Motown Records USA just released a new Jackson 5 CD in their Millennium Collection - 20th Century Masters.
This compilation is titled "The Best of Jackson 5" and features 11 classic tracks:
"I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save," "I'll Be There," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Got To Be There," "Sugar Daddy," "Daddy's Home" (Jermaine), "I Wanna Be Where You Are," "Maybe Tomorrow," and "Dancing Machine."
04/11/1999 The 100 Greatest Entertainers
American magazine Entertainment Weekly has just published a special issue entitled "The 100 Greatest Entertainers - 1950/2000".
This issue is dedicated to the major entertainers that have transformed and influenced show-business for the past 50 years.
Michael Jackson is ranked #8 in the listing. The Beatles are #1, Elvis Presley #2, Marilyn Monroe #3, Steven Spielberg #4, Madonna #5, Frank Sinatra #6 and The Saturday Night Live performers #7.
In the article that accompanies Michael's ranking, author Tom Sinclair shares his view about the King of Pop, observing his career from a short-sighted American-only perspective and considering his days of success over.
The few fair comments he makes are about the Thriller era. He writes: "The video of 'Thriller' pushed the genre to astonishingly ambitious heights. In one fell swoop, Jackson had raised the bar for entertainers everywhere, and nascent megastars from Madonna to Prince were studying the young auteur. Clearly, he was the one to beat, but who, pray tell, was up to the task? He was a triple threat: gifted songwriter, vocalist, and dancer."
The article also contains two interesting quotes from famous Michael Jackson supporters:
"I don't look at it as he's not the hottest thing anymore; I look at what he's done as a ground-breaking artist who opened a lot of doors for black acts. Michael Jackson is still amazing to me."
Missy Elliott, hip-hop producer and rapper.
"Everybody talks about Madonna's ability to reinvent herself. Michael has that same ability, probably more so, because he's so extraordinarily talented. And when it comes to entertainment, that's been his whole life. I have no doubt he'll figure out the way to relaunch his career. For a man that didn't have much of a formal education, he's got a brilliant mind. He's a smart dude."
Dick Clark, American TV-show host.
04/11/1999 Michael Jackson Vindicated
Today, the Court of Appeals of Milan, Italy, has rejected the appeal of Italian artist Al Bano and confirmed the lower court's judment in favor of Michael Jackson and Sony Music in a lawsuit involving Michael's song "Will You Be There" and Al Bano's "I Cigni Di Balaka".
In November of 1997, the Tribunal of Milan ruled that there was no plagiarism, and Al Bano appealed.
Michael Jackson's copyright lawyer, Eve Wagner of Sauer & Wagner LLP, said they just received official notice of the Court of Appeal's ruling, confirming the judgment in favor of Michael Jackson and Sony Music. She stated: "This lawsuit has been pending for 7 years, and we are delighted that Michael Jackson has once again been vindicated, and that justice has been served. This is the fourth time Mr. Jackson has triumphed in an unsubstantiated copyright infringement case."
As a result of the court decision, Al Bano was ordered to pay legal expenses to Michael Jackson and Sony Music.
Eve Wagner also commented on a ruling earlier this year by a criminal court in Rome finding Michael Jackson guilty of plagiarism in a lawsuit involving the same two songs. She stated: "The criminal court's ruling was groundless and a travesty. The criminal court had not only ignored the previous rulings by six other judges in Jackson's favor, but also
the opinion of the court's own expert that there was 'no possibility of plagiarism.' The Court of Appeals in Milan considered the criminal judgment and nonetheless concluded that Jackson was not guilty of plagiarism."
05/11/1999 Quote from Barry Gibb
Bee Gees member Barry Gibb was interviewed by Lisa Robinson of the New York Post in October of 1997. This is a quote from that interview:
"We were with Michael Jackson the night we got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and we went to his suite afterwards where we talked about making a single together and probably sometime in the next 12 months we'll do it. You know, he's very intelligent. You see Michael and you think one thing, and his performance is outrageous. But if you hear Michael on the phone, then you hear Michael the businessman, it's a very vast difference than what you perceive him to be as an artist."
06/11/1999 Quote from Rodney Jerkins
In his most recent interview with an American magazine, young producer/songwriter Rodney Jerkins talked about his experience with Michael Jackson. This interview was published in "Radio & Records" magazine.
"My association with Michael came about after I was introduced to Carole Bayer Sager by Atlantic VP Craig Kaman. She asked me if I would like to come to her house and write with her and Michael. So I said, Cool. I flew to Los Angeles, and sure enough Michael was there at her house. We just caught a good vibe, and I've been working on his album for about six, seven months now.
Working with Michael... Oh my God, it's incredible! Every time I see him, I tell him over and over, It's incredible just to be here working with you, knowing how crazy I was about you when I was a kid.
07/11/1999 Quote from Jerry Greenberg
MJJ Music President Jerry Greenberg was recently interviewed by Black & White Magazine. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
"I'm very excited about our new projects. Our artists are all great talents with great songs and production.
