Michael - The Great Album Debate

Galactus123

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Donations
$8.00
Messages
5,143
Points
63
I wonder what is on the cards for leaving neverland 2, the stories by Robson and Safechuck have been told so a “sequel” could only mean new accusers have come forward, that would definitely be the final nail in the coffin.
I remember hearing that they wanted to film in court so the sequel could be about that. They will probably say how unfairly they were treated because the cases were dismissed.
 

filmandmusic

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,035
Points
113
I remember hearing that they wanted to film in court so the sequel could be about that. They will probably say how unfairly they were treated because the cases were dismissed.
Well it might get a razzie award for best short film then
 

Hess

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
11,395
Points
83
The fake songs were NOT "given" to The Estate and SONY by Cascio. They were sold. For a lot of $$$.
Which just makes Cascio even a bigger idiot... - Yet another of MJ's trusted friends who stabed him in the back and earned money.

If I was lawyer for the MJ estate and one of MJ's close friends came and told me he had some songs MJ worked on, I would also believe him. - And let be honest - many non-MJ-fans can't hear this is not MJ. - MANY MJ fans still think it is 100 % MJ... - So I can't see how you can blame others than Cascio really. - Me myself was tricked at first. Probably because I simply could not believe fake MJ vocals would end up on an official MJ album... I had to listen many many times, headphones and all till I was convinced it was not MJ. Vibrato wrong, pronunciation was of some places etc. but I would probably be considered a die-hard fan, been listening to MJ daily for more than 25 years, more likely since I was 5 - that would make it 30 years. Yet I was almost tricked.

Cascio is the devil here IMO.
 

AlwaysThere

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
3,905
Points
113
I was re-listening to the Cascio tracks the other day and it truly boggles my mind that anybody (including and mainly Eddie) thought they’d fool us. Of all the impersonators out there, they chose the worst one lmfao. “Keep Your Head Up” is the most aggressively bad in that regard.
 

SmoothGangsta

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
2,780
Points
83
Which just makes Cascio even a bigger idiot... - Yet another of MJ's trusted friends who stabed him in the back and earned money.

If I was lawyer for the MJ estate and one of MJ's close friends came and told me he had some songs MJ worked on, I would also believe him. - And let be honest - many non-MJ-fans can't hear this is not MJ. - MANY MJ fans still think it is 100 % MJ... - So I can't see how you can blame others than Cascio really. - Me myself was tricked at first. Probably because I simply could not believe fake MJ vocals would end up on an official MJ album... I had to listen many many times, headphones and all till I was convinced it was not MJ. Vibrato wrong, pronunciation was of some places etc. but I would probably be considered a die-hard fan, been listening to MJ daily for more than 25 years, more likely since I was 5 - that would make it 30 years. Yet I was almost tricked.

Cascio is the devil here IMO.

You really got to have your blinders on to a lot of stuff to have this opinion tbh.
 

OnirMJ

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Messages
6,353
Points
48
In my opinion everyone involved in this scheme is responsible. The Cascios, James Porte, Jason Malachi and Stuart Brawley are the ones that created these forgeries and they are to be blamed for that and for selling out and backstabbing Michael. They are horrible people with no morals, but I understand them, they wanted to make money. Especially the Cascio brothers who obviously did create some demos for Michael and Michael probably did promise them or tell them that he will listen or even record some of their songs if they were any good. So after Michael died, they were frustrated because their golden opportunity to make big money was gone, so they came up with a plan to finish the songs they did create for MJ and even record whole bunch of new ones in 2010.

Sony are of course also to be blamed, primarily because of their negligence. They knew the songs could possibly be fake, because Jackie Jackson, John McClain and many other family members expressed their concerns about the songs. And also all of the professionals who were at the listening - especially Michael Prince and others. But again, they are a company and their main goal is to earn money. So in my opinion that is understandable as well.

And the main villain and the most responsible person is John Branca (or The Estate) because his job is to protect Michael Jackson and his legacy. And he insisted to release these songs even though many people expressed their concerns - John McClain, Jackie Jackson, The Jacksons, Katherine, 3T and many producers and studio engineers like Cory Rooney, Michael Prince etc. And then even after he learned that the songs were fake, he did nothing. Not even apologizing. Not removing them. Not suing the Cascios. Nothing! He just kept pretending like nothing happened and kept lying, denying and silencing the people. So in my opinion he (and The Estate) are the main culprits and the most responsible people for this mess.
 

