Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Breaking News"--Is It or Is It Not?

I believe somewhere there is a truth upon all the confusion regarding "Breaking News" and the remaining "Cascio tracks" on the upcoming "Michael" album being released by Sony next month.

I am adamant when I say the finished/released version of "Breaking News" is not a Michael Jackson track. It should not be touted as such by any means. It is not arrogant fan (or family) backlash causing this uproar but an accurate interpretation/auditory perception that Michael's vocals are not present on the track, certainly not the majority, especially the main vocals. It does not matter whose vocals the main vocals are--if they are not Michael's vocals, 100%, there is no reason to include this track on the album. It should have never been edited like this nor should Sony have ever tried to pass this off as a "new Michael Jackson track" either. Not even those unaccustomed with Michael's work were fooled by this track--that is how bad it truly is. To pass such a track as a "Michael Jackson" song is a disgrace to Michael's 40 years as a recording artist and insult to millions' intelligence as well. I put the brunt of blame for this fiasco on Sony because it is them who had the final say/approval of this track and it is them who released the track on their web site as a Michael Jackson piece and is continuing to promote it as such.

Finalized "Breaking News" track:

Here is an authentic acapella version of "Breaking News":

(Link removed due to DCMA threat.)

I do believe the above track contains Michael's vocals. Notice the cuts, the long moments of dead silence and then recall other demos/acapella versions of others songs by Michael (YouTube contains many acapella works). Michael's tracks are typically fluid, one continuous track with small noises included such as finger snapping and foot stomping. The lack of these key elements show how highly edited this track truly is and how much splicing has taken place. The finalized version of "Breaking News" shows that Michael's vocals have been completely drowned out by the newly added vocals, further proof that the final version has been heavily "enriched" by another vocalist.

Another Cascio track entitled "Monster":

(Link removed due to DCMA threat.)

I do believe this is Michael's vocals. This snippet reminds me of "2000 Watts" (but in his typical vocal register) and "Shout". The vibrato is fast, there is passion, especially in the opening "uh ohhh oh" which is very much like other songs including "2000 Watts".

So what is my overall conclusion? The "Cascio tracks" do include Michael but Sony would never have let you known that was the truth. The Cascios and people like Teddy Riley have been attacked over this matter when Sony is the one who should be receiving the majority of complaints and backlash for lying to the public. Michael's nephews have been discussing the matter as well and added some insight into this matter which makes sense as well. All the fighting, from my perspective, finds Sony in the middle. Somehow this has become a feud of epic proportions with people hurling insults at one another when had Sony never released "Breaking News" as it did none of us would not be in this situation. Actually, if Michael had not been killed, furthermore had Michael not been lied about in 2005 or 1993 this certainly would not be happening now.

How much of the "Cascio tracks" were recorded in 2007 and how much has been spliced from previous records I do not know--but it has been done. I do not know who did this splicing/editing as I was not in the studio during the process of putting this album together. I know the names of some of the people who have worked on these tracks but likely these tracks have been passed through many hands and stages of approval. I fully believe there are songs out there that could have been added to "Michael" that are indeed tracks Michael would approve of and tracks that would not require any edits/polishing. We know there are many finished outtakes from previous albums like "Bad" and "Dangerous" that could be included. Take for example "Do You Know Where Your Children Are?":

(Link removed due to DCMA threat.)

Why is a track like this apparently not included or not being promoted? What about "A Place with No Name" or "Another Day"? Maybe Sony thinks that they are too "outdated". Well, Sony, in case you have not noticed your sales are really slumping. The music industry is slumping. The "talent" (or lack thereof) in the music industry today should tell you that attempting to turn Michael Jackson into a "new artist" will not please his fans though some in the younger generation may fall for it. I can only see this as a tactic that is abusing Michael's legacy and work or maybe something even more sinister which I will not discuss now. The bulk of Michael Jackson's music will always be better than anything released by any new artist Sony will ever come across. For Sony to attempt to pass off a song like "Breaking News" to the public as a Michael Jackson work is appalling. It has generated a lot of "buzz" which may or may not boost album sales but some who may have not thought to buy the album are at least likely curious now. I have never been a supporter of boycotting Michael's new music but in reality, from what we have seen, this is not Michael's music being released anyway, at least not some of it and because of that I see Sony committing false advertisement in this situation. Sony manipulated Michael Jackson over the years and now they are attempting to manipulate his fans after his death. It shows how corrupt Sony really is and how low they will go.

