If you were Ordered or Courted to make a Posthumous MJ Album...


Proud Member
Oct 26, 2017
Michigan; the piece of Canada that fell off and la
Imagine a scenario where Sony came to you, and you were obligated to make the best Posthumous MJ Album you could make. What would you produce? How long would it take from 2010 to 2017? What would be the name, album art, and track listing? What unfinished songs would you include, and would or wouldn't you leave them untouched?

And the reason I would put “obligated”, is because if it were up to me, there would be no Posthumous Albums… ever. But alas, Sony wants to make it. It’s up to you to make one. And I have to make the most respectful posthumous album that pays tribute to Michael Jackson. Instead of marketing it as his finished work/vision. ("IT'S LIKE MICHAEL IS STILL MAKING MUSIC." Don't give me that crap, Sony.)

Because to me, without the original artist's finished vision. They aren't Michael Jackson Albums.

You guys can do whatever you want. (y)

But mine will be like a dignified tribute. Anyhow, here's my idea...


Yes, I would have the 'Michael' album come out in 2016, or maybe 2017.

So for 'Michael' (the first and final posthumous album), I would take original recordings of songs Michael Jackson was working on before he passed, and tinker with them just a bit. I'd remaster them entirely, and maybe add a few instruments, maybe a slight orchestral background, or a bass line. BUT THAT'S IT. None of them are full-on remixes, and none of them should be. Like I said, this is a tribute. A written love letter to the artist using the amazing works he never finished.

And finally, I would hold off on 'For All Time' being released on 'Thriller 25', a year before MJ passes. It'll end up being this album's first released single.

1. For All Time
2. Love Never Felt So Good
3. If You Don't Love Me
4. Days In Gloucestershire
5. Best of Joy
6. Xscape
7. Chicago
8. A Place With No Name
9. Fall Again
10. There Must Be More To Life Than This - Feat: Freddie Mercury
11. Michael (Original Title being: 'Hold My Hand - Feat: Akon')
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Proud Member
Jan 31, 2012
Attempt a ghost outline at the album Michael was working on at the time of his death: This very well may be constricted to "pipe dream" status because (a) the 2005-09 sessions represent the most poorly-documented period in Michael's career in terms of surviving material; (b) the few shreds of information we have imply that very little from this era is of releasable quality. However, given the number of tracks Michael is known to have worked on during this period (around 30 at last count, including demos from earlier albums), it isn't outlandish to imagine that 10-12 tracks could be scraped together and sold on the guise that, while none of us are Michael Jackson and therefore cannot deliver the exact album he would have released, it would offer an idea of the tracks that were on his radar. (I can name a number of them myself!) This segues perfectly into my next point...

Brad Buxer and Michael Prince as executive producers: Buxer and Prince are easily Michael's most frequented post-trial collaborators; therefore, they are perhaps most qualified to oversee the production process. They would help select the material, determine which mixes Michael was most satisfied with, decide what required work and what didn't, determine whether they will take on the role of producer of if they will hand it off to someone else (and, if so, who), and oversee the final mixes. While none of us can guarantee that Michael would have approved of certain songs being released, it only makes sense to ask the two men who knew him best to make the attempt.

Stay as faithful to the demos as possible: If a finished mix of a given song exists, excellent. If alterations are necessary, they must be done not to change the song or make it fit a new standard, but to polish the incomplete aspects. If a synthesized drum line, for example, might be better filled out with a live drummer or percussionist (such as with "Loving You"), do so — so long as the drum line is reproduced EXACTLY as it was played on the original track. As far as adding layers goes, that would be entirely up to Buxer and Prince. Sometimes fresh sounds can add a new sheen of perfection to a song (e.g., Neff-U's funk guitar on "Hollywood Tonight," the percussion/strings in the leaked mix of "Blue Gangsta"), but more often than not they can't be justified as anything other than an outside producer's vision conflicting with Michael's.

Only invite musicians who have worked with Michael in the past: This goes hand in hand with the above point. For nostalgic purposes, it would be nice to see certain names in the album credits. Alex Al, Nathan East, and Freddie Washington on bass... Jonathan Moffett and John Robinson on drums... Jennifer Batten, Slash, Bill Bottrell, Steve Lukather, Orianthi, and Paul Jackson Jr. on guitars... Greg Phillinganes, Michael Boddicker, John Barnes, David Paich and Steve Porcaro on keyboards... Paulinho da Costa on percussion.... Jerry Hey and The Seawind Horns on brass... The Benjamin Wright Orchestra on strings... the list goes on. Several of these individuals have been involved with posthumous projects already, and others have expressed interest in doing so. If they are at our disposal, why not retain their use while we can?

