Auction Items Labelled as ‘Michael Jackson’ Recordings Do NOT Feature Jackson’s Voice

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In five days time, in the evening of Friday, December 5, 2014, an online auction of several items originating from the private collection of Michael Jackson’s longtime friend and former personal assistant, Frank Cascio, will end. Items up for grabs include an empty prescription pill bottle, numerous pieces of clothing, and a set of compact discs labelled Michael Jackson “Lovin You” Original Recordings. 

Some of the items come with a purported letter of provenance from Cascio. Others, including the “Lovin You” discs, do not.

The purpose of this article is to shed light on what is on the “Lovin You” discs, in case anyone is planning on placing a bid.

The handwritten date notations on the discs timestamp them as being from 2003, and the “Buxer” notation on the bottom is in reference to Jackson’s longtime collaborator/composer, Brad Buxer.

The “Frank” notation refers to Frank Cascio.

Some fans have speculated that the discs could contain a 2003 re-working of the mid-80s track “Loving You” – a song released on the Xscape album earlier this year.

It is a well-documented fact that Jackson would often bring old songs out and re-work them years (and even decades) after their initial conception.

However, that is not the case in regards to the “Lovin You” discs up for auction. The track being auctioned is completely unrelated to the song on the Xscape album, which was never worked on again after being mixed by Matt Forger at Jackson’s Hayvenhurst studio prior to the Bad album sessions.

In fact, the contents of the auctioned discs are instrumental versions of a different song altogether.

The music on the discs was composed by Brad Buxer in 2003, who worked with Frank Cascio in an attempt to embellish the track. In his spare time Buxer often worked with Jackson’s friends on their own personal music ideas and projects. He even helped the King of Pop’s personal driver, Gary, record songs.

When working on “Lovin You,” Buxer recorded Cascio attempting to perform a series of beat box sounds, moans and finger snaps as he tried to come up with something that could be applied to the track before presenting it to Jackson. While these appear deep in the layers of the multi-track session files, they were not included when Buxer exported the track and saved it to his hard drive.

Most notably, there are no Michael Jackson vocals on any version of this track. Not 2.7 (pictured above, left) or 9.1 (right).

A copyright claim for “Lovin You” – along with a collection of other ideas, demos and songs in various states of completion found on Buxer’s hard drive following Jackson’s death – was filed with the Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office in March 2010.

Buxer did not list Frank Cascio as a copyright claimant, author or rights and permissions holder on the copyright registration.

The instrumental track remains unreleased, unheard by the public, and there are currently no bids on Gotta Have Rock and Roll‘s online auction.

UPDATE: The discs were sold for a final bid of $1,064.00.

Damien Shields is the author of Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault – a book examining the King of Pop’s creative process on a collection of previously-unreleased songs which were ultimately released years after his death. The book is available in physical and digital formats via Amazon and iBooks.

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