In The Studio With Michael Jackson – “The Bad Mixes”

Sources: In The Studio With Michael – By Brad Sundberg | All Things Michael


Whenever I get closer to doing a seminar, I dig into my boxes of memorabilia for two reasons:

1) To look for unique items, music, etc., to share with the group.
2) To get myself back into “MJ World”, if that makes any sense.

I know this likely comes as a shock, but I don’t listen to MJ music 24/7. Particularly after a series of seminars I simply need to take a break from it and instead listen to Beck or Steely Dan or AC/DC or Gloria Gaynor (don’t laugh) for a while. I know… it doesn’t make sense, but it’s true! The seminars bring back a lot of memories and things get to be very real again… and I have to let it go. (Wow, that got deep fast.)

So I am going over last minute prep for the next series of seminars in London, Copenhagen and Frankfurt, and I opened up my memory boxes. Captain EO shirt (original!), my signed Thriller album, boxes and boxes of tapes, CDs, lyrics, scribbled notes and comp sheets, etc. Then I saw my old “Bad Mixes” CD.

After the “Bad” album was released… I mean almost immediately after it was released, Bruce Swedien and I were back at Westlake Studio D starting the remixes for singles, dance mixes, video mixes, etc. This went on for months – song after song.

Monster Cable was involved in the “Bad” album (no, I don’t get a free anything for mentioning them), and Noel Lee was an occasional visitor to the project. Noel was cool, and always seemed to enjoy his visits to the studio. We had Monster Cable all over the place, which was a mixed blessing: It does sound good, but suddenly I was having to lug cables the size of garden hoses around for speakers, and microphone harnesses with the diameter of a grapefruit everywhere we went. No need to hit the gym in those days.

So I don’t know the exact origin of the “Bad Mixes” (I’m sure there are plenty of readers who know more about it than I do), but Monster had some direct involvement – at least with the Special Edition CD. So one day Noel shows up and Bruce and I were working on something – I have no idea what – with a small box of CDs under his arm. He was very proud and pulled them out of the box. Each one had a number: 0001, 0002, 0003, 0004, 0005, and so on. Michael was on tour, and I’m not sure where Quincy was, but Noel very graciously gave us the CDs with specific instructions that Michael was to have 0001, Quincy would receive 0002, Bruce got 0003, and I received 0004. Noel would keep 0005 for himself.

Now don’t read more into this than you should because I was treated very well by everyone, but it was pretty cool for Noel to include me in the top four of receiving one of his hand-delivered, limited edition numbered CDs. They could have gone to the endless list of managers and executives and lawyers first, but Noel knew we were on the front lines of making the music sound great, and using many of his products along the way, so I think this was his way of saying “thank you”.

I still have good old 0004, sealed in it’s original packaging, as a cool momento from a long time ago. No, it’s not for sale… It represents way too big a part of my life to sell. So there you go… I’m ramping back into MJ world just by digging in a box of memories.


London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt – tickets are still available, and the new material is pretty cool. I was up late last night putting some new segments together from Dangerous – and I think you are going to like them!

Download the “Bad Mixes” or dig out your old CD of it and crank them up this weekend – “Smooth Criminal” sounds better than ever!

I hope to see you on our European tour starting next weekend. Will You Be There?

(0004 will be staying home, safe and sound).

Tickets are still on sale at, AND – if you are already a ticket holder – I have a few T-shirts still available for purchase here – just scroll to the bottom of the screen:

Have a great week, and thank you to my guests in Europe who have already purchased tickets – we are so excited to see you in the coming days!

Keep The Faith -



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Win A New Test Pressing Of The Jackson Five’s Lost Studio Debut From The Reader And Secret Stash

Sources: Chicago Reader – By Peter Margasak | All Things Michael


Next Tuesday eclectic Minneapolis label Secret Stash launches a yearlong reissue program that will give deluxe treatment to singles released on the constellation of Chicago soul imprints owned and operated by brothers George and Ernie Leaner between 1962 and 1971. The first 25-track installment (on a single CD and double vinyl) will focus on singles released on the One-derful label, featuring Chicago fixtures such as Otis Clay, McKinley Mitchell, Betty Everett, and the Five Dutones alongside lesser-known artists including the Lucky Laws, the Admirations, Liz Lands, and Beverly Shaffer.

