Michael Jackson estate signs huge 10-album deal with Sony: Is this a good idea?

Michael-Jackson-singingImage Credit: Kevin MazurLooks like This Is It might have been titled prematurely. Michael Jackson’s estate and Sony Music announced via press release today that they’ve signed a major new deal to continue their decades-long catalog relationship — and to start releasing some of the unheard music that Jackson kept under wraps during his lifetime. A rep for the label confirms reports that the deal includes 10 projects over the next seven years, including special reissues of his classic albums and all those legendary unreleased recordings. Bottom line, we’re looking at a first installment of never-before-heard Michael Jackson music coming this November.

Is this a good idea? The answer, of course, depends on just what’s on those unreleased tapes. Some of the songs in those vaults should no doubt remain there. But Jackson was a notorious perfectionist with extremely high standards for himself — so for every track that he left on the cutting-room floor for good reason, I’m betting there are more than a few that are well worth hearing. There’s probably not another “Billie Jean” out there, but there have to be tons of tunes that will give serious Jackson fans insight into his creative process. Ten albums’ worth? Maybe not, but when you factor in that five to six of those will presumably be revamped versions of his Epic releases (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, DangerousInvincible, and maybe HIStory), that doesn’t sound like such a big number.

What do you think of this deal? Do you think there’s enough quality unreleased Michael Jackson music out there to justify 10 albums between now and 2017? Sound off in the comments, below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • crispy

    Maybe they can dig up his body, attach strings to his limbs, and Joe Jackson can cart it from city to city to perform shows.

    • no, just wilted

      crispy, that’s crass and tasteless. Why no doubt Papa Joe would love to squeeze every last bit of life out of Michael’s corpse for profit, your comment was insensitive.

      • Nshi

        Relax, bro. I think you’re misunderstanding what that guy wrote. He was, if I had to guess, poking fun at the Jackson family, not at Michael’s dead and decomposing body.
        Although, as a Nshian, I take umbrage at the suggestion that Michael is a minstrel-like puppet – that would be racist, if true.

  • ARM

    I love Micheal Jackson, his music as well as his love and compassion for others will live for ever. We need his music, Mary J, Whitney, Keisha Cole, real music, good music, clean music. It’s just not happening now days, I forgot the person music who is next to Micheal, his sister Janet Jackson.

  • beau

    They said 10 projects not 10 albums,”this is it” album was included in the contract so really they have 9 projects left.I dont expect more than 2 to 3 albums of unreleased materials.video dvds,concerts and live performances,re-issues/remixes of old albums are some of their planned projects
    Am a big fan AND I cant wait to buy the new CD.most true fans have some leaked/unreleased songs and they are much more better than the trash on radio now.WE know he had some good materials for example he didnt want to release smooth criminal.really happy for fans who have been waiting patiently for 9 years.

    • Yvette

      Thanks for your comments and i agree totally with you.

    • WELSH

      MJ has been the last artist who’s albums had much more to a title song. Over the past decade hundreds of artists have come up but any of them close to MJ genius and sense of perfection. If you guys know nay please do let me know.

  • Al

    The Beatles still sell records and MJ probably can too.

  • Estela

    Can’t wait. He’s the best.

  • Nathan

    Oh good. The Jackson family still have their cash cow. So now Joe Jackson won’t have to send out MJ’s children to perform as “The Jackson Three.”

  • RealNeil

    Too bad that they signed with Sony, now I can’t buy them. Who really wants another rootkit installed secretly onto their computer when you put the CD in? There are probably allot of good songs left behind by MJ. I look forward to hearing them.

  • Frank from MusicNerdClub.com

    Expect a 2-CD Legacy Edition of MJ’s “Off The Wall”, it was originally slated for last year. The new deal means we can also likely expect Legacy Editions of “Thriller” and “Bad”.

  • Sally in Chicago

    This is a gold mine. The songs can be played over commercials (ka-ching) in movies (ka-ching)…songs and songwriting are the new gold mines…forget about hitting the lottery.
    As for whether this is a good idea — ask the children, they benefit from it. Nuff said.

    • Sally in Chicago

      Might I add there’s more “This is It” footage that they can turn into DVDs.

  • Kevin

    crispy – “Maybe they can dig up his body, attach strings to his limbs, and Joe Jackson can cart it from city to city to perform shows.” You know I actually thought maybe AEG would have him stuffed by a taxidermist and brought out on a dolly at the O2 so that he could still do his shows. They were going to let him perform as a live skeleton, the fact that he was dead should not have made much difference. All that matters is the bottom line.

    • sc341

      That’s very true. May he now r.i.p.

    • MJfan

      I just love Michael Jackson. He was an amazingly talented singer and entertainer. Miss him a lot.

    • MJfan

      I just love Michael Jackson. He was an amazingly talented singer and entertainer. Miss him a lot. May he RIP.

  • Hans M.

    Yes, it is a good thing. What is more important: the ashes of the dead channel that is the artist and its lost sentiments over the creations of his work? or the immortal art itself? Release it. Some way or another it would get out anyhow.

  • Noah

    If the unrealeased songs are as good as the “This is it!” than, YES! I loved it from the first time I heard it and didn’t know for about a week that it was released after his death. I thought it from one of his earlier records. I wouldn’t mind buying a DVD collection of all his music videos and Moonwalker either.

  • marge

    Delighted to hear that MJ’s estate signed big contract for his music, which is worth it. Can’t wait to hear his new music and buy it. I listen to MJ all the time, just can’t get enough of his songs. Am glad his money is going to his kids and not into the greedy hands of his freeloading family. MJ loved his kids and they love him. Let them enjoy the money and maybe give some to charity, like their father.

    • sc341

      I would like to see some of his older concert footage on DVD (Victory Tour) digitally remastered and brought up to date. Also his “Bad” tour in the 1980’s should be re-released (digitally remastered). I would like to hear his unheard music. I also hope to hear it on Top 40 radio stations. I hate what is out nowadays. Hip-hop, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and the rest of the mainstream garbage I hear.

  • Glenda in Texas

    Michael Jackson is a good business man.


    why would the controllers of his estate sign with “sony-sucks?” didn’t he break his ties with them?
    so what does that say about those handling his affairs?

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