On a final note, I hate saying this but Michael did have a mild lung disease when he passed away that was chronic in nature. The ability to breathe does change how you can sing. That should be considered when listening to his songs recorded within the last years of his life. Breathing is vital to how you can utilize your vibrato, how long you can hold notes, etc. I do not know if this was a factor for Michael or not in 2007. Regardless, nothing will change the fact that Michael was one of the best vocalists to ever live and any project he would embark on at any time, he would give it his all, all the time. He would want his fans and the public to have the best and as it stands now they are not getting the best. He would never want his fans being taken advantage of in any form, especially not by using his name.

****Though I cannot post links to these tracks I have mentioned above they are not difficult to locate on the internet.****


  1. I guess to answer my own question--""Breaking News"--Is It or Is It Not?" Well, it "was" but not anymore.

  2. Nikki. I am disopointed with your view on braking news, I am saying this and would like to point out a few things,
    At this time MJ need reaseable think fans and I think you are one of them, Mj legacy don't need any more hot water throwing on this album.
    I was hoping that before we jump and start any one Sony included we would. Presented some form of evidance to support our claim that the track is fake?
    Why would Sony want to put out a fake MJ tract? None of it make any sence to me and a whole lot of other fans.
    We talk about boycotting MJ album as if this won't effect MJ legacy, I listen to the song strip of all music and it is MJ, know if someone is making the claim then they need to show the evidance that they voice check this track and it is not MJ,
    Right know it a split vote half the fan base think it him and half thing is a fake.
    We can't call for a lynching mod to kill his fist album without him we have to let good sence prevail and ask for voice check.
    If the family did not prejudiced the album saying it was a fake would we be questioning this track?
    We need to take the side of truth and find the fact to make our case hating Sony is not fact that can hold up in court.
    Mj is not hear anymore and if we want his music that he left behind then other people are going to finish them.
    Iron lion Zion by bob marley was finish after BOb died this is not ant thing new if they have MJ sing a demo you can bet your life it's going to be finish by some one,
    When I was listening to braking news it finally hit me MJ is dead and the magic we hear in songs like Man in the mirror and we had enought is not going to happen again that is gone was standing there and crying because that was it MJ is not hear to stamp any of his work coming out.
    Braking news is 90% mj and that is what we are going to get, it is up to us to demand the 90% to be the best but do so in a way that it don't hurt MJ legacy,
    Right know we have MJ and Sony they are married for the next seven years
    As children of that married we have to ensure it work a quick divorce will not benefit either of them.

  3. First Bridgett, please understand I am not a boycotter and am by no means promoting such, never, ever would either. I know many of my friends are, and I respect them and they respect me but I could never turn my back on Michael's music or art. I try my best not to support Sony through other means like not buying their electronics, etc.

    This is the thing--did "Breaking News" sound like Michael to you? The entire track? Regardless of what is released of Michael's from here on out, if it does not sound like Michael's voice then it should not be released, whether it is Michael or not, because it is not fair to Michael.

    You mentioned that Sony and the Estate are married. Do you think Sony may be intentionally trying to cause a "divorce"? If the Estate has problem Sony gets dibs at the Estate share at ATV it seems. It is a far fetched theory but for Sony to release a song that even remotely causes anyone to question its authenticity is a serious problem. No one questioned "This Is It" as being Michael's song. No one has questioned songs like "A Place With No Name" or "Another Day" as his songs, yet Sony releases this song and almost everyone sat there at least questioning "is that really Michael?". That hurts Michael no matter how you look at it. Even non-fans are think it was Justin Timberlake.

    I do not think it was Sony's intent to put out a fake track, or at least, they will say it was not. I am sure they will say that in order to finish it they had to have someone else provide vocals to make it complete. Sorry, but that is not okay. Either release it as a demo as songs like "In the Back" were released or do not release them at all, certainly do not add another's vocals and then say it is a 100% MJ track. That is deceiving. Sure, people will have to do touch-ups to some tracks but it should still sound like his work and mostly his voice.