We have several new acts coming on MJJ Music. But of course, if I could sign anyone to MJJ, it would be Michael Jackson's son. He has to have great genes!
So far, my proudest career achievement is working with Michael Jackson.
My main ambition today is to help build MJJ into a major record company."
08/11/1999 Quote from T.J. Jackson
In an interview with HIStory Magazine in 1996, T.J. Jackson, 3T's youngest member, revealed the story behind the song "Why".
"Originally, it was our uncle's song for the HIStory album, but he made the mistake of playing it for us before the album was already out! We fell in love with the song, like the rest of them, but this one he actually gave to us.
We really admire Babyface as well (he composed "Why") which is probably why he gave it to us, under one condition: that we keep his vocals. So we kept his vocals for the chorus, and redid the verses in our own voices.
Uncle Michael was there with us for the recording. He helped us out on the placement of our verses and just the whole feeling of the song. You should hear the version with him, that would be cool."
09/11/1999 Ed Sullivan
The American CBS Television Network will broadcast a new entertainment special on November 10 (8:00-9:00 pm, ET/PT).
The "Rock N' Roll Forever: Ed Sullivan's Greatest Hits" will feature great Rock N' Roll moments from the legendary Ed Sullivan archives, including the original performance of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5.
09/11/1999 Movie Project
A report has surfaced in the American media today. Michael Jackson is reportedly interested in portraying famous fantastic genre writer Edgar Allan Poe in a feature film.
Filming of the movie could start by the end of next year in Montreal, Qu bec, Canada.
The movie is tentatively titled "The Nightmare of Edgar Allan Poe" and would tell the story of the last week in Poe's life before he died tragically and under strange circumstances.
The project is reportedly produced by Michael Jackson, Jim Green and Gary L. Pudney (whose credits include producer of the World Music Awards) as an independant European co-production by German, French and Canadian film companies.
The screenplay to "The Nightmare of Edgar Allan Poe" is being written by Philip Levin.
This movie project is one of several ideas that Michael is considering. There is currently no confirmation that this will be the role Michael will play in his long-time anticipated return to the big screen.
Will Smith's new album will be released on November 16th in the USA. One of the new tracks on Willennium contains a sample of Michael Jackson's "Working Day And Night" from the Off The Wall album.
With regards to sampling, Will Smith says:
"Rap music has always been a music that's about records; it's never been about musicians. Being a rapper is about who you are, who you've been, and how you've grown up. The records are completely about yourself. So when you're sampling something, you try to sample something that meant something to you."
Production on the Willennium album includes work by Rodney Jerkins.
12/11/1999 New Collaboration
The King of Pop is still contemplating new musical directions for his forthcoming album.
Producer Emilio Estefan, Jr has been contacted by Michael Jackson and is currently working on two tracks for the new album.
Emilio Estefan, Jr is married to singer Gloria Estefan and has executive produced all of her albums. He is also the mastermind behind the famous Cuban band Miami Sound Machine. Estefan's most recent credits include production on Ricky Martin's latest album.
Should these tracks produced by Estefan appear on the new album, they would mark Michael Jackson's first recording of latin-styled music.
The King of Pop is currently in New York City where he has resumed work on his new album after a short break spent in Los Angeles.
13/11/1999 Gettin' Jiggy with Missy
American rapper and producer Missy Elliott was one of the guest performers at the European MTV Awards held in Dublin on Thursday November 11th.
During the press conference that followed her stage performance with Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott was interviewed by German TV Pro 7 and said:
"I am currently teaching [Michael Jackson] to rap. We are also recording a song for his new album."
It seems that the King of Pop has finally acknowledged Missy's calls to work with him!
(This information courtesy of the Michael Jackson Internet Fan-Club at www.mjifc.com)
14/11/1999 Phantom of the Opera
If Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber hadn't decided to put on hold the making into film of his hit stage musical "Phantom of the Opera," this could have marked the King of Pop's return to the big screen.
The mysterious masked man was indeed a role that Michael coveted for a long time. Andrew Lloyd Weber was reportedly willing to cast him in the role although famous movie stars like John Travolta and Antonio Banderas had already shown interest in the part.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber is famous for creating popular stage musicals such as "Cats" and "Evita."
In early 1999, he decided he would not produce the film adaptation of the "Phantom of the Opera" which rights are currently owned by Warner Bros. Pictures.
16/11/1999 Signing New Acts on MJJ Music
The King of Pop is always looking for new talents for his MJJ Music record company. However, he is also interested in signing on artist that already have a career and a reputation.
An example of this is Michael's proposition to finance Petula Clark's recording of new material.
The King of Pop is such a fan of the internationally famous British singer that he volunteered to executive produce any album she might want to record.
Now 64, Petula Clark has a career that spreads over 5 decades. Like Michael Jackson, she was a child star. She is a veteran of more than 20 films both in England and Hollywood, and has recorded many albums, although none recently.
