All start whit John Branca, Michael Jackson’s adviser and lawyer, saying ‘yes‘ to L.A. Reid, the chairman and CEO of Epic Records (“the house that Thriller built,” as Reid calls it) to an posthumous Michael Jackson’s Album.
This album, “Xscape,” which comes out May 13, is eight tracks of Jackson vocals, set to new music from Timbaland and J-Roc, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain, the former A&M Records executive who is co-executor of the Jackson estate with Branca. The originals they worked with, were recorded from 1983 to 1999, the period just after Thriller to just before Invincible. The finished songs are not remixes. Reid chose a riskier path, charging each of his producers to create what are essentially new songs based only on Jackson’s vocal tracks.
At first, Reid says, “I had no idea what was in the Michael Jackson vaults.” But he says this now with a smile, and the confidence that comes with pursuing an unorthodox strategy and creating something no one believed possible – an album that deserves to be discussed in the context of the remarkable music that Jackson made from Off the Wall in 1979 to Invincible in 2001.
When first listening to the source material “You can hear [Jackson’s] foot in the booth when he’s singing, and his fingers snapping,” says Jerkins. “It was all raw, it was real. It wasn’t like, ‘Take the snaps out, take the stomps out.’ No – it’s real. It’s him in the booth, and he’s feeling what he’s doing.”
THE XSCAPE TEAM: TIMBALAND, L.A. REID, RODNEY JERKINS, J-ROC
Photo: Austin Hargrave
Via Source billboard.com