FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 21, 2012
25th ANNIVERSARY OF MICHAEL JACKSON’S
LANDMARK ALBUM BAD CELEBRATED WITH SEPTEMBER 18
RELEASE OF NEW BAD 25 PACKAGES
MICHAEL’S PERSONAL VHS COPY OF HIS JULY 16, 1988
PERFORMANCE AT WEMBLEY STADIUM UNEARTHED FOR THE RELEASE
NEWLY DISCOVERED OUTTAKES AND DEMOS FROM BAD ALBUM
RECORDING SESSIONS TO BE RELEASED
New York, NY – Twenty-five years after the phrase “Who’s Bad” became a generation’s
cultural catchphrase, Epic/Legacy Recordings, in collaboration with the Estate of
Michael Jackson, will celebrate the legendary album and record breaking BAD tour on
September 18, 2012 with the release of a deluxe package, BAD 25, which includes three CDs,
two collectible booklets, and features the first ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the
record breaking BAD tour.
“The era of BAD represented Michael’s creative ‘coming of age’ as a solo artist in charge of
every aspect of his career – from recording to touring to endorsements to merchandising. This
was the first album on which nearly all of the songs were written by Michael. It was also was
the first album in history to produce five consecutive #1 singles and it took 2 ½ decades for
another artist to match that success. It was also the first time Michael would tour as a solo artist
– his vision, his decisions on what the show would be. The enormous success of the BAD album
and tour was a pivotal moment in Michael’s growth as a composer, performer and producer
cementing his role as the King of Pop. We are thrilled to celebrate such an historic era in
Michael’s career with this release”, stated John Branca and John McClain, Co-Executors of the
Estate of Michael Jackson.
The BAD 25 anniversary deluxe edition will feature three CDs and 1 DVD as follows:
• The highlight of the package is the DVD of Michael’s legendary July 16, 1988 concert at
Wembley Stadium. The concert is not a compilation of performances, but rather one
complete show, exactly as Michael performed it for Prince Charles, Princess Diana and
the 72,000 fans who were in the audience for that night’s sold out show. This show was
one of the record-breaking seven nights played at the venue attended by more than half a
million people – three times that many people tried to purchase tickets. The DVD was
sourced from Michael Jackson’s personal VHS copy of the performance as shown on the
JumboTrons during the concert. This footage was only recently unearthed and is the only
known copy of the show to exist. The visuals have been restored and the audio quality
enhanced so that fans can share in the excitement of that famous night
• A CD of the re-mastered original BAD album
• A CD containing previously unreleased material recorded in Michael’s personal studio at
Hayvenhurst. This material includes early demo versions of songs from the album as
well as demos for songs not included on the final album. All of this material is being
released as it was recorded during the BAD sessions. Nothing has been added. In
addition, this CD will also include new remixes from internationally renowned
• A CD showcasing the audio from the sound truck recordings of the July 16th Wembley
performance. The first-ever live Michael Jackson CD to be released, this is the only
concert from the BAD Tour known to exist on multitracks
This magnificent 3 CD/1 DVD box set will also include two extensive booklets with yet unseen
photos from the recording sessions, video sets and the concert tour, the original BAD cover art, a
two-sided poster and more. A BAD 25 two CD standard edition featuring the original album
plus the CD of demos and new remixes will also be made available as will a stand alone edition
of the DVD and a picture disc of the original album.
On June 5 in the U.S. (June 4th ex-U.S.), Epic / Legacy Recordings will re-release the original
first single from the album “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” as a CD Single with a previously
unreleased bonus track from the BAD sessions, “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round (demo).” This is a
Wal-Mart exclusive CD single in the U.S. and will not be available digitally.
On June 26 a replica edition of the original 7″ vinyl of this single with the original B-side “Baby
Be Mine” will be made available to the world. The first single for BAD, “I Just Can’t Stop
Loving You,” was originally released on 7″ vinyl in 1987. The 7″ single edit of the song has
only been available on that original 7″ vinyl until now.
Recently, Pepsi announced an exclusive global partnership with the Estate of Michael Jackson as
part of its new “Live for Now” campaign. Starting this month, Michael Jackson and Pepsi fans
in more than 20 countries around the world will experience this partnership in a variety of ways,
including a retail campaign featuring one billion special edition Michael Jackson Bad 25 Pepsi
cans, live events, and opportunities for fans to access special edition merchandise and new music
from BAD 25.
The BAD album was the third Michael Jackson album produced by Quincy Jones and was
originally released on August 31, 1987. It was monumental in many ways; Michael wrote nine of
the album’s eleven tracks and received co-producer credit for the entire album. The album was #1
around the world, made history with five consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard chart, produced
ten chart-topping singles, nine ground breaking short films and to date, the Bad album
has generated over 45 Million units in sales. BAD was nominated for six Grammys and won
two; the album earned Michael the first-ever Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMA Awards.
