LISTEN: Unreleased “Hollywood Tonight” remix surfaces online

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An unreleased version of Michael Jackson’s “Hollywood Tonight” that was considered for the controversial 2010 ‘MICHAEL’ album has surfaced online.

The track, which was uploaded to by Faster Pussycat lead guitarist Ace Von Johnson five months ago, was produced by former Jackson-collaborator Ron “Neff-U” Feemster and engineered by James Murray in 2010.

During production on the track Murray brought Von Johnson in to record guitar overdubs and a solo on the bridge. Von Johnson considers the solo his favourite he has ever written.

“The engineer was a buddy of mine and invited me to come down to lay down some tracks,” recalls Von Johnson in an interview with “I did some stuff on a tune that they cut from the album at the last minute.”

The record label, Epic Records, felt that the versions Neff-U was turning in for consideration were lacking something. They then had the files delivered to Teddy Riley who crafted a percussive beat box from Jackson’s vocal scraps that served as the foundation for the track. and added a spoken bridge featuring the King of Pop’s nephew Taryll. Riley’s version was ultimately selected and released on the ‘MICHAEL’ album. Neff-U was given a co-production credit for laying the groundwork of the mix, along with Brad Buxer who produced the original demo with Jackson.

For the past four years the Neff-U/Ace Von Johnson version, which keeps relatively true to Jackson and Buxer’s original demo, has remained unknown to fans around the world – until now.

“Released or not, that was a big deal for me,” adds Von Johnson. “I’m proud that I’m lucky enough to be able to play music for a living. Most people never will never know what its like to achieve that.”

Listen to the Neff-U produced version of “Hollywood Tonight” featuring Ace Von Johnson below:

Or listen via YouTube:

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