    I will say I went into listening to "Breaking News" thinking it was going to be him and that the tabloids were lying about Michael's family saying it was not him. Once I began to hear it I was like, what?? That did not sound like Michael at all. I did not let any outside influence persuade me. I am not one to really believe anything until it slaps me in the face.

  4. I am not telling anyone to not buy the album either. I know the family says some of the tracks are really Michael's tracks. This is just a shame that all this BS is surrounding Michael's art. It is not fair at all. Then again, he shouldn't be gone. :-(

  5. It is MJ track I listen to the same breathing and how MJ say is word fist part don't sound like him but before he finish the sentence I know it was him,
    I went and start to listen to a lot of other MJ songs and I found the same thing MJ would some time change his voice style,
    The song was prejudiced from day one MJ family they know what they where doing Read what Teddy rily had to say about all the going. He also say publicly that the estate and Sony call in people to test the song to see if the voice I real MJ, I don't hear the Jackson Teddy is lying?
    I am laying the blame squarely at the feet of the Jackson and I and many more fans are calling them out if the song is a fake file a law suit asap take it to court and fight for MJ legacy,
    They do this kind of BS all the say thing without any kind of fact to back up claim make.
    If you go over on seven page she post a lot of information there.
    Before we open our mouth or we finger about MJ we have to make sure it fact or the press are going to run with the bad part.
    I am sorry if you feel I am been heard on you but we need all MJ good thinking unbias fans right around know, there is a lot of hot headed trigger happy fans waiting to go string up Sony and throw mud on MJ legacy this will make our fight even more difficult.
    If they add a vocal and give credit to the person then I don't see the big deal, but I don't think that is what happen Teddy say JM have some other producer go over the song .
    But in all of this mess we have to hold on to MJ because right know the message in the song is lost because of all the BS.
    Peace and love

  6. Nikki, the link you posted for the songs, "Do You Know Where Your Children Are?" and "Monster" appears to not work. The files may have been removed from the site you mentioned. This is the message given on the 4Shared site regarding those files:

    "This file is no longer available because of a claim by IFPI IFPI."

    Another option is to key the name of the song into their search engine. I found a 46 sec. snippet of "Do You Know Where..." Still haven't found "Monster" yet.

    Thanks for your thoughts on "Breaking News." I still don't know what to think about it. I'm disappointed about it for many reasons and NOT because of Michael. Whether it's Michael or not, it puts a bad taste in my mouth to know that the first posthumous release by Sony (other than "This Is It") would be a song about the media abuse Michael received endless throughout his life. It's one thing for Michael to release such a song, I'm reminded of the beautiful and brilliant "Scream" and "Leave Me Alone," but for Sony to do so??? YUK!!!! Such a song contains thoughts and emotions incredibly personal to Michael and Michael alone. Something only he could share with his fans. If he were to release it himself I'm sure he would have released a work with far more passion and fire than the song we are hearing now. This does sound like a demo vocal. A track he put down as part of an aural notebook if you will. Just as a visual artist may make a few thumbnail sketches in a notebook before the final work is fleshed out. When I listen to this song, I listen to it with this in mind.

    The other offense is the knowledge that these songs, despite what Sony paid for them, were a gift for Michael's children. This unrealized legacy has been snatched out of their hands before they're even old enough to understand what happened.

    Michael, if only you could be here to tell YOUR story, YOUR way....:-( As you said Nikki, "he shouldn't be gone.:-("

  7. LOL, yes Sandy, my files were placed into an "abuse" folder in my 4shared account overnight and I received the same message when I tried to play them this morning. It isn't like I have the entire songs or am trying to make money off the songs--I am using them to explain what I am trying to say above and that is it. "Monster" is not easy to find. I actually found it via searching through Twitter. ;-)

    What makes me angry is we should not be questioning whether or not that is Michael on the track. If people are asking, "Is that Michael's voice?" then something is WRONG regardless if it is his voice or not. If his distinct sound is missing--do not release it, that simple! That is the thing though, I do not believe he lost his distinct sound and being able to hear him on "Monster" and the acapella "Breaking News" tells me this is an editing problem, whether or not that includes another vocalist or not does not matter. We have known Michael's voice from the time he was a kid until he was an adult, all changes included--still, there was no question as to whether or not something is him or not, he is that distinct. Questioning if something is his voice or not should NOT be happening now with his death. It is beyond outrageous! They KNOW he is not here to defend himself and say PULL THAT TRACK! It should not have been he had to DIE to get a recording contract either and I will NEVER let loose on that observation! Alive he could not even get a contract because of all the LIES but when he died he became a gold mine and gets the largest contract of all time! Is that fair? NO.