AlwaysThere

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
3,905
Points
113
I can’t blame the Estate for jumping at the opportunity to buy a dozen previously unknown songs from 2007. Hell, I can’t even blame them for trying to convince themselves that they’re legit. But I can and will blame them for:
  • ignoring the countless musicians, engineers, producers, songwriters, and family members who dismissed the tracks as fake;
  • allegedly faking a forensic vocal analysis;
  • lying about how MJ’s collaborators responded to the tracks; and
  • still releasing them, even after global criticism.
After “Breaking News” dropped, the Estate should’ve said, “We made a lapse in judgment, and we apologize. The album will be delayed 1-2 months while we reassess the track list.” Sure, it still would’ve been a boneheaded move to include them in the first place, and it would’ve cost money, but at least it would’ve shown that they’re willing to acknowledge their faults and do right.

Honestly, I don’t know who I’d call the biggest villain in this situation, or even how I’d rank them. Cascio is the number one reason this controversy even exists, and betrayed a lifelong friend… but Jason Malachi willingly participated in counterfeit songs… but the songs might not have made it to the Estate if Stuart Brawley and Frank Dileo didn’t vouch for them… but they wouldn’t have even come out if not for Branca… but the situation wouldn’t have been worsened if Teddy Riley didn’t put his name on the line and publicly defend them…
 

Nite Line

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
2,118
Points
83


Instead of releasing the Cascio tracks, I wish the above two songs were released on the Michael album instead, as they were worked on during the production of that album. The Michael album versions of Do You Know Where Your Children Are and She Was Loving Me aka Chicago are better than both the original and remixed versions released on the Xscape album, in my opinion.
 

AlwaysThere

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
3,905
Points
113
Controversially, I think both of the “official” versions of “Chicago” (the ones Cory Rooney signed off on) are horrible. The demo has no energy whatsoever, and the 2010 remix is basically a wall of sound with no creativity or musicality. I absolutely adore the Timbaland remix, weirdly enough.

The leaked cut of “Do You Know” is absolutely perfect though. It expands on the demo but retains the original feel. Yet another reason why John McClain should be the lead producer for every posthumous album.
 

Robbsaber01

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
2,334
Points
63
While I get the logistical reasons why the cascio tracks are still on the album it still bothers me. Can't imagine any other artist that has false tracks tied to them.
 

filmandmusic

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,035
Points
113
I think the original Chicago is the best song on Xscape. I love the atmospheric sound and laid back vibe it has, It's a great track in the car on a long ride nodding your head on the mid tempo groove. Vocally it doesn't seem finished yet but that's only a minor complaint.
 

Fuzball

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
1,218
Points
83
Boney M's Bobby Farrell wasn't singing himself, too. Interestingly both, Milli Vanilli & Boney M, were founded by German record producer Frank Farian.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
5,463
Points
63
The fake songs was given to The Estate and SONY by Cascio. There is no doubt The Estate and SONY was tricked. They had absolutely no desire to release fake songs. They simply just trusted the wrong person - because he was actually a long-time friend to MJ, so there was no need to question Cascio.

BUT - as soon as producers and fans and others questioned the vocals, the 3 songs should have been removed instantly. But sadly The Estate and SONY kept them, and after they had first been released it was almost impossible to remove them again.

But Cascio is the one to blame - not The Estate.

I find it downright sad that the Cascios did this. Before that stuff happened I thought highly of them, as in knowing they were like a family for Michael and cared for him and were there for him.

But I guess.....money....it makes some do strange things.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
5,463
Points
63
I wonder what is on the cards for leaving neverland 2, the stories by Robson and Safechuck have been told so a “sequel” could only mean new accusers have come forward, that would definitely be the final nail in the coffin.

Final nail in the coffin? Oh not even close. LN was a flop, the man is insanely popular still. There will always be some simple souls that believe anything and don't want to listen to facts.

Any new accusers would be..... Jacobshagen? Lmao. Gonna be very easy to totally wipe that mofo and his ridiculous lies out. Arvizo? Let Reed try that, lmao.

Really though, defamation of the dead should be illegal.
 
