Ok, Why did MJ Make so many versions of Don't Be Messin' 'Round?

threepea11

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So apparently, MJ wrote DBMR in 1982 and shelved it for Bad, then he reworked it for Bad, then shelved it again. It was reworked in '90, '95, '00 and '09.
Why did MJ work on this song so much? How many Versions have been heard before? Cause I know we have the 1986 Ver. and another Ver. with different vocals
 

ChanceToDance

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Same reason he worked on songs like TYLA, Best Of Joy, Chicago 1945, Shut Up and Dance and many many others for decades, he wasn't satisfied the song and always found something he could improve on.
 

dethorro

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What I find most interesting is what songs got worked on continuously and what songs didn’t. A song like “Loving You” was recorded in 1985 and never pulled out of the vault again for any new overdubs. On the other hand, songs like ”Best Of Joy” or “Messin’ Around” were worked on for several years, until his death.
 

threepea11

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Same reason he worked on songs like TYLA, Best Of Joy, Chicago 1945, Shut Up and Dance and many many others for decades, he wasn't satisfied the song and always found something he could improve on.
Wait, TYLA was recorded more than once?
Wasn't Best of Joy only recorded in 1982 and 2008/09
When was Shut Up And Dance written/first recorded?
 

ChanceToDance

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Wait, TYLA was recorded more than once?
It was reworked before MJ died or planned to be reworked in London.
Wasn't Best of Joy only recorded in 1982 and 2008/09
It was re-recorded entirely in 1990/1991 with MJ only changing the opening line.
When was Shut Up And Dance written/first recorded?
MJ likely never recorded it but it was first made for Invincible. It's the same case as TYLA though, he either reworked on it before he died or planned to be reworked in London.
 

SmoothGangsta

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I know, but wasnt Best Of Joy recorded in 2008?

I mean, you literally asked if it was only recorded in 80's and 08 so clearly you didn't know, was just trying to answer your question lol.

The version on the Michael album is a remix of an 08 recording of the song, yes.
 

ChanceToDance

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I find it so weird how MJ left 90% of the songs from the 2000's unrecorded but when it came to a song he had already recorded entirely 10-20 years before he felt the need to re-record it from the get-go without changing much. Go figure lol.
 
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threepea11

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I mean, you literally asked if it was only recorded in 80's and 08 so clearly you didn't know, was just trying to answer your question lol.

The version on the Michael album is a remix of an 08 recording of the song, yes.
Ahhh ok
 

SmoothGangsta

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I find it so weird how MJ left 90% of the songs from the 2000's unrecorded but when it came to a song he had already recorded entirely 10-20 years before he felt the need to re-record it from the get-go without changing much. Go figure lol.
Yeah it's extremely odd that during a time in which MJ reportedly was consciously not recording his vocals to prevent leaks that he just decided to do an entirely new recording of the song lol.
 

dethorro

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Yeah it's extremely odd that during a time in which MJ reportedly was consciously not recording his vocals to prevent leaks that he just decided to do an entirely new recording of the song lol.
It appears that “Best Of Joy“ was particularly close to Michael’s heart. He talked very highly of it during the 1984 court testimony and thought it was stronger than some of the material on “Thriller”. That may be why he decided to re-record it.
 

ChanceToDance

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Even MJ himself could be wrong about his own music lol, I like The Toy but it's not comparable to any song on Thriller.
 

ChanceToDance

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And that's exactly why he revisited it - it had potential, but it wasn't fully accomplished until 2008
I wonder what was the potential he saw if the song managed to pretty much stay the same for 20 years apart from the Neff-U remix. The only thing that makes the 2008 version different from the 1981 and 1990 versions is the third verse, basically nothing else.
 

SmoothGangsta

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I wonder what was the potential he saw if the song managed to pretty much stay the same for 20 years apart from the Neff-U remix. The only thing that makes the 2008 version different from the 1981 and 1990 versions is the third verse, basically nothing else.
He obviously had more ideas for it he didn't record or he wouldn't have bothered bringing it back out
 

TheXscapeR

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I wonder what was the potential he saw if the song managed to pretty much stay the same for 20 years apart from the Neff-U remix. The only thing that makes the 2008 version different from the 1981 and 1990 versions is the third verse, basically nothing else.
It is quite a beautiful song, but it had minor issues (and the infamous I am your toy, I am your boy line), so I'd understand why he would alter the song slightly to make it better. And about The Toy, it sounds bad only with the drums, if someone had the multitrack to make it drumless, it would sound much more beautiful for sure.
 