  8. Bridgett, Corey Rooney is speaking out in line with the Jacksons, too. It is not just the Jacksons. But, like I have mentioned before, something is wrong if we are even having to debate whether or not a track on his new album really contains his voice or not. This has never happened before and should have never happened in the first place. It is not fair to Michael at all, it is not fair to his legacy or to his children.

  9. Nikki, I have heard the snippets of Monster and Do You Know Where Your Children Are. To me, these sound more "Michael" than does "Breaking News". I cannot understand how Sony would have released BN as the first track, when it had at least these other two superior tracks, unless there is some real chicanery involved, or an effort to pique curiosity which Sony hopes will translate into increased sales.

    I agree with SandyK (and seem to do so alot on these blogs!) that were Michael with us, he would not have released Breaking News at all, an inferior track, especially as the introductory track on a "comeback" album, with the medialoid references and use of the first person.

    Today, the Estate has issued an "official statement" listing many names of persons who worked with Michael for years, who have heard BN and agree it is MJ (Bruce Sweiden claimed to have been one of them). Bruce S. has spoken eloquently about Michael since his passing and I believe he is a man of integrity. But where is Seth Riggs, Michael's vocal coach (many youtube videos of Mr. Riggs doing scales and acapella work with MJ)? To me, his opinion would be vital. He also has spoken emotionally about Michael since has passing.

    At the end of the statement, Howard Weitzman, the Estate Attorney, says "there is nothing more important to the Estate than Michael's music, his legacy and his fans". I find it unfortunate that Sony didn't subscribe to those words during the Invincible era (and perhaps earlier, when Sony portrayed Michael as a washedup hasbeen, and refused to promote Invincible, one of his greatest works.

    Now Sony is putting out what will be a questionable album, on the promise of an already questioned track; the Estate should either shut down the album "Michael" or at the very least, postpone the release date, IMO. Oh, but wait, it's Christmas and $ony wants Santa to deliver a bagful of cash.

  10. Just wanted to make sure everyone knows "Do You Know Where Your Children Are"? is definitely Michael. It was actually an unreleased song from the Dangerous era. I had always read about it but never heard a snippet until recently. I was, as usual, blow away. Michael's unreleased tracks ALWAYS blow me away as phenomenal music. I mean, we are not sitting here saying "Breaking News", we are having to ask is that even Michael?!

    "I cannot understand how Sony would have released BN as the first track, when it had at least these other two superior tracks, unless there is some real chicanery involved, or an effort to pique curiosity which Sony hopes will translate into increased sales."

    Exactly! However, could this be something to actually hurt sales, essentially, the opposite of what you would think could happen? Could that in-turn effect the contract between the Estate and Sony?

    I posted the following on Seven's FB regarding the Estate's supposed statement:

    I saw this posted late last night, like, about 1 a.m. Pacific Time. I found that odd for starters. It is not included on any web sites besides a fan forum? What about Sony? Have they said anything? I mean seriously. Cut out saying whether this is Michael or not and just realize that there is a problem with anyone even having to question such by a track OFFICIALLY released. People have been able to recognize Michael's voice since he was a child and throughout his entire career never has a song been officially released where you sit back and think "is that him?" Yeah, I know people keep referring to "2000 Watts" but if you are used to Michael's music you know that is him without a doubt. No one ever questioned whether "2000 Watts" is Michael, the question was did he or did he not have his voice lowered on the track through editing. Blaming the family for "tainting the public" is BS. I went in listening to this track thinking it was for SURE going to be him and that the tabloids were lying about what the family was saying. After a few lines I was like that is NOT Michael. I had my mother listen and she said the same thing. Whether or not it is him, there is a SERIOUS problem because whatever was done it does not sound like him--that is a problem no matter the source of the problem. WHY would Sony do this? They could have released a track that sounds like him then wait for people to buy the album and be disappointed that some of the tracks were apparently not him. The album is already ruined because of this! No one wants to buy an album they think does not really have Michael's songs on it, especially in today's market where you can steal music like dirt in your yard. Sony did not do this by accident, a company at that level does not make a mistake like that by "accident", kind of like how Murray "accidentally" killed Michael. Accidents do not happen that way, folks.

