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Post by amy on Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:17 am

Sorry if this has been posted

MJ Secrets – 'The Mini Series' : Part 1 'Making History'

Making History:

Michael Jackson made history with his 1995 album of the same name. The HIStory album sold 18-22 million DOUBLE albums breaking the world record for a multi disc album. History was in fact almost as great a money spinner as the world record breaker Thriller, retailing at nearly twice the price of a single album.

Jackon produced a massive 12 million dollar short video clip shown to advertise the album
This video, filmed in Hungary and directed by Rupert Wainwright showed the King of Pop marching with a small army of soldiers, whilst wearing a lavish golden military outfit.

Critics immediately claimed the video depicted Jackson as a military dictator (complete with the unveiling of his giant History Statue). Jackson retaliated by stating that the video was simply about love and those who criticised this had fallen into his trap.

This History album was released in a time when global album sales were on the decline – not just of those of Michael Jackson. The advent of the internet and digital downloads (both legal and otherwise) had seen a depression in sales. Long gone were the days when artists would sell astronomical numbers of albums – that is, unless the artist in question was the King of Pop – Michael Jackson.

Michael's You Are Not alone single went straight to Americans Billboard charts at no 1 – breaking the record for this achievement and also a record for the artist to have had a number 1 over the longest time span.
Michael's Earth song became a million seller in the UK alone and was the most requested video on MTV at that time.
Jackson launched the record breaking History World Tour to follow, comprising of 82 spectacular concerts. The History World Tour was attended by a massive 4.5 million fans, and broke his previous record of 4.4 million set by the Bad Tour. Numerous record breaking sell out stadiums were filled as fans flocked to see the King of Pop once again return to the limelight. On stage Michael wore a spectacular gold suit – as designed by the legendary Italian fashion designer who tragically died shortly after in 1997. Versace had previously been responsible for designing Michaels famous Dangerous costume as depicted in the monumental statues Jackson had erected across the globe as part of its lavish marketting campaign.

History truly demonstrated the awesome power of the King of Pop. With record breaking album sales, staggering concert attendances and an embarassing shower of music awards, History was a reminder to the naysayers world wide who would try and claim that Jackson was yesterdays news. History was phenomenal achievement and so was Michael's place in the history books. The King of Pop had once again performed his magic, and the world watched in awe.




MJ Secrets – 'The Mini Series' : Part 2 – Big Boy
Did you know that MJ's first ever commercial record was entitled 'Big Boy', written by Ed Silver for Steel Town records?

Steel Town records was formed by Mr Gordon Keith in 1966 to 1972 and is famous for signing up the Jackson 5 well before they joined Mowtown records. Gordon Keith was first introduced to the Jacksons during a performance at Beckman Junior High. From there on the group was taken on board, although never achieved commercial success.

The song 'Big Boy' sold little over 10 000 records, but nonetheless marked the beginning of their career in big time commercial music.

Although the single never gained commercial success, it was the first of two singles to be released prior to the Jackson 5 moving on to Mowtown. The second single was called 'We dont have to be over 21 (to fall in love)'.

The original recordings were thought to have been lost, but by sheer chance were rediscovered in 1994 and released by Ben Brown.


MJ Secrets – 'The Mini Series' : Part 3 'Ghosts'
"Your weird, your strange – and I dont like you"
'The Mayor' – from Michael Jackson's Ghosts.
On May 8th 1997, Michael Jackson attended the midnight premier of his new 38 minute 'short film' enitled Ghosts at the 50th Cannes film festival. The screening, attended by dozens of celebrities, was shown in the main auditorium and was received with rapturous applause.
Penned and co-authored by the 300 million selling, international author Stephen King, the film ghosts tells the story of a strange and reclusive isolationist, living in castle-like mansion in 'normal valley'. The 'Maestro' however is somewhat eccentric and is accused of scaring the local children by performing strange and ghostly tricks. The Maestro (Jackson) is soon confronted by the local Mayor (also played by Jackson), who leads a crowd of angry torch wielding villagers to the gates of his mansion, asking him to leave.
Clearly drawing parallels with his personal life, the Mayor was most likely deemed to be representative of district attorney Tom Sneddon, who has twice led the failed allegation cases against Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson angrily hits back at Tom Sneddon, in the song 'D.S' from the 1995 album History.
Directed and produce by legendary hollywood special effects wizard Stan Winston, responsible for the creature special effects in blockbusters such as The Terminator, Aliens and Jurassic park, Ghosts was a spectacular event. With a budget of nearly $9 million dollars (some sources claiming as high as $15 million), the video was one of the most expensive videos of all time, and even received an entry in the Guinness book of world records as the longest popular music video of all time.
Ghosts features spectacular choreography by Michael Jackson, and stunning special effects, which saw a motion captured MJ, moonwalking as a skeleton.
"We wrote it on the telephone, Stephen and I," said Michael. "He's a lovely guy – he's amazing. We wrote it on the phone , just talking together." Ghosts was shown for a limited period in select theatres across the world, just prior to the screening of Stephen Kings film 'Thinner'. Interestingly, since 2003, Stephen King has written a regular feature in Entertainment Weekly called 'The Pop of King' in which he has often discussed the events of Michael Jackson.
Ghosts represented one of Michael's most ambitious projects to date and was described by Stan Winston as 'Michael Jackson's newest Thriller'. The song Ghosts as peformed in the vide was taken from the number one best selling remix album of all time, 'Blood on the Dancefloor'.
Once again, Michael Jackson made music history, setting a track record that has yet to be approached, let alone beaten. But then, would you really expect anything less from the all time King of Pop?


