How did Michael’s troubles with Sony Music begin?

Electro

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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.

Wasn't there a story that Michael complaining to some japanese Sony boss led to Tommy Mottola being fired / "leaving Sony" in 2003? Just a vague memory.
 

DuranDuran

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Sony Music

I feel it happened when Sony bought out Epic, because epic was originally owned by CBS
Others like George Michael & Terence Trent D'Arby had problems with Sony too. George even had a shot of someone wearing "Fony" headphones in his Fastlove video. TTD/Sananda said that when Sony bought CBS Records, a lot of the old staff that was around when he got signed were laid off and the new people weren't that interested in him. Mariah Carey had problems with Tommy Matolla and she said her early records were because of him and that when she divorced him and didn't have any control over what she was doing she started recording what she wanted. Mariah said the people at Sony did not want or understand why she wanted to do a song with ODB. She had to fight to get Fantasy released. I think they wanted her to continue to be a Whitney Houston clone.
 

Marcel_MR

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The book by Lynton Guest "The trials of Michael Jackson" is very intresting in this case.

Yes, it began in the 90's.

512WEVSHNDL.jpg


michael-jackson-the-trials-of-libro-lynton-guest-188p-no-cd-D_NQ_NP_712851-MLA29989580883_042019-F.jpg



https://mobile.twitter.com/lynton6
 

Mikky Dee

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mj_frenzy;4303945 said:
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.

I find this hard to believe. Scream, They Don't Care About Us, Stranger in Moscow, Earth Song and YANA are some of the strongest tracks in MJ's entire discography, as evidenced by the way they continue to resonate with fans and the wider public alike, all over the globe.
 

mj_frenzy

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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.

Mikky Dee;4304447 said:
I find this hard to believe. Scream, They Don't Care About Us, Stranger in Moscow, Earth Song and YANA are some of the strongest tracks in MJ's entire discography, as evidenced by the way they continue to resonate with fans and the wider public alike, all over the globe.

It appears that Sony felt that such dark and pessimistic songs like, ‘Scream’, ‘They Don't Care About Us’, ‘Stranger In Moscow’, ‘Earth Song’, ‘This Time Around’, ‘Tabloid Junkie’, ‘Money’, ‘2 Bad’, etc (songs in which he sings about his personal issues, injustice and environment) were not really radio-friendly songs, and therefore such songs could not help the sales of the ‘HIStory’ album.

Additionally, songs about his personal issues (like, 'Scream', 'Money', etc) were a constant reminder (to the audience) of the child sexual abuse accusations against him.

Also, it has been suggested that Sony thought that the ‘Earth Song’ track did not fit the demographics of the USA audience, and this seems to be actually the reason that this song was not released as a single in the USA market.

Keep in mind that Sony similarly did not like such dark and pessimistic songs few years later, when Michael Jackson played these songs to them during certain previews of his ‘Invincible’ album.

‘Unbreakable’, ‘We've Had Enough’, ‘Privacy’, ‘Threatened’, ‘Escape’, etc, were songs that Sony did not like them when they were being played during the album’s previews.

Or, look at how Sony categorically dismissed his wish about ‘Unbreakable’ (a song about his personal issues, again) being released not only as the first single but as a single generally.
 

Electro

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mj_frenzy;4304458 said:
It appears

mj_frenzy;4304458 said:
seems to be

Seems like you finally got the memo...


mj_frenzy;4304458 said:
Keep in mind that Sony similarly did not like such dark and pessimistic songs few years later, when Michael Jackson played these songs to them during certain previews of his ‘Invincible’ album.

‘Unbreakable’, ‘We've Had Enough’, ‘Privacy’, ‘Threatened’, ‘Escape’, etc, were songs that Sony did not like them when they were being played during the album’s previews.

Or, look at how Sony categorically dismissed his wish about ‘Unbreakable’ (a song about his personal issues, again) being released not only as the first single but as a single generally.

...and then forgot about the memo again. :D

Source / quotes to back up these claims?
 
