Apr 03 2010

Happy Easter Michael. While I Miss You Terribly, I Hope You’ve Found Your Peace.

Category: Art,Lyrics,PhotosSeven @ 4:06 am

I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer

I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer

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Mar 04 2010

Notice . . .

Category: Earth,Humanitarian,Lyrics,PhotosSeven @ 12:20 am

SOURCE: http://www.neatorama.com/2009/09/03/the-crying-glacier/ – this photo of the melting glacier, was hauntingly released on September 3, 2009 – the day of Michael Jackson’s final burial. It’s as if the Earth was crying for her abuse, and for the loss of One who stood so staunchly in defense of her. The words of course are from Michael’s ‘Earth Song‘, and the heartbreaking photo of a needlessly killed child, from our ongoing invasion and occupation of Iraq. Michael begged and prayed in song, film, music, and dance, for us to take NOTICE of these issues. But still by and large, we have not and likely will not — until it’s far too late.

Austfonna ice cap, (Norway) located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago during a thaw, with the melting ice and snow falling towards the sea below. || An Iraqi woman takes her dead son into her arms. The 6-year old was killed on the way home from enrolling for his first year in school. (AP photo).

Austfonna ice cap, (Norway) located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago during a thaw, with the melting ice and snow falling towards the sea below. || An Iraqi woman takes her dead son into her arms. The 6-year old was killed on the way home from enrolling for his first year in school. (AP photo).

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Mar 01 2010

Dreamy Spoken-Word Intro to “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” Was Later Removed

Category: Lyrics,VideosSeven @ 12:05 am

It was removed because Michael was so shy about it. Michael spoke and recorded the words lying in bed alone under the covers, according to a later interview. Here are the words he spoke at the beginning of the original version of the song:

I Just Want To Lay Next To You For Awhile
You Look So Beautiful Tonight
Your Eyes Are So Lovely
Your Mouth Is So Sweet
A Lot Of People Misunderstand Me
That’s Because They Don’t Know Me At All
I Just Want To Touch You
And Hold You
I Need You
God I Need You
I Love You So Much

And below is this original version of the ballad with Michael and Siedah Garrett, released as the first single from his 1987 “Bad” album. This version was later replaced with another, where the dreamy spoken-word intro had been removed.

MJ and Siedah Garrett

MJ and Siedah Garrett

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Feb 12 2010

The True Story of Billie Jean: There were 91 mixes of the song. In the end, they chose mix #2.

Category: Friends,Lyrics,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes,Quotes About MJSeven @ 5:03 am

This is according to Bruce Swedian – sound engineer extraordinaire (and that’s an understatement).  Here’s what Bruce says about recording and Mixing “Billie Jean”:

The year is 1982. The song is “Billie Jean”. The sonic image of Michael Jacksons’ “Billie Jean” is a perfect example of what happened, when I sat around dreaming awhile, about combining different recording techniques to produce a unique musical canvas with a tremendous ‘sonic personality’.

Billie Jean Handwritten Lyrics

Billie Jean Handwritten Lyrics

Of course I was comfortably ensconsed in Westlake Audio’s beautiful new Studio ‘A’ on Beverly Boulevard, with my good friends Quincy Jones, Micheal Jackson and Rod Temperton. We were doing our favorite thing… We were making music!!! We had just started recording Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller”…

We were recording Michael’s song “Billie Jean”…..

I recorded the drums,(played by the fantastic drummer, N’Dugu) with as tight, and powerful a drum sound as I could come up with. Of course I put N’Dugus’ drum set on my plywood drum platform. Also at this time, I had a special kick drum cover made that covers the whole front of the kick drum. There’s a slot with a zipper in it that the mike fits through. When the kick drum mike is in place, in the slot in my drum cover, I zip the opening tightly shut around the mike.

I brought in my old pal George Massenburgs’ spectacular sounding, portable, 12 channel recording console and used it to record the rhythm section. With it I recorded the bass, drums and guitars on my analogue 16 track, with no noise reduction equipment in the way of that fantastic sound!

In my estimation, the the result of the song “Billie Jean”, is a perfect example of what I call “Sonic Personality”. I don’t think there are many recordings, where all you need to hear is the first few drums beats, and you instantly know what song it is.

Great albums always start with great songs….

“Billie Jean” is just such a superb song! Of course, Michael wrote “Billie Jean”..

Quincy says that the lyric that Michael wrote is highly personal. I’m sure that’s true. Michael told us… it was about a girl, that climbed over the wall at Michael’s house, and was lounging out there, by the swimming pool…. she was laying out there, near the pool , lounging… hangin’ out… with shades on, her bathing suit on. One morning she just showed up! Kind of like a stalker, almost. She had accused Michael of being the father of ONE of her twins… Is that possible? I don’t think so….