The singles are a gritty mix of hard soul and raw R&B—blue-collar Chicago music at its best. Subsequent compilations in the Secret Stash series will each focus on another imprint run by the Leaners, among them Mar-v-Lus, M-Pac!, Halo, Midas, and Toddlin’ Town; they’ll be released every other month through next September. The Leaners were also a vital force on Chicago’s Record Row in another way: in 1950 they founded United Record Distributors, the first and largest black-run distribution company in the country.

Secret Stash is also taking preorders for a subscription series that comes in several flavors. The priciest option, at $200, includes all the CDs and vinyl, plus seven bonus seven-inches containing tracks not on the six compilations and a CD compiling the seven-inches. The cheapest option, at $90, gets you the six CD releases along with that bonus CD of seven-inches.

One of those seven-inches is a previously unreleased version of “Big Boy,” the Jackson Five’s first single, recorded at the One-derful studio months before the 1968 version issued by Steeltown Records in Gary, Indiana. The Steeltown single is the Jackson Five’s debut release; the One-derful tape, on the other hand, is the group’s first known studio recording, but it was shelved for 42 years and considered lost. Jake Austen told the story of its rediscovery in an epic 2009 Reader feature, and then followed up in 2010 after he was finally able to hear the music.


Now the Reader and Secret Stash are giving away a seven-inch test pressing of the One-derful version of “Big Boy”—but you have to show off your knowledge to claim the prize. (You may find it helpful to read Austen’s two Reader stories—hint, hint.) The person who gets the most questions right wins; in the event of a tie, the earliest response wins. Please send your answers to by 1 PM on Wednesday, October 22. While you read the questions below, click here to listen

1.) Name the music director at One-derful Records who wrote the Jackson Five single “Big Boy.”

2.) What’s the date on the studio worksheet for the Jackson Five’s “Big Boy” session at One-derful?

3.) Who is the young guitarist who appears on the One-derful version of “Big Boy” but not the Steeltown version?

4.) What was the address of the One-derful studio where the Jackson Five recorded?

5.) Who’s the engineer who handled the digital transfer of the One-derful recording of “Big Boy” in September 2010?




The Jacksons Bring Classic Hits To Hong Kong

Sources: SCMP | All Things Michael


The Jacksons, I’m told before speaking over the phone to the eldest brother, Jackie, from his home in Los Angeles, don’t talk about “family matters” in interviews.

Considering that they have made themselves the subject of a self-produced TV reality show, this reticence seems perverse. But now that they are back on the road as a touring band, and have a new album in the works, a desire to refocus public attention on their music is understandable.

The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty aired after Michael Jackson’s death. It was filmed without the participation of the youngest brother, Randy Jackson, who also chose not to take part in the Unity Tour which Jackie, Marlon, Tito and Jermaine undertook in 2012.

Rifts and reconciliations between the members of the Jackson family – which includes sisters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet – have provided gossip column fodder on and off since 1975, when all the brothers bar Jermaine left Motown, the label which released their hits as the Jackson 5, for a better-paying contract with Epic.

The real tragedy of Michael’s death in 2009 aside, the history of black America’s best-known showbusiness family is something of a soap opera – but one with an intermittently great soundtrack.


The four brothers now touring as The Jacksons will perform many of the highlights from a repertoire that is less dependent on the group’s most famous member than many might imagine – on November 1 at the annual Foreign Correspondents Club Charity Ball at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Although the Unity Tour officially finished in 2013, according to Jackie Jackson the brothers are undertaking occasional additional dates. “It’s pretty much an extension of the tour,” he says. “We hadn’t toured in quite a while and we’re looking forward to coming.”

The original Unity Tour included shows in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, but not Hong Kong. This performance will come after a show in Jakarta on October 26.

