Messin’ Leaks.. Estate Speaks: Review

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It’s been a busy day for Michael Jackson fans, with an unreleased song leaking online and a statement from the Estate being issued over the last 12 hours.

The leak, Jackson’s unreleased demo “Don’t Be Messin’ Round”, was leaked on Soundcloud and Youtube just before midnight, Australian time. I was awoken by a text message from a fellow fan in America, alerting me of the leak.

At 11.50pm I searched Twitter for a link, and found one on Soundcloud. As everyone else in my home lay in bed asleep, I listened.

Instantly the track reminded me of a mix between my least favourite Michael Jackson song, “Got The Hots”, and another BAD sessions outtake, “Streetwalker”, which I quite like. I also felt flashes of The Jacksons’ mega-hit “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)”.

Half way through listening, the song woke my sister. She stumbled out of her room and yelled at me. “What is that horrible noise?”, she complained. “It sounds like someone is tapping a spoon on a glass and banging on my bedroom wall! Turn it off.”

To be honest, I kind of agreed with her at the time. After three minutes I stopped listening and went back to sleep.

This morning when I woke up I gave it another listen, all the way through, three times over. Since then, the song has begun to grow on me a lot.

Messin’, in my opinion, is funky and interesting. As I wrote in my exclusive article on Wednesday, the song is very different to anything else you’ll find on the BAD album. Being a demo, and not a studio session song, it’s less polished and lyrically incomplete. At one point, Michael yells, “BRIDGE!”, and an instrumental section follows.

The signature beat boxing and vocal instrumentation reminds me of Jackson’s 1982 demo for “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)”. P.Y.T, which too is lyrically incomplete, sounds to me like it could have been conceived and recorded around the same time as Messin’.

I now find myself humming the tune, even when I’m not playing the song. Although the melody is nice, the instrumentation doesn’t sit well with me. The music reminds me of the abstract sound of “Got The Hots”, and the disjointed feeling I get when listening to it.

In other news the Estate issued a statement a short time ago explaining their logic behind releasing a restored VHS quality version of the Bad Tour concert in Wembley on DVD as opposed to a HD version on bluray.

While acknowledging the quality is not the best, they admit that the master tapes (which could have provided them the materials to release a HD version on bluray) have been misplaced in storage due to a seemingly sloppy or non-existant archiving process. Michael’s 1988 personal VHS viewing copy of the show is the best they could locate, and the only show which they could match with multi-track audio recordings.

In my opinion, this is a good move. Without the multi-track audio, there could be no soundtrack included in the box set. They could have chosen to release a show other than Wembley – Michael’s 1989 concert in Los Angeles for example – but would have had to do so using F.O.H audio. It’s a double edged sword, basically.

It is my personal hope that IF by some chance the Estate DO locate the high quality visual recordings of the Wembley show, or multi-track audio recordings of an alternate show which match with high quality footage they already possess, that they move forward with a proper, high quality bluray release of the complete show.

The Bad Tour Wembley DVD will be released on September 18 both as a stand-alone item, and part of a 3 CD/1 DVD “BAD” boxed set.

Don’t Be Messin’ Round, which features on the “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” maxi-single, is out now in some countries and is available for pre-order in others.

My fellow Aussie fans can reserve their copy now at Sanity Online, where it is exclusive available. The single is officially released Down Under on June 8.

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