Last edited:

Billie_Jean

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
91
Points
8
Controversially, I think both of the “official” versions of “Chicago” (the ones Cory Rooney signed off on) are horrible. The demo has no energy whatsoever, and the 2010 remix is basically a wall of sound with no creativity or musicality. I absolutely adore the Timbaland remix, weirdly enough.

The leaked cut of “Do You Know” is absolutely perfect though. It expands on the demo but retains the original feel. Yet another reason why John McClain should be the lead producer for every posthumous album.

It's been like 10 years since I've been to this forum (and this thread lol), and a decade and an audio engineering degree later, my personal stance is that I end up never listening to these glorified modern remixes with chopped up vocals incoherently put together over often musically reharmonised backing tracks which bear no resemblance whatsoever to what was originally intended. I do, however, listen to the demos. I agree Chicago (the demo from Xscape) sounds flat, but keep in mind it's basically a bunch of stems put together with no proper gain staging or mixing, in fact, 90% of the track (except for the vocals) is mono, and that's among the main reasons it why sounds as something we could perceive as flat. Most unmixed music (even finished stuff) sounds quite bad/underwhelming. You can check out how Smooth Criminal sounds in its unmixed form:

If it was up to me, I would create transparent mixes using only original material that comes with each song and mix it properly using basic tools such as compression, EQ, gain, panning, some reverb, maybe a subtle chorus on the synth pads etc. Basically do everything to make them sound as decent as possible whilst maintaining the original creative vision. What has been done to the songs on both Michael and Xscape is often a complete reimagining of the tracks by other people, and there's far less value in that than there is in MJ's originals. In some cases, they literally changed everything about songs that were more or less finished because they didn't like something about them. I get that they're trying to keep MJ "relevant" because money and whatnot, but it's still a dud from an artistic standpoint. Cheap thrills, and it's great if people enjoy it, but it is what it is.

It goes without saying, if someone has raw multitracks of MJ's demos, I'd love to hear them!

As for the Cascio tracks... Well, they're still shite, aren't they? Have people figured out in all these years if this was a cynical attempt to cash in by recording Jason Malachi after MJ's death? Or did they record all these songs as demos that they'd intended to present to MJ, but with "realistic" vocals? The latter just very simply makes no sense as there was no need to get a "similar" vocal for MJ to imagine himself as the performer - he was a total pro and he had previously worked with rough guide vocals many times (Rod Temperton's hilariously awful guide vocal on Rock With You comes to mind). It's such a bizarre story, and I sill can't believe it happened to the most famous vocalist in the history of recorded music.
 

SmoothGangsta

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
2,780
Points
83
Yeah, I've personally never understood the criticism of the She Was Loving Me demo on Xscape when it comes to how it sounds. It's literally unmixed and in mono. Of course it sounds flat. All the demos on Xscape sounded awful because no effort went into making them sound good. They were obviously just compressed and then dumped on the cd. It seems like people think that just because they are demos that normal audio production stuff doesn't apply and that if they sound bad then the demos must just be bad. It's not like they were all recorded on a cassette tape or something lol.
 
Last edited:

Billie_Jean

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
91
Points
8
Yeah, I've personally never understood the criticism of the She Was Loving Me demo on Xscape when it comes to how it sounds. It's literally unmixed and in mono. Of course it sounds flat. All the demos on Xscape sounded awful because no effort went into making them sound good. They were obviously just compressed and then dumped on the cd. It seems like people think that just because they are demos that normal audio production stuff doesn't apply and that if they sound bad then the demos must just be bad. It's not like they were all recorded on a cassette tape or something lol.

Totally. You could argue that the instruments and sounds on these were not final and they are pretty retro at this point, but that's not an issue at all. I get that they shared the demos as they found them (well, they slammed the limiter on them to the hilt because nobody got the memo that the loudness war is kind of sort of over), but there is a way to mix them in a way that makes them sound nice and also preserves their original character. But the budget clearly was spent elsewhere. Honestly, I hope the multitracks leak at some point so we can make our own mixes instead. There are lots of audio people among MJ fans with the right tools and skills.
 

AlwaysThere

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
3,905
Points
113
I also have an audio engineering degree, so I understand fully how embarrassing the presentation of the demos was. Even so, my main issue isn’t with the mixing of the demo, it’s the production. Sure, some proper technique might elevate it some (not to mention presenting it in stereo), but mixing can’t save mediocre production. Even listening to the raw “Smooth Criminal” stems, you can still hear the foundation of a fantastic song that just needs a bit of Swedien magic. The “Chicago” demo, to me, lacks that feeling.