The set list will be similar – a nostalgic canter through a long list of hits dating back to the days when Jackie, Michael, Marlon, Tito and Jermaine collectively became the first recording artists to reach No 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 with four consecutive singles.

The brothers began performing together in 1964 with five-year-old Michael playing percussion. Within a couple of years, he had become the group’s principal lead vocalist, but all the brothers sang, and their harmonies were the foundation for the group’s distinctive sound.

After the early run of Motown pop hits ran out, The Jacksons, as they became known after leaving the label, reinvented themselves as a funk outfit, and scored notable hits for the Epic label with Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground), co-written by Michael and Randy who had temporarily replaced Jermaine in the group, and Can You Feel It?, co-written by Michael and Jackie.


After the huge success of Michael’s 1982 album, Thriller, however, his solo career eclipsed the group. Their 1984 album, Victory, for which Jermaine rejoined and which accordingly featured all six brothers, was another hit, but after the supporting tour Michael and Marlon both left the family firm, and the glory days were over.

The brothers reunited in 2001 for two Madison Square Garden shows, but Michael’s death in 2009 put to rest any hopes of another full reunion. However, four of the surviving brothers still had something to prove, and reviews for their recent concerts suggest that even without the physical presence of their far more famous brother, The Jacksons remain a potent live act – and after 50 years in the business, certainly a well-rehearsed one.

“It comes quite easy because we’ve been doing it for so long,” says Jackie. “The hardest part is choosing the songs. Getting all of them into a two-hour show is really quite difficult, so we try to pick the songs we think people would really want to hear, but we change it up here and there. Jermaine might sing some of his solo hits and we’ll do some Michael songs as well. It’s such a workout on stage. It’s like going to the gym.”

The show is quite a production. About 22 employees travel with the brothers, including the band, back-up singers, tour managers and technicians, who handle the complexities of the sound, lighting, and the screens onto which snapshots from the Jacksons’ history are projected.

The brothers, Jackie says, think of Michael’s spirit as present, and the “tribute to Michael” section of the show, can get quite an emotional audience response. “Sometimes people are crying in the audience and then later it turns into laughter and dancing,” he says.


“The King of Pop” is a silent presence during the hits from his solo career, and also during the Jackson 5 medley on which his vocal was generally the lead. “I sing a lot of the parts in the medley, and then there’s Tito singing certain parts and Jermaine singing certain parts. We all share the vocals,” Jackie says.

The new album, as yet untitled, has been in the works for about two years, but is nearing completion. “We’re trying to get it finished for Christmas, but that probably won’t happen. It will be out next year, maybe in the first quarter,” Jackie says.

The brothers are up to speed with modern recording technology, but still use skills and techniques they learned in their early days in the Motown hit factory. “Back then it was about real recording, how to put a record together, how to record strings and a real brass section. Kids don’t know anything about that today because they’ve never had a chance to do that. You can’t work with 46 people on your song,” says Jackie. “You go back and look at all the Motown hits that Berry Gordy was able to put out during that era, great songs, great melodies, great lyrical content, and we learned so much from that. But it wasn’t just Motown then. There was Stax records, and the Philadelphia sound. Great music all over.”

Touring, however, is where the money is made for musicians these days, and Jackie and his brothers are aware of that. “You have to hit the road because records are not selling like they used to,” he says.

At 63, though, he says he still gets a kick out of performing. “We just want to keep making great music. Hopefully this album will be a success and we can keep touring from that – and doing what we do best, keep making great music, and making the people happy.”


The Jacksons, Foreign Correspondents Club Charity Ball, Nov 1, Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, HK$2,488 (inclusive of dinner and drinks). Inquiries: 2521 1511 or


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Netflix And Michael Jackson’s Thriller: Giving The Consumer What They Want

Sources: Huffington Post – By Markus Giesler | Edited By – All Things Michael


What enables Netflix’s transformation from streaming service to original content provider?