    Disclaimer--yeah yeah, people are innocent until proven guilty.

    I am really torn by this. I can see completely opposite motives as to why Sony did what they did and am not sure which is more accurate. :-/

  11. Nikki, Michael's words carried essentially the same message in Privacy (off Invincible) that is supposed to be carried in Breaking News. Railing against media, even talking about death of a friend (Princess Di?) at the hands of a ravenous media. Sony didn't think very much of Privacy OR Invincible, so why now would they think Breaking News is such a great track to release it as #1 on Michael's first posthumous album? As you say, there are tracks left over from Michael's glory days like Dangerous, why not have used one of those rather than some new iteration provided by the Cascios? Quincy Jones said as a voicepiece on Bad that Michael had recorded many songs that didn't make the cut for the Bad album,one of which was Streetwalker. So where are these known Michael songs? Could Sony's cynacism run THIS deep or is Sony just plain stupid!

  12. I never question the song, but we were ask to question the song take a look at the weekend and all the crop leading up the the song being released?
    The song was prejudiced before it came out And when MJ family member take it up on them self that weekend to released a song of there own making the situation even more complicated.
    I am asking aT what point did they found out this song may be a fake?
    Was it before are after the song was finish?
    As Teddy say some people motive are there own and not online with what is good for MJ children and estate, I ten to believed what teddy say.
    What are some of these people motive for saying those song are fake?
    Sony motive is Clare they want to make that there business, MJ estate want the same but what dose the other want?

  13. Note sony did not say they were making BN the fist single, Sunday night at mid we will have the fist single to buy on iTunes

  14. Yes, "BN" reminded me of both "Tabloid Junkie" and "Privacy". I was like, another one? Except "BN" is missing MJ, IMO.

    "Sony didn't think very much of Privacy OR Invincible, so why now would they think Breaking News is such a great track to release it as #1 on Michael's first posthumous album?"

    YES! Exactly! Now we have to accept that "Hold My Hand", which is a beautiful song, is being released but there is a problem--it has been leaked for a long time now! Why promote something that you can find for free online and most hardcore fans already possess? That is not good business and no one will tell me otherwise. Supposedly this new track has been edited (that does not make it new, remix ring a bell) and how do you edit something to be "more MJ" when MJ is not here anymore?

    "Streetwalker" and "Fly Away" are gems! "Cheater" I think was from "Bad" area, or between "Bad" and "Dangerous" is fabulous fun! I excepted the first album to be songs like "Streetwalker" et al. which it seems they were completed during their respective eras and needed little to no editing. Actually, "This Is It" is a good example of another song that was edited. Okay, MJ's brothers sing backing and instruments were added but you still hear Michael's pure voice. I wish the original version had been also included as well. Editing a song should NOT make it turn into what "Breaking News" became.

  15. TBH, I am kind of in the middle of the "real vs. fake" debate. I think there is a recording of "Breaking News" that did have Michael on it where Michael sounded like himself, but is is a barebones recording. I think the edited version is mostly not Michael and Sony a) should not have done this to Michael and b) should have admitted there were other main vocals added if they felt they had to go with this track. I mean, I sit here thinking why on Earth did they promote THIS song?! The fact that "Breaking News" does not sound like Michael--that is the main problem! When anyone buys a Michael Jackson album they want to hear Michael. Because of what I have heard on "Breaking News" I fear what the other tracks will be like, regardless of what is said about them.

    I know some people keep saying that aging changed his voice and use that to explain why "Breaking News" does not sound like Michael. Not true. Listen to tracks of Michael from 1978 and you could still tell it was him in 2001. I can think of two artists who had vocal issues which resulted in their voices "changing"--Bonnie Tyler and Elton John. Though there voices did change, and rather drastically to delicate ears especially, you can still tell that it is them. Both singers had vocal surgery, their changes were not due to "age".