preview his new songs (that would appear on the second disc of the 'HIStory' album) to them, and people from Sony were not enthusiastic after listening to them.

A very characteristic case was the very final ‘HIStory’ album preview, when people from Sony after listening to the entire second disc with the new songs, they just stood up and exited the room without applauding or even making any good comment about the new songs.

This incident brought tears to Michael Jackson’s face, and after that he promised to Bruce Swedien (who was sitting next to him during that event) to never again preview new songs for them.
And that’s on why I don’t play on PlayStation...
 

Hess

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I can not believe people hearing Scream, Earth Song, Stranger in Moscos, YANA, TDCAU, Money (one of my favorites!) and 2 Bad - plus the rest of course - would not be thrilled!!!

Especially with history in mind and the stuff MJ went thru a few years prior... -- HIStory is such a strong and amazing album IMO. - And the sound in 1995 was groundbreaking.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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mj_frenzy;4303954 said:
Bruce Swedien revealed that story (about the very final ‘HIStory’ album preview for Sony) in his ‘In The Studio With Michael Jackson’ book.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Sony probably wanted him to sing about picking dandelions and rolling in the grass during that time.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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Themidwestcowboy;4304133 said:
It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Sony probably wanted him to sing about picking dandelions and rolling in the grass during that time.

well he does do that. but he also talk about injustice etc. :D
 

ScreenOrigami

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Electro;4304081 said:
If it really happened, then context is missing to understand the situtation.

This story is indeed in Bruce Swedien’s book (page 67 of the 2009 edition), but it’s actually told by Bea Swedien. Doesn’t make much difference, just mentioning it for the sake of accuracy. ;)

The chapter is called “The HIStory Playback Session for the Label Bigwigs” and according to Bea Swedien’s recollection, Michael was indeed frustrated and almost in tears about their reaction or the lack thereof.

So, yay, a frenzy fact confirmed! (y)
 

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ScreenOrigami;4304139 said:
This story is indeed in Bruce Swedien’s book (page 67 of the 2009 edition), but it’s actually told by Bea Swedien. Doesn’t make much difference, just mentioning it for the sake of accuracy. ;)

The chapter is called “The HIStory Playback Session for the Label Bigwigs” and according to Bea Swedien’s recollection, Michael was indeed frustrated and almost in tears about their reaction or the lack thereof.

So, yay, a frenzy fact confirmed! (y)

At least that it's in the book. :D

If you have it, could you post a photo of this segment (readable I mean)?
In any way I'd like to have more context.
Who exactly was there? Was there tension because Michael was over and overspending budgets? etc
Did someone in the room fart? :D
I mean years later we also have comments from Motolla highly praising "You Are My Life" after Michael played it to him ...that's not top10 material either. It can't just have been down to the music.
 
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ScreenOrigami

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Electro;4304140 said:
At least that it's in the book. :D
If you have it, could you post a photo of this segment (readable I mean)?

I have a physical copy, but you can also read it on Jetzi’s trusty old book collection. :)

http://jetzi-mjvideo.com/books-jetzi-01/09its/09its67.html

Reading it again, it appears to me like this is actually Bruce’s own recollection, as Bea is mentioned at the end of the chapter. So it looks like Bruce got the author wrong.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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I think frenzy know what he talking about sometimes but i think he should get his sources right more often and stop making facts opinions.

if he can do that some users won't be annoyed by him.
 

Nite Line

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I'm not sure what you are saying is true but i wouldn't be surprise. michael said hundred of times that sony was racist. not too long ago kayne west said the samething.

nothing was wrong with those songs.

Sony not liking the songs on History doesn't make them racist.
 

Emptyspotlight

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The thing is in real life when companies buy other companies, things change, policies change, etc
*Cough disney and star wars*
 

elusive moonwalker

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87. Also akio morita who was a co founder of sony,who mj was very close to died in 99 so things seemed to change after that aswell.
 
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