From a conventional perspective, it’s all about big data and analytics or, as the New York Times put it, “giving viewers what they want:”

Netflix, which has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, ran the numbers. It already knew that a healthy share had streamed the work of Mr. Fincher, the director of “The Social Network,” from beginning to end. And films featuring Mr. Spacey had always done well, as had the British version of “House of Cards.” With those three circles of interest, Netflix was able to find a Venn diagram intersection that suggested that buying the series would be a very good bet on original programming.

This story not only overplays the important role of big data and the power of data analytics. It also creates the false impression that there is a kind of secret location in the collective conscious where “House of Cards” and “binge watching” always existed as a ready-made categories and all that was needed to discover them was cutting-edge data science.

Re-designing the product in accordance with what consumers really want (and using big data to find out what that is) is one strategy to look at Netflix’s shift. But how about retailoring consumers themselves (their expectations, viewing habits, tastes, preferences, and rituals) to the new offering’s needs? Would it still be enough, as Kevin Spacey argued, to “have learned the lesson that the music industry didn’t learn: give people what they want, when they want it, in the form that they want it in, at a reasonable price and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it”?

Apropos music industry. Many years ago, I was still working as a music producer and composer and attending an industry dinner in Cologne, Germany, I had the privilege of listening to legendary music producer Quincy Jones. And so someone at the table asked him the inevitable question:

How did “Thriller” propel Michael Jackson from soul artist to pop icon?

All he could say, he replied, was that there was a strong focus, not only on Michael’s talent and the music, but also on the kind of listener he had attracted in the past as well as the kind of listener the creative team thought was needed to master the transformation.

All members of the creative team around “Thriller” — from sound engineer Bruce Swedien and video producer John Landis to Jackson sponsor PepsiCo and MTV understood themselves not so much as creators of captivating content but rather as creators of cultural identity and of a new type of American youth culture — one to whom Michael Jackson’s music would become truly indispensable.

For someone who has his home in the world of score, chords and hook lines, I found this a remarkably sociological statement. In essence, production is not about creating the “right” content that people want. It is a large-scale sociological project of creating the kind of audience that the content needs for its commercial success.

Big data’s role in making “House of Cards” a success is well documented. But “House of Cards” and Netflix’s other original formats also have another important role to play in reshaping consumers and consumption patterns in ways that enable the successful shift from Netflix, the streaming service to Netflix, the content provider.

This sociological dynamic is easily forgotten. Thirty years after the release of “Thriller,” for instance, the “Thriller” team’s “true genius” to have given consumers what they had always wanted easily overshadows their shaping influence on American youth culture.


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Long Island Zombies Prepare To Break A World Record And Help Several Charities For 5th Annual Thrill The World Event

Sources: Patch | All Things Michael


Islip, NY – Long Island Zombies are once again preparing to join the ranks of thousands of fellow zombies around the world in an attempt to break the world record for the largest simultaneous performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance. The local event is scheduled for Saturday, October 25th, 2014 from 3PM to 6:30PM, with the official world record dance attempt taking place at 6PM local time and will be one of the many synchronized worldwide charitable events. Thrill Long Island 2014 will take place at Islip Town Hall West, located at 401 Main Street, Islip, NY. Free parking will open at 2:45 p.m. Families are encouraged to attend an afternoon full of fun – with free prizes, a 50/50 raffle, basket raffles, and more! Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in their best Halloween costume, as there will be a costume contest open to all ages and costume categories, with free prizes awarded to the best costumes in attendance! Following the contest, there will be a Halloween Dance-Off contest in three different age categories: Children, Teens, and Adults. All are welcome to enter the competition for the chance to win fun prizes!