17/11/1999 Thriller - DVD Audio Album
As already stated in this section, Sony Music USA have cancelled a previously planned November release of the Thriller DVD Audio album.
This product was not released on November 16th and can't be ordered at this time.
Sony Music USA are now considering a release of the Thriller DVD Audio album on January 2000 at the earliest.
(See related items in the "Archives" section on Oct. 2 and Sept. 18)
19/11/1999 Working with Rick Cousin
Michael Jackson recently collaborated with R&B producer/songwriter Rick "Dutch" Cousin on one song for the new album.
Rick "Dutch" Cousin is a Los Angeles artist that became famous producing tracks for Dru Hill, Ice Cube or 702. He also contributed to the soundtracks of Rush Hour, Wild Wild West and Dr. Dolittle.
Earlier this year, Rick "Dutch" Cousin was interviewed by Gavin magazine. To the question, "Who is an artist you'd really like to work with someday?" he answered: "Michael Jackson. It just doesn't get too much better than that!"
21/11/1999 Thriller Releases
Due to a confusion in product references and similarities, Sony Music recently announced that the release of the Thriller Super Audio CD was postponed to January 2000.
In fact, this special version of the album was released on November 16th in the USA, as previoulsy scheduled.
Another special version of the Thriller album was also scheduled for a November release but hasn't been released as planned. And that is the DVD Audio version of the Thriller album, which has now been postponed to January 2000.
22/11/1999 Esonic Commercial
In 1997, Michael Jackson signed a sponsoring deal with the Asian firm Esonic to promote a portable Video CD player called "Video Discbaby". This product was only available on the South-Asian market.
Very few people know that a TV commercial was filmed to promote this product.
Planet Jackson invites you to discover this fantastic video clip that was created by Michael Jackson and only broadcast on TV networks in Taiwan and South Korea in 1997.
Go to the following address to watch this exclusive piece of magic:
The December 4th issue of TV Guide will feature an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson.
The famous American TV magazine will be out next week in the USA and will contain an article about the greatest music videos of all time.
Planet Jackson will provide you with a transcript of the interview when it is published.
24/11/1999 Classics Keep On Selling
What happens to Michael Jackson albums once their promotion is over?
Does the King of Pop carry on selling his old records or do the sales just stop?
As a matter of fact, Michael Jackson record sales never stop...
These days, although the King of Pop is very quiet, he keeps on selling large quantities of records.
What many would consider an achievement in the recording industry is just daily routine for Michael Jackson.
In the month of October 1999, the King of Pop has sold 127,000 albums worldwide. And that is without any promotion.
Sales of his records logically declined since the promotion of the HIStory album has ended. Nevertheless, his bottom average remains a record in itself.
As sales figures show, Michael Jackson is an artist whose albums are considered classics and never leave record stores shelves.
Here are his worldwide record sales per album for the month of October 1999:
#1-HIStory: 45,000 copies.
#2-Thriller: 40,000 copies.
#3-Off The Wall: 24,000 copies.
#4-Blood On The Dance Floor: 12,000 copies.
#5-Dangerous: 4,000 copies.
#6-Bad: 2,500 copies.
25/11/1999 Quote from En Vogue
The three divas of R&B music have recently talked about their musical influences to Gavin magazine.
En Vogue's Maxine, Cindy and Terry stated:
"Our major musical influence is undoubtedly Michael Jackson. The man is phenomenal!"
26/11/1999 Michael Featured in Entertainment Tonight
American TV show "Entertainment Tonight" will air excerpts of an exclusive interview Michael Jackson recently granted to TV Guide and MTV.
This edition of "Entertainment Tonight" will be broadcast on CBS on Monday, November 29th.
A detailed story about this interview will be published in this section.
28/11/1999 Quote from Wayne Isham
Music video director Wayne Isham worked with Michael Jackson on the "You Are Not Alone" video. He was also involved in the production of "Billie Jean", serving as an electrician on the set.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine, Wayne Isham remembers working with Michael Jackson for the first time.
"I had to clean up tiger poop! I was an electrician but they had that tiger on the set and somebody had to deal with that."
A tiger does appear in the "Billie Jean" video, although only a few seconds.
More infos about Wayne Isham in the Archives section (10-22-99)
30/11/1999 Entertainment Tonight - Transcript
Monday November 29th, Entertainment Tonight aired a sneak preview of the Michael Jackson interview that MTV will premiere on their American network on December 6th.
A few excerpts from that interview were shown during the Entertainment Tonight segment.
Here are the transcripts of Michael's few quotes:
About his career:
"I always tried to be a pionneer and an innovator in whatever I do."
About doing everything only for the children: "I don't wanna be just another can in the assembly line."
About meeting Vincent Price (famous British actor and guest rapper on "Thriller") at 11 years old:
"He said 'Come here!' like that [pointing his finger], in his kinda gruesome voice, and I started to cry because I was... I thought he was serious."
About showing the "Thriller" video to his children:
"I thought about watching it again, but I dont 'cause I dont want to scare the children."