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SmoothCriminal1995

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I'm not sure really, I do remember reading a book years ago about Michael, that he was unhappy about the way the Sony marketed singles from the HIStory album in the US and than his disappointment about them releasing remixes with Blood On The Dance Floor (I'm sure he said something about that himself in a interview with a fan magazine) but it all came to a head when Invincible was close to being released and Michael was disappointed at the lack of a marketing plan for the album (I read that in Making Michael I think it was) and then the decline sort of escalated from there
 

Frankyboy5

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mj_frenzy;4304458 said:
It appears that Sony felt that such dark and pessimistic songs like, ‘Scream’, ‘They Don't Care About Us’, ‘Stranger In Moscow’, ‘Earth Song’, ‘This Time Around’, ‘Tabloid Junkie’, ‘Money’, ‘2 Bad’, etc (songs in which he sings about his personal issues, injustice and environment) were not really radio-friendly songs, and therefore such songs could not help the sales of the ‘HIStory’ album.

Additionally, songs about his personal issues (like, 'Scream', 'Money', etc) were a constant reminder (to the audience) of the child sexual abuse accusations against him.

Also, it has been suggested that Sony thought that the ‘Earth Song’ track did not fit the demographics of the USA audience, and this seems to be actually the reason that this song was not released as a single in the USA market.

Keep in mind that Sony similarly did not like such dark and pessimistic songs few years later, when Michael Jackson played these songs to them during certain previews of his ‘Invincible’ album.

‘Unbreakable’, ‘We've Had Enough’, ‘Privacy’, ‘Threatened’, ‘Escape’, etc, were songs that Sony did not like them when they were being played during the album’s previews.

Or, look at how Sony categorically dismissed his wish about ‘Unbreakable’ (a song about his personal issues, again) being released not only as the first single but as a single generally.
Agreed. While these songs come from his heart and are very often relatable, they can also be perceived as egocentricity. I don't know the full situation with Sony but I get the impression he took it too personally. There's many other factors albums didn't sell well other than his claim "Sony is racist". He also clarified later to the press saying "Sony's not racist, Tommy Mattola is." but he still continued to lead "Sony Sucks" fan rallies. Also, according to one of his bodyguards in later year he received a Sony headphone from a fan and trashed it the next day.
 

Electro

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Agreed. While these songs come from his heart and are very often relatable, they can also be perceived as egocentricity.

Singers singing about stuff that happened to them in real life are egocentric? Er... I'd rather call that authentic.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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While i'm not a big fan of history. what was wrong telling how he feel? this is the mid- 90's and i'm pretty sure michael words wasn't as bad as other artists voices at the time.
 

elusive moonwalker

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Wasn't there a story that Michael complaining to some japanese Sony boss led to Tommy Mottola being fired / "leaving Sony" in 2003? Just a vague memory.

Yeah it does ring a bell. Whether theres anything to it who knows. There was so much flying around back then
 

Frankyboy5

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Singers singing about stuff that happened to them in real life are egocentric? Er... I'd rather call that authentic.


Like I said, he sang from his heart but it is still only his perspective, even if we can relate to them. The fact that he continued to play the victim card only made him more vulnerable. Sony did not find it viable from a business or even ethical perspective. They have every right to encourage newer artists on their label.

While i'm not a big fan of history. what was wrong telling how he feel? this is the mid- 90's and i'm pretty sure michael words wasn't as bad as other artists voices at the time.

Most other artists on the label and similar ones sing about generic themes, not alluding to sociological, political or conspiracies
 

NatureCriminal7896

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You're talking about Sony. i'm talking about other artists that wasn't on the label. compare to other artists and michael he was pretty much mild.
 

NatureCriminal7896

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Things like death row and bad boys and like you just said underground music. to me it doesn't matter because compare to michael and other artists at the time Michael was pretty much mild.
 

SmoothGangsta

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Yeah agreed on the whole Sony is racist thing. I'm pretty sure that some people around Michael tried to distance themselves from the calling Matolla racist thing. Sony wasn't looking to destroy the album, they had already pumped lots of money into it and its many delays, and then MJ told them he was leaving, why would they continue to promote an artist that was going to leave them afterwards?
 

Electro

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Sony's not a label that sells underground music ranting about personal musings or possible conspiracy theories.

Well, if it's Michael Jackson coming off the biggest scandal in entertainment history, they obviously did and still do to this day. :D
 

Frankyboy5

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Saying Mottola was a bad person doesn't necessarily equal to what Michael alleged as him being a racist, and alas this is just Mariah's experience with him. He could have just said Tommy Mottola was an unethical CEO and not gone into the details during that conference. There were other reasons Invincible didn't sell "well". It's a two-edged sword, and you could say the same about MJ being capable of exploiting his fans over something like "Sony $ucks".
 

NatureCriminal7896

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I'm gonna go with most people here that mottola was a racist and sony have a problem with black artists.
 
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