Once again, this event is being sponsored by the South Shore Community Organization, part of the Town of Islip’s network of community Youth Agencies, as well as the Town of Islip Youth Bureau. Thrill Long Island has also partnered with Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest food pantry network, in an effort to help fundraise and collect non-perishable food to feed the hungry on Long Island. Other partnering companies, organizations, and agencies include, Victoria’s MakeUp Artist, Youth Enrichment Services, LI Flash Mobs, and As in the past, this event unites the community through music and dance to raise funds for various charities. In addition to supporting Island Harvest, Thrill Long Island will be donating to the locally-based Sandy Relief non-profit organization, Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Thrill Long Island is seeking youth and adults to participate in this fun, exciting and charitable dance event. The “Thriller” routine is VERY easily learned using a simple system that requires absolutely no dance experience. If you think you have two left feet – don’t worry! All you need to do is learn a few simple words to prompt the steps and you’ll learn the dance in no time. Entire families and groups are welcome! Registration to take part as a dancer starts on-site at 3:10PM, with a FREE dance rehearsal taking place at 3:30PM, all in preparation for the world-record attempt taking place that same evening at 6PM sharp. Advanced registration is not required, but encouraged, and is available on the organization’s website, All participants are required to dress in their most creative zombie costumes, so please show up in-costume as none will be provided by the organization! Free make-up retouches will be provided by Victoria’s MakeUp Artist.

The public is invited to attend the performance, bring non-perishable food to donate and/or make monetary donations, and enjoy a thrilling performance! T-Shirts commemorating this 2014 event will be available for purchase at $13 each, any size.

To date, the fiscally sponsored non-profit, Thrill Long Island, has collected and donated thousands of dollars and thousands of pounds of non-perishable food to charities across the country, including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Red Cross, the ASPCA, and more locally, Island Harvest. This non-profit organization, founded in 2010 by university student, choreographer, and Thrill Long Island Director, Bryan Ramirez, has been a major contributor to the worldwide Thrill The World event.

For more information about the 5th Annual Thrill Long Island event, to view photos and videos of past events, and to register in advanced as a dancer or volunteer, visit their website, can also contact the organization directly by emailing them at


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Reserve And Cinrg Present: The Kiss 957 BOOBASH

Sources: Connecticut Reserve | All Things Michael


Join us for a sinister evening for Connecticut Biggest Halloween Event The Kiss 957 BOO BASH, taking place right in Central Connecticut at the Reserve in Meriden.

Get ready for some spooktacular entertainment, as well as an eerie environment as we turn Connecticut’s finest Reserve into a ghostly haunted scene!!

Joby Rogers will be bringing the Ultimate Michael Jackson Xperience to Reserve alongside United Rhythms Dance Studio as they preform THRILLER to get the night started!

Multiple performances to follow throughout the evening all leading to Moodswing’s Very Own DJ DSTAR!

Supporting music by Connecticut’s own, Dj Leon Corzo aswell as NYC’s Dj Levek..

Three levels of mystery patiently await you so please dress in your most extravagant costumes for great prizes and drink specials!!

You Don’t want to miss out on this incredible night!!!

Get tickets here


Sources: Fast Company – By  Neal Ungerleider| All Things Michael


Ralph Wiggum and Reverend Lovejoy finally have an app of their own. The newSimpsons World app and portal, which launches today, is a Simpsons fan’s ultimate dream: Every episode of the long-running television cartoon available on a streaming player, with every in-joke and uncredited guest star (Michael Jackson! Dustin Hoffman!) lovingly encoded into metadata.

Fox’s FX Networks are making Simpsons World a centerpiece of the Simpsons new (as of 2014) and lucrative life on cable television. The intuitive website and app is a masterwork of streaming television, with every episode of the iconic show combined with loving curation of the contents. But it’s more than just a very well-crafted time waster; it’s one of the television industry’s best attempts yet to adapt to the strange new world of streaming video.

Thanks to the Simpsons’ dense mythology, plotting, and copious pop culture references, the show makes an unusually good candidate for a streaming television archive. Site designers used Matt Groening’s Simpsons World book as a starting point, and a team of content strategists then pored through individual episodes to collect and catalog information about the show. At a press event in Los Angeles, FX’s Chuck Saftler explains that the network sees a “Simpsons universe” of characters and storylines that can be branded and curated. Along with whole episodes, the portal has an extensive library of clips that can be remixed and randomized in different assortments, along with a Heartbeat-like feature showing the popularity of each episode.

