Posthumous Songs/Albums

Ibrahim Ahmad

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Hey Michael Jackson fans!

I am doing a school presentation about posthumous songs/albums. I am going to talk about the ethical issues about posthumous songs/albums. So i want to ask a question to all Michael Jackson fans. Is the posthumous songs/albums from Michael Jackson ethical right and okay to release. Why/why not?

I hope you all will give an answer to this so i can make my presentation really good

best regards
Ibrahim
 

dam2040

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No they aren’t ethical because MJ couldn’t approve the song mixes or art direction etc
 

Anna

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Pretty sure most artists have an expectation that their material will continue to be released after they pass, so unless they make it clear while they're alive that they don't want that to happen, then I think it's perfectly ethical. Michael knew it would happen. Whether he would have liked what they did with his material is another matter.
I also think it's much better if close loved ones are involved with posthumous releases. They will know the artist the best and they will usually put integrity and quality over money. Obviously that wasn't an option for Michael, given his particular family situation at the time. But now that the kids are grown up I think they should have some involvement.
 

AlwaysThere

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I’m of two minds when it comes to this.

“Unreleased,” contrary to popular insistence, doesn’t always mean “the world should never hear this,” at least in MJ’s case. There are several reasons he might’ve withheld a song, most of which amount to time/place concerns. I can’t think of a single song that he explicitly said should never come out, so all of the people complaining that we’re “betraying” him with these albums make no sense to me. Plus, as others have mentioned, MJ was well-versed with the concept of posthumous albums—he literally contributed to Minnie Riperton’s in 1980. If he didn’t want that to happen, he could have outlined as much in his will.

Where I find myself unsure is in regards to how the songs are presented. There’s essentially no “right” way to give us vault tracks. You can’t release them as-is because almost none of them are finished and MJ was very vocal about not letting the world hear anything until it was complete; but you also can’t finish it posthumously because not only are you taking creative liberties, but you’re also robbing MJ of the right to approve the final mix. It’s such a complicated subject, and it’s only made worse by the fact that MJ was the breakneck perfectionist that he was.

On a moral standpoint, I can understand why some are so opposed to posthumous albums. No matter what path you take, you’re fighting some sort of dilemma. But as a diehard fan, selfishly, I know that I’ll never protest hearing new material, no matter what state it’s in.

All this is to say, my feelings are complicated. I think most posthumous albums should be considered on a case by case basis, and MJ poses very unique questions and considerations. While I’ll always buy a new MJ single or album, I also feel that they’re all, in their own way, inherently disrespectful, and that that’s something we need to accept so long as we continue to ask for more.
 

Maxym

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Maybe you will find some interesting info in this 1300+ page long thread: https://www.mjjcommunity.com/threads/michael-the-great-album-debate.99883/
(I haven't read too much of it personally.)

Not sure about ethical, but they ruined most of the songs in my opinion (already debated in the "New content" thread.

But I'm a bit surprise, it seems that MJ never thought of somehow organising his (musically) legacy, just in case, when you hear that Prince left a fully organised ready to use 8.000 songs/works vaults that he'd like to be published after his death ... (I don't remember the source for this and maybe I got some details wrong).
 

mj_frenzy

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It was reported, after his death, that Michael Jackson intentionally left around 100 unreleased songs (in a complete state) for posthumous releases.

He did that so as to secure his children's financial future, so from an ethical point of view the posthumous release of these songs is very right.

The ethical issues start when demos and unfinished songs are re-worked by producers for posthumous releases, especially by producers who never worked with the singer when he was still alive.

Maybe you will find some interesting info in this 1300+ page long thread: https://www.mjjcommunity.com/threads/michael-the-great-album-debate.99883/
(I haven't read too much of it personally.)

Not sure about ethical, but they ruined most of the songs in my opinion (already debated in the "New content" thread.

But I'm a bit surprise, it seems that MJ never thought of somehow organising his (musically) legacy, just in case, when you hear that Prince left a fully organised ready to use 8.000 songs/works vaults that he'd like to be published after his death ... (I don't remember the source for this and maybe I got some details wrong).
It is unclear if Prince would like his 8,000 songs (in his vault) to be published after his death.

Remember, Prince was the only person who knew the code to his vault, meaning that he did not really want his vault to be opened after his death in order these songs to get a posthumous release.
 

SmoothGangsta

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I would say the way The Estate have gone about it can't really be seen as ethical in any way as it often involves removing almost everything MJ contributed apart from vocals and then acting like it's his music.
 

Prince Of Pop

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If it's done the right way, I'm all for it.

Example- Love Never Felt So Good was done the right way. IMO the demo was raw and extremely boring. The estate did a good job cleaning it up, and essentially finishing it. They didn't go overboard on modernizing it. Even the duet with Justin Timberlake was good.

Now what they did to songs on Xscape like Do You Know Where Your Children Are, Blue Gangsta, Slave To The Rhythm and A Place With No Name was done wrong. Way overproduced, and didn't feel like a Michael Jackson project. What they did with those songs in 2010 however, were good works. Same with the rock version of Chicago/She Was Loving Me. That version compared to the Xscape version, is by far the best version, and when you listen to Michael singing it, that version fits Michael's vocals best.
 
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