MJ Secrets – 'The Mini Series' : Part 4 'Captain EO'
"We are here to change the world'
In 1986, Michael Jackson teamed up with renowned film director-producer George Lucas to produce the short, 3D music film, entitled Captain EO. The film, featuring original music written and peformed by Jackson, would also star Angelica Houston. Running for 17 minutes long and costing well over a million dollars per minute, Captain EO was, at the time, the most expensive short film ever made. Captain EO was shown as a Disney Land attraction at all 4 of Disney's theme parks in Florda, California, Japan and France. The film featured spectacular effects both on screen and off, inlcuding lasers, smoke and star effects directly over the audience. Lucas was himself reknowned for his pioneering work in special effects, including his world class effect studio Industrial Light and Magic.
The film depicted Michael Jackson and his crewe on a mission to deliver a gift to the evil alien queen. Unfortunately for them, the crewe are captured and sent to be toturted. However Captain Eo (Jackson) claims that he can see and unleash the beauty and goodness within her. The name EO are derived from the Greek goddess of dawn Eos. According to the mythology, Eos was a goddess capable of unlocking the gates of heaven gates to the glory of the sun.
What ensues is a spectacular series of dance sequences and special effects, as the Captain liberates himself and his crew from the clutches of the Queen.
Michael Jackson himself performed the songs and dance routine for two songs, 'Another part of me' and 'We are here to change the world'.
The film was originally planned to be directed by film legend Stephen Spielberg, with George Lucas as producer. Spielberg however pulled out at the last minute to due other commitments and so the search was on to find a suitable replacement. George Lucas however, soon found the answer.
1968, Lucas spent time shadowing his fellow film graduate, Francis Ford Coppola who later become famous for his work on The Godfarther films and The Apocolypse Now. The two set up their own studio was later reknowned for his work on the Godfather films. The two set up their own film studio American Zoetrope, which later broke down due to the delayed production of Star Wars. It was however through this relationship that Lucas was able to bring on board Francis Ford Coppola to direct Michael Jackson's new short music video, Captain EO.
The attraction drew huge audiences across the world for over 10 years from September 1986 to August 1998, its last performance.
Captain EO proved once again the awesome drawing power of Michael Jackson and his world class collaborations. Jackson would continue to produce record breaking music videos for decades to come, setting the benchmark for the way modern music clips are made and ultimately judged.
By now the King of Pop had established himself as the premier pop act on the planet. And long may his reign continue.
MJ Secrets – 'The Mini Series' : Part 5 – MJ and Music.
Michael Jackson, the Beatles and the Billion dollar music catalogue.
In the early 1980's, whilst recording the duet Say Say Say with Beatles Legend, Sir Paul McCartney, the young Michael Jackson was given some advice. Namely that Jackson should get into in two things: music video and music publishing. McCartney had considerable experience in music publishing, generating a substantial income from the musical rights of Buddy Hollys songs, amongst others. 'Everytime a song gets plaid – I get paid' proclaimed McCartney to Michael.
In typical Michael Jackson fashion, he absorbed the knowledge form the masters before him, and ran with the advice:
In addition to the ground breaking music video collaboration, Thriller (with renowned horror director John Landis), Jackson also proceeded to acquire a music publising catalogue of his own. And the grand prize? The 250 Lennon-McCartney beatles catalogue, that was a part of the ATV music catalogue .
Jackson launched a massive bid for the catalogue 'at any cost', finally acquiring ownership for the sum of $47.5 million dollars. This figure more than doubled the previous proposal led by McCartney and Yoko Ono of $20 million dollars, which was deemed by Yoko to be too expensive.
Michael Jackson was victorious in a spectacular deal that cemented Michael Jackson as true music royalty. Not only was MJ the hottest act on the planet, he was also the owner of the hottest music catalogue on Earth, the history of which goes back many years.
In the 1980's, whilst under financial distress, Sir Lew Grade sold his ATV music publishing to Robert Homes Court, who then flipped these onto Michael Jackson for the sum of $47.5 million dollars.
Jackson himself later sold half the ATV catalogue to Sony music publishing for the sum of $95 million dollars, keeping his own music publishing catalogue (Mijac) in the process. Jackson thus retained the rights to his own music catalogue, pocketed a massive $50 million dollar profit and retained a massive 50% share in the gigantic music catalogue.
Today, Sony/ATV music publishing has been valued at around 1 Billion dollars, of which MJ owns 50%. The publishing group owns or administers over 700,000 copyrights, including works by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Eminem, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, and numerous others.
Further music acquisitions include the 2007 Sony/ATV purchase of Famous Music publishings 125 000 songs for $400 million dollars, adding the copyrights of artists such as Akon, Eminem, Shakira and Bjork.
More recently, in 2009, Sony/ATV purchased South Africa 's Extreme Music. Music from the library is used in television shows, television commercials, radio commercials, corporate videos, online content and more. The catalogue now includes likes of Jacksons old Thriller and Off the Wall producer, Quincy Jones.
This did however, mark the end of the brief but successful collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney. But there could be no doubt from thereonwards, the King of Pop truly was a force to be reckoned with.
MJ Secrets – 'The Mini Series' : Part 6 – You Rock My World (1 of 3)
You Rock My World (YRMW) was the title of the killer song written by and performed by Michael Jackson. The single, recorded in September 2000, debuted from Michael's international number 1 best selling album, Invincible- the most expensive album ever produced.
Featuring a spectacular music video with a Hollywood cast list greater than most blockbuster movies, the release of YRMW was an event in itself. The cast comprised of comedian Chris Tucker (who starred as MJ's side kick in picking up 'the girl'), Godfather actor Marlon Brando, Reservoir Dogs actor Michael Madson and Billy Drago. Directed by the acclaimed music video maestro, Paul Hunter – who is renowned for his work on high budget projects, the video won an NACCP award for best music video in 2001.
However the release of YRMW was not without its troubles. The single debuted on 21st of September 2001, in the aftermath of the attacks in New York . The global sentiment was that of depression and all eyes were on the sombre world changing events – not on pop music releases.
Furthermore, Michael Jackson had become embroiled in a massive dispute with his record label, Sony Music (of which he was a 50% shareholder). In particular he became involved in a vicious war of words with Sony Music Entertainment boss, Tommy Motola. The timing could not have been worse.
Continued in the next MJ Secret, You Rock My World (2 o 3)
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mj secrets Empty Re: mj secrets