Click picture to expand

Click picture to expand

“We have access to every season and episode from the homepage,” Saftler added, and content can be viewed through their main website or through separate iOS andAndroid apps. Owing to the legal vagaries of the television industry and the fact thatSimpsons access is being made available via FX Networks, full episodes can only be viewed by FX Networks subscribers. An additional legal hiccup means that access to Simpsons World is not yet available to DirectTV and Dish subsccribers; FX hopes to have access for them available within the year.

Simpsons World was designed for Fox by New York-based digital agency Huge, which is best known for developing the wildly popular HBO Go streaming player. HBO Go was designed for the same objective Simpsons World was: Delivering a large library of proprietary streaming content to a tech-savvy userbase who, regardless of whether they would admit it or not, would pirate the material if it were not available online legally at an affordable price. Because digital streaming of television shows is subject to a morass of legal regulations and red tape, networks like HBO and FX have to tread a fine line between keeping their fans happy, maximizing revenue, and avoiding legal trouble with the cable and satellite companies they depend on for carriage.

But while HBO Go highlights content from an entire network, Simpsons World is dedicated to just one show. FX faced a particular challenge: Building a video-on-demand portal for a cult television program, rather than for an entire network. With 26 seasons of content, The Simpsons was one of the only television shows FX and Huge could build a single-program portal around. South Park, the closest competitor, put all their seasons on the air in 2008 at, but discontinued that project when they inked an exclusive deal with Hulu.


Allen Orr, a creative director at Huge, told Fast Company that “because The Simpsons doesn’t have to be watched in order, this allowed us the flexibility to create an experience that can be viewed in multiple ways, not just linearly.” He added that rather than being a challenge for the agency, creating a video-on-demand portal for one show in particular was in some ways easier.

Although Simpsons World is available now–and anyone, regardless of cable subscription, can watch clips–even more is coming soon. Saftler and FX are adding more features to the portal over the next year, including detailed show indexes and a gamification program where viewers win “donuts” for exploring different portions of the site that can be used to view hidden content.


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Top Inspirational Songs

Sources: The Celebrity Cafe – By Nathan DeLaTorre| Edited By – All Things Michael


Music is a powerful tool and can impact our emotions in a variety of ways. Some songs make us want to dance, some remind us of a joyous time in our lives, and some bring tears to our eyes.

There are some songs that push you to run that extra mile on the treadmill and some that give you the smallest glimmer of hope that you need to get through an exhausting work day.

Every diverse artist on this list lives up to that very title. From Eminem to U2, all of these performers have created songs that have become a major part of our culture and inspire us to be better people. Although some of them like Michael Jackson are no longer with us, their music lives on.

You will most likely have heard a few of these songs at some point in your life, simply by watching a movie or going to a sports event. This is a list of 10 of the most inspirational songs that remind you to never give up.

1. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

The number one spot on this list goes to a song that combines two terrific inspirational songs to create one perfect, peaceful melody that brings a tear to your eyes and joy to your heart. The late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole did the impossible by redefining an already iconic song sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Whenever you are feeling sad or confused, don’t be afraid to turn to one of these songs or one of your own favorite songs to renew your spirits.

2. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson

The world lost the King of Pop when Michael Jackson passed away in 2009. Jackson released “Man in the Mirror” in 1988 as part of his album Bad.  No one can argue that Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Even after his death, Jackson has become immortal through the legacy of his music.

3. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Nothing is quite as recognizable as the opening melody of “Eye of the Tiger.” The song was created by Survivor at the request of Sylvester Stallone who wanted the perfect theme song to match his character in Rocky III. If you ever need a song for a montage, it is impossible to go wrong with “Eye of the Tiger.”

4. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

One of the greatest karaoke songs in existence, Journey released “Don’t Stop Believin'” in 1981 and since then the record has become a staple in popular culture. You might recognize the song as an anthem for your favorite sports team or from HBO’s The Sopranos. The song is also featured in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages so it’s clear to see that “Don’t Stop Believin'” speaks to and inspires a variety of audiences.


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