AlwaysThere

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As much as I love MJ, his artistic process confuses and (at times) annoys the hell out of me. “I’m gonna fully re-record vocals to this song that I’ve already recorded twice before, but I’m not gonna finish ‘Beautiful Girl’ or ‘Gloucestershire’ or ‘Hollywood Tonight’ or any of the other unfinished songs I’m working on.” Obviously this approach has paid dividends over the years, but damn, I truly wish he was a bit more liberal with recording vocals.
 

ChanceToDance

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As much as I love MJ, his artistic process confuses and (at times) annoys the hell out of me. “I’m gonna fully re-record vocals to this song that I’ve already recorded twice before, but I’m not gonna finish ‘Beautiful Girl’ or ‘Gloucestershire’ or ‘Hollywood Tonight’ or any of the other unfinished songs I’m working on.” Obviously this approach has paid dividends over the years, but damn, I truly wish he was a bit more liberal with recording vocals.
Exactly my point lol. I'm not trashing on the song or anything but he had already recorded it 2 times years prior and the 2 versions pretty much sounded the same, all he had to do was record only the new verse and fit into the recording like he did with I Am A Loser/The Loser. He could've spent his time working on one of his new songs instead of focusing on an old song that was already vocally done.
 

Pentum

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One of the weaker MJ songs, not sure what MJ saw in this one to be honest. SO many other better demos from those eras
 

AlwaysThere

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Exactly my point lol. I'm not trashing on the song or anything but he had already recorded it 2 times years prior and the 2 versions pretty much sounded the same, all he had to do was record only the new verse and fit into the recording like he did with I Am A Loser/The Loser. He could've spent his time working on one of his new songs instead of focusing on an old song that was already vocally done.
I think redoing the vocals makes complete sense. His voice held up remarkably well, but adding background vocals to a five-year-old song (“I Was the Loser”) isn’t as obvious or jarring as tossing a new verse into a 17-year-old demo. Imagine if we took the TII rehearsal vocals of IJCSLY, which sound incredible, and edited them into the released version.

My bafflement comes at the fact that MJ was working on dozens of tracks in his final years, most of which had no vocals whatsoever, and one of his only “complete” vocals from this period is of a song he’d already recorded twice before.
 

ChanceToDance

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I think redoing the vocals makes complete sense. His voice held up remarkably well, but adding background vocals to a five-year-old song (“I Was the Loser”) isn’t as obvious or jarring as tossing a new verse into a 17-year-old demo. Imagine if we took the TII rehearsal vocals of IJCSLY, which sound incredible, and edited them into the released version.
Let me use a better example, that's pretty much what he did with Earth Song; the song was pretty much complete during the Dangerous era but for HIStory he made a new chorus and recorded new ad-libs. He could've done the same for BoJ and have altered some things on the song instead of spending his time re-recording it entirely with basically no changes.
 

AlwaysThere

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Let me use a better example, that's pretty much what he did with Earth Song; the song was pretty much complete during the Dangerous era but for HIStory he made a new chorus and recorded new ad-libs. He could've done the same for BoJ and have altered some things on the song instead of spending his time re-recording it entirely with basically no changes.
That’s still only a 4-5 year difference though. 17 years is far less palatable. Overall though I do agree that it feels like a waste of energy, as much as I absolutely adore his vocals on the 2010 mix.
 

Mister_Jay_Tee

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Yeah it's extremely odd that during a time in which MJ reportedly was consciously not recording his vocals to prevent leaks that he just decided to do an entirely new recording of the song lol.
It might've been pre Hold My Hand. He seemed to have a renewed interest in making material, that fizzled out. Don't know if I have the timeline right though.
 

SmoothGangsta

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It might've been pre Hold My Hand. He seemed to have a renewed interest in making material, that fizzled out. Don't know if I have the timeline right though.
Hold My Hand was in 07 iirc. Best of Joy was recorded in the later half of 08.
 

Mister_Jay_Tee

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Hold My Hand was in 07 iirc. Best of Joy was recorded in the later half of 08.
If you're gonna be wrong, be confidently wrong.

So I guess he slowed down and wanted to stay with a safe choice, a song that has never leaked, and a rather basic one. Until he has the means to ensure it would never be leaked.

Plus it was a song he intended to perform on tour, according to urban legend. He'd debut it, in addition to releasing singles rather than full albums. Maybe that's more feasible
 

ChanceToDance

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That’s still only a 4-5 year difference though. 17 years is far less palatable. Overall though I do agree that it feels like a waste of energy, as much as I absolutely adore his vocals on the 2010 mix.
I feel like it could easily pass, after all the vocals of BoJ and The Toy sound almost identical, maybe with the version from Dangerous the difference is even less noticeable.
 
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