As for the remixes themselves, on a moral level they’re horrifically disrespectful. (And it’s a bit hilarious that L.A. Reid, a man who worked with MJ, was the one who oversaw the operation.) But on a subjective level, I can’t deny that I find half of them to be either on par with, or superior to, the demos. I love MJ, but I’m not gonna act like some of the remixes aren’t absolute bangers.
 

filmandmusic

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,035
Points
113
Ugh I wish I knew anything of the technical side of music I have no clue what you guys are talking about. Or maybe this is to my advantage as I think the demo's sound just fine 🤔
 

Pentum

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
7,136
Points
63
Location
Norway
SWLM demo sounds awful in terms of sound, as in the mixing of it as you guys are stating above. It's the main reason I rarely listen to it.

Either they did not care, did not have enough time, budget or they simply released the demos in a shit state on purpose to make their new re-mixes sound even better.

I think the last part is what happened, but you know me by now.
 

SmoothGangsta

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
2,780
Points
83
SWLM demo sounds awful in terms of sound, as in the mixing of it as you guys are stating above. It's the main reason I rarely listen to it.

Either they did not care, did not have enough time, budget or they simply released the demos in a shit state on purpose to make their new re-mixes sound even better.

I think the last part is what happened, but you know me by now.
I have had this thought as well honestly. Seems like you'd need to actively make those demos sound as bad as they do on Xscape.
 

kai

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
3,268
Points
83
i wonder if there are still people believing MJ sung the 3 fake songs? :D
 

Hess

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
11,395
Points
83
i wonder if there are still people believing MJ sung the 3 fake songs? :D
Sadly I would say most "normal" people - not fans I mean - will think it's MJ. And a casual person who hears the songs will probably think it's MJ.

BUT - I doubt many non-fans knows the existens of these songs. - "Michael" is not known to many I think. - sadly nor are the 7 great songs.

I never - meaning not once since the album was released - hear songs from "Michael" on the radio.

LNFSG with Justin is played very often on danish radio actually. - but not the other songs from the album.
 

Richard76

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
126
Points
18
Casci
I really don't understand why on earth they have to add the 3 Cascio tracks when they had other great songs and when they included at least 2 songs we already knew (HMH and ILTWYLM). ANd though HMH is sweet and beutiful, let's agree it's far from classic MJ and it is certainly not strong enough to be a first single. I haven't seen the note of MJ about this for first single yet, I thought I would be in the album booklet....:mello:

But there are great songs such as Best of Joy, Much too Soon, Hollywood Tonight and Behind the Mask. The version of ILTWYLM is amazing, I really love it and the intro is just too emotional :cry:

But the mark of the C tracks is still there. I guess this was some kind of experiment for the Estate and Sony. They better learn their lesson and they better do it fast.

In my very personal opinion, and please take is just as that, I would have love having the real MJ tracks as he left them. Nothing more, nothing less.
Cascio tracks are fake. They weren't made by MJ. He probably didn't even hear about them
 

AChanceToDance

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2022
Messages
385
Points
63
Are there any opportunity that someday they will release mj last tracks such as im still the king, water, dark lady and so on?
I doubt it, most of his last songs are either unfinished or some producers won't hand them over to the Estate.

Realistically I don't think we'll ever get any 2000s songs other than maybe I Was The Loser because that's the most completed song of that era and it was considered for Xscape.
 

Richard76

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
126
Points
18
I doubt it, most of his last songs are either unfinished or some producers won't hand them over to the Estate.

Realistically I don't think we'll ever get any 2000s songs other than maybe I Was The Loser because that's the most completed song of that era and it was considered for Xscape.
monsters.... thats who their are. estate and other people who keeps MJ greatest material from us...
 

KOPV

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
12,966
Points
63
Oral argument in the 'Cascio tracks' case should be coming soon...
 
Last edited:

Fuzball

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
1,218
Points
83
starts in 45 minutes - live stream https://courts.ca.gov/35333.htm

🚨
REMINDER: California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in which the MJ Estate & Sony Music will fight for their ‘right’ to sell fake songs as authentic MJ material. Hearing starts in 1.5 hours, at 9am LA time. Find LIVE STREAM link here: https://courts.ca.gov/35333.htm

 
Top