Post by amy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:41 pm

MJ Secrets - 'The Mini Series' : Part 6 - You Rock My World part 2.

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Despite the successful initial release of Invincible, debuting at number 1 across the world, Michael Jackson's new album and single were in trouble.



The, then head of Sony Music, Tommy Mottola was rumoured to be deeply unhappy with Jacksons unwillingness to sign on for further albums with Sony Music. Furthermore Jackson was allegedly unwilling to commit to a World Tour which would provide substantial promotion for the album.



In response to this, Mottola cancelled all promotion for the Invincible album and canned Jacksons charity single 'What More Can I Give' (Todo Para Ti - in the Spanish Version). Furthermore, the music video for Butterflies and Unbreakable were also scrapped. The only other video which was released was Cry, which did not even star Michael Jackson.



What More Can I Give was an all star charity single written by Michael Jackson and featuring over 30 different artists including Mariah Carey, Celine Dione, Usher and Ricky Martin. Jacksons stated goal was to raise funds for the disaster relief efforts that were taking place in the aftermath of September 11th 2001. Jackson accused Sony of dropping the single as a retaliation against him not renewing his contract with them.

Jackson was also apparently concerned that Sony in fact wanted Jackson to fail, thus pushing him into financial distress. This would open up the opportunity for Sony Music to buy back the remaining 50% of their music catalogue from Jackson and achieve full ownership of one of greatest music catalogues in the world.



Launching into a massive retaliation, Jackson branded Sony's Tommy Mottola as racist in a massive public display of discontempt which saw Jackson touring Paris and London in a bus wielding the signs 'Sony Sucks'.



Sony responded by stating that it was Jacksons own camp that had that had canned the What More Can I Give music video, after discovering that the director Marc Shaffel was in fact a gay porn director.



Michael did however launch a spectacular 2 day promotion entitled 'The 30th anniversary solo concerts', once again featuring an all star cast of performers. The shows were not without their own troubles however.



Continued in Part 3 of Your Rock My World
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