Invite Matt Forger and Bruce Swedien to mix the material: Swedien has worked with Michael from 1978 to 2002/3, Forger from 1981 to 2008. They have the lengthiest resume, and it would be delightful to have them back. To my understanding, Swedien has been relatively inactive as of late (likely due to his age), so he may not be in the position to properly offer his services. If so, even having him as a mix consultant would be ideal.

Have Bernie Grundman master the final album: My reasoning here is similar with the previous two points, while also allowing Grundman a chance at redemption after the atrocious sound of the Xscape demos. (I don't blame him whatsoever for this — the songs were very obviously poorly mixed prior to the mastering process. Nonetheless, having his name attached to that sort of sound is shameful to his legacy, and it would be nice to have his potentially last credit on a Michael Jackson album be a strong one.)


Proud Member
Mar 26, 2010
I thought it was a fun post, but you lost me at "Black Widow."

If I only got to do one project, I would do an Invincible 10-year anniversary album in 2011. It was voted the most underappreciated album of the decade after Michael had died, so it was perfect timing to give it a second life. I'd do a 2-disk edition: one with original songs, and one with unreleased tracks. I would also promote and sell the second disk separately for those who already own the album and want a cheaper version. The track list would be:

1. Escape
2. Hollywood Tonight
3. She Was Loving Me
4. A Place With No Name
5. We've Had Enough
6. Shout
7 The Way You Love Me
8. Blue Gangsta
9. Another Day
10. Fall Again (demo)

No rewriting/remixing; all original songs mixed by Michael's engineers per his standards.

The artwork would be a real photo of Michael of late 00s, maybe one from the L'Uomo Vogue photo session.


Proud Member
Oct 7, 2014
If "For All Time" had been released posthumously around now, then I swear they would make a tropical pop remix out of it.


Proud Member
Apr 28, 2012
Firstly AlwaysThere you should be working for the Estate.

I always think about what I would do differently whenever they Estate release anything, and most of the time it's just take more time and care with the project.
I would make a record very similar to AlwaysThere honestly. Whatever I did I wouldn't try to do what the Estate did with Xscape or Michael did with Invincible frankly, which is follow what's current. Michael innovated and his sound remained timeless. I would set it up like the Michael album, as in they made an album with producers who knew what Mike wanted sonically. I would bring in Teddy, Neff U and Darkchild. I would look at outside collaborators that had a hand in a particular song (Cory Rooney She Was Lovin' Me for instance) as AlwaysThere said I would also only use musicians that worked with MJ and understood his standards.

I would take the best songs available vocally throughout his career, then I would look at the best songs sonically (In The Back for example) to see what Michael wanted during a certain era and try to push the limits sonically, with the songs that were near vocally complete, while trying to stay true to the demos as much as possible.

I would go for a one word title where possible and try to recreate that mysterious approach that served Mike so well with Album covers.
http://www.herbritts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/O-21-01V2.jpg Front cover with the title Xscape in red or gold
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/82/be/c4/82bec407cc9ecff720761345c57814e9--herb-ritts-michael-okeefe.jpg Back cover song font would be gold or red
I would use actual photos of Michael instead of paintings as I feel it would make the album seem more like a real album rather than a posthumous effort

For the promotion I would follow Michael's supposed plans (which sound brilliant) of releasing a single every 6 weeks or so for almost a year, add 3 or 4 songs to it and then that would be the album just in time for a Christmas release. I would announce the album, then the cover art, I would then announce and release the first single. Then just before the release date I would release a song title a day (probably through twitter) to hype fans for the album and then release the record.

I'll have a think about my tracklist. In mine I would chose from all the unreleased songs we've heard. Whereas I hope the Estate will release a new album of completely new unheard material I wouldn't mind if they re-released Price Of Fame though

Nite Line

Proud Member
Jul 28, 2016
Title: Xscape

1) Love Never Felt So Good (Xscape solo Michael version)
2) Hollywood Tonight
3) Price Of Fame
4) Xscape (Xscape version)
5) A Place With No Name
6) Days In Gloucestershire
7) Best Of Joy
8) Do You Know Where Your Children Are (Original version)
9) Blue Gangsta (Original version)
10) Much Too Soon

Deluxe edition songs:

11) Slave To The Rhythm
12) If You Don't Love Me
13) Hold My Hand
14) She Was Loving Me (2010 rock version)
15) Behind The Mask
16) Loving You

All the songs except DIG in the main album are complete or close to completion. I know DIG is very incomplete but my tracklist is telling a story that starts with Michael being sick of his fame and as a result, his desire to Xscape and find A Place With No Name which he does in Gloucestershire. DIG can have a featured artist to make up for it.
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