That ain’t no Michael Jackson! Apple’s iTunes Match causes major confusion

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A bizarre development regarding the infamous Cascio tracks has come to light today. To cut a long story short (kind of), the version of “Keep Your Head Up” available to U.S. users of iTunes Match, an official Apple service, is not the same version officially released by Sony Music and the Michael Jackson Estate on the controversial “Michael” album back in December 2010. In fact, the version that iTunes Match users in America will experience is not even sung by the same person! Well, at least not entirely…

For those of you not familiar with “Keep Your Head Up”, the song is part of a collection known as the “Cascio tracks”; twelve songs which were sold to Sony Music and the Michael Jackson Estate by Jackson’s long-time friend Eddie Cascio. Mr. Cascio and his collaborative partner, singer/songwriter James Porte (aka Bobby Ewing), claim that Michael Jackson co-wrote and recorded these twelve songs in Cascio’s basement back in 2007. Many people, including the Jackson family, believe the vocals on the Cascio tracks are not authentic and belong to an MJ sound-alike. Some point the finger at singer Jason Malachi, including the man who produced Malachi’s music and recorded his vocals for ten years, Tony Kurtis.

And so the Cascio fiasco continues. The production of the version heard on iTunes Match sounds the same as the officially released version, but from beginning to end someone else is singing the lead vocals. The “official” lead vocal that listeners hear on the physical and digital release of the “Michael” album remains on the track, but is largely overpowered by the presence of the new, unidentified voice.

How this came to be, I do not know. The new voice is not in any way included in the official version of the song. This is the very first time it’s appeared anywhere – and it’s appearing via an OFFICIAL channel. The music on iTunes Match is music that record labels provide. So how it got there is a mystery.

The early theory among those who first heard this obscure version of the song is that the lead vocal may belong to the song’s co-writer, James Porte. Porte is credited on the “Michael” album as having recorded background vocals on the Cascio tracks. Another theory is that the song is a cover version recorded by an MJ fan, and the fact that it has wound up being provided to iTunes Match subscribers is simply a coincidental mistake.

If you want to hear what I am talking about, check it out for yourself! I guarantee you’ll be genuinely shocked at what you hear. Unfortunately, have to be a iTunes Match user if you want to hear it legally. Subscriptions cost $24.99 for a year. UPDATE: The song has now leaked on a number of streaming sites.

Regardless of who the singer actually is, one thing is for sure: It’s NOT Michael Jackson… AGAIN?

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