When it came time for me to mix “Billie Jean”, it was business as usual… When I am working with Michael, Quincy, Rod, Jennifer, Sergio and so on….. I am allowed total ceative freedom with the sonics of the music… In other words, I am always left to myself when it is time to mix. My mixes can take hours, days or even weeks…. I firmly believe that a mix is not finished, until it is on a Record for sale at Tower….

So I had been mixing “Billie Jean” for a day or two. I’d do a mix. ….. Say I was up to mix number 2…. (At that time I was mixing onto 1/2” analogue.) I thought it was killer!!!

I called MJ, Quincy and Rod into the control room and played mix 2 for them. They loved it!!! They were all dancing and carrying on like crazy!!! Smiles all around! Then Michael slipped out of the control room, turned around and motioned to me to follow him… Then he whispered to me, “Please Bruce, it’s perfect, but turn the Bass up just a tiny bit, and do one more mix, please….” I said to him…”OK Smelly, no problem”…

(When we were recording “Off The Wall”, Quincy gave Michael the nickname of “Smelly” because when Michael liked a groove, he’d call it “Smelly Jelly.” Also Michael doesn’t curse, and when MJ wants to say a bad word he’ll simply call it “Smelly”… The name has stuck…)

Then I went back into the control room to add Michael’s tiny bit of bass to my mix… Quincy pulled me over into the corner and said “Please Svensk… “(Svensk is Quincy’s nickname for me. It means “Swedish Man” in Swedish… When you have a genuine Quincy Jones nickname like ‘Svensk” – You are truly honored….) Q said to me…. “Add a little garlic salt to the snare and the kick. Just a squirt!!!”) so I went back into the control room and added a little garlic salt to the snare and the kick. Just a squirt!!! Now I was up to mix 20 on “Billie Jean”.

Well, this went on for about a week. Soon I was up to mix 91!!! I had a stack of 1/2 inch tapes almost to the ceiling!!! I would do a few mixes, we’d listen… Then do a few more. We had it PERFECT!!! We thought we had a really ‘HOT’ mix on “Billie Jean”. I played Mix 91 for the boys… Everybody smiled… but Quincy had one of his funny looks on his face…

I thought…. Hmmmm…. Oh, Oh….

Quincy said “You know Svensk, just for the fun of it, can we listen to one of your earlier mixes???” My heart jumped because I knew that my earlier mixes were dynamite!!! Then Quincy said, “Let’s hear mix number 2!!!” Oh WOW!!!! Hallelujah!!! I love mix 2!!!!

We listened to mix 2… IT WAS SLAMMIN’!!! EVERYONE IN THE STUDIO WAS GROOVIN’ AND DANCIN’ and HAPPY, and actin’ IGNORANT!!!!

Well, here’s the deal. When “Thriller” was released to the Whole World by Epic Records, on Tuesday, November 30, 1982, it went to Tower Records with MIX 2 OF “Billie Jean” on it!!! AND, when the single of “Billie Jean” came out it was MIX 2!!!

The REAL Story of “Billie Jean”…

Bruce Swedien

"Back row Craig, Andrew Scheps, me (Rob…?), Brad Sundberg, Matt Forger•Front row Bruce Swedien, the Glove, Eddie Delena"

"Back row Craig, Andrew Scheps, me (Rob…?), Brad Sundberg, Matt Forger•Front row Bruce Swedien, the Glove, Eddie Delena"

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Jan 28 2010

Annie are you OK? Are you OK, Annie?

Category: Lyrics,Photos,VideosSeven @ 10:04 pm

Annie Are You OK?

Annie Are You OK?

The question has been asked: “Who is ‘Annie‘? (from Smooth Criminal)?”

Well, Annie is the name of the CPR practice dummy.  When you take a CPR class, you’re taught to make sure the victim is OK, so you yell “Annie, Annie, are you OK?” before you start CPR or artificial respiraton.  If the victim responds, they likely are not in need of CPR. If they do not respond, then CPR may be called for. The lyric is directly related to the CPR training.  (ie: “Mouth To Mouth Resuscitation, Sounding Heartbeats, Intimidations“…)

Also interesting to note about the song is that the heartbeat at the beginning of the recorded song is actually Michael’s. The opening heartbeat was recorded by Dr. Eric Chevlan, and digitally processed using a synclavier.

The voice of the police chief who says, “Okay, I want everybody to clear the area right now!” is Bruce Swedien. ‘Smooth Criminal‘ was the seventh single on Michael’s 1987 ‘Bad‘ album. It charted No. 2 on the R&B singles chart and No. 7 on the Hot 100 in the States, and No. 8 in the UK (where it gave Michael a record seventh Top 30 hit from one album). It was No.1 in Belgium and Holland.

Dr Chevlan Smooth Criminal Heartbeat

Dr. Chevlan Recording Michael's heartbeat for Smooth Criminal Intro

Rescue Annie

Rescue Annie

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