Songs on the original album are: “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Speed Demon,”
“Liberian Girl,” “Just Good Friends” featuring Stevie Wonder, “Another Part of Me,” “Man in
the Mirror,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Dirty Diana,” “Smooth Criminal,” with “Leave
Me Alone” added to the album once released.
The BAD World Tour was Michael’s first concert tour as a solo artist. The legendary tour
included 123 concerts attended by more than 4.4 million fans over sixteen months. When it
concluded, the tour had shattered all previous touring records for attendance and total gross
revenue adding three new entries in the Guinness World Records for the largest grossing tour in
history, the tour with the largest attended audience and the most sold out shows at Wembley
More details on this and other exciting projects relating to BAD’s 25th anniversary will be
The Michael Jackson Estate
Flush with cash from the stratospheric success of his solo career, Jackson thought seriously about buying the publishing rights to some of the songs he’d recorded years earlier as a member of the Jackson 5–including “I Want You Back,” one of hundreds in Motown’s Jobete catalog, then owned by the legendary Berry Gordy and his sister. Despite serious interest from Jackson, who was “like a son” to Gordy, the music mogul sold a 50% stake in the catalog to EMI for $132 million in 1997.
But dreams often take a lifetime to achieve, and the King of Pop seems to have realized this one posthumously. On Friday, a Sony-led team of investors purchased EMI’s entire publishing catalog for $2.2 billion. The group includes billionaire David Geffen, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners LP, and none other than the estate of Michael Jackson (its stake is nested within Sony’s 38% share of EMI, according to sources close to the negotiations).
The move makes sense for reasons beyond just the sentimental. Michael Jackson’s estate still co-owns the separate Sony/ATV publishing catalog in a joint venture with Sony; that company, headed by former EMI chief Marty Bandier, will administer the newly-acquired EMI assets on behalf of the investors.
Still, the reunion is little more than a drop in the financial bucket. Because Sony/ATV (The Michael Jackson Estate) will soon begin receiving administrative fees from the EMI catalog’s new owners, its own value is likely north of $2 billion as well.
As for Jackson, his estate has raked in half a billion dollars since his death two and a half years ago. And though the King of Pop’s posthumous concert flick was called This Is It, he’s just getting started from a posthumous earnings perspective. Jackson’s Immortal World Tour, a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, is grossing $2.4 million a night; plans call for over 100 shows a year for each of the next three years.
INVESTOR GROUP INCLUDING SONY CORPORATION OF AMERICA ENTERS INTO DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING FROM CITI
By Sophie Duvernoy Wed., Aug. 17 2011 at 11:00 AM
The interior of Michael Jackson’s art studio, which he shared with friend and artist Brett-Livingstone Strong
Until now, Michael Jackson’s art collection was shrouded in mystery. It was said to be stuck in a legal dispute over possession. Then, people speculated that buyers such as Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberté were interested. It’s been valued at the staggering (and slightly unbelievable) sum of $900 million.
One crucial fact: Jackson’s art collection isn’t art by other people — it’s mainly drawings and paintings that he created himself. So what does that art look like?
Yesterday, LA Weekly was the first to visit the (until now) top-secret Santa Monica Airport hangar that Jackson used as his studio and art storehouse. The collection is currently owned by Brett-Livingstone Strong, the Australian monument builder and Jackson’s art mentor through the years, in conjunction with the Jackson estate.
Though the entire art collection has been mired in disputes and battles for rights, Strong claims that he is working with everybody — the family, the estate, as well as others — to exhibit and publish as much of Jackson’s work as possible.
According to Strong, he and Jackson formed an incorporated business partnership in 1989, known as the Jackson-Strong alliance. This gave each partner a fifty-percent stake in the other’s art. In 2008, Strong says, Jackson requested that his attorney sign the rights to Jackson’s portion of the art over to Strong. Now, Strong is beginning to reveal more and more of the art as he goes ahead with Jackson’s dream of organizing a museum exhibit.
Some of Jackson’s original drawings hanging on the wall. Prints of these were donated to the L.A. Children’s Hospital.
Strong gave us a tour of the hangar, beginning with the Michael Jackson monument that Strong and Jackson co-designed several years ago. It’s perhaps bombastic, but designed with good intentions and the rabid Jackson fan in mind. Strong explains, “He wanted his fans to be able to get married at a monument that would have all of his music [in an archive, and playing on speakers], to inspire some of his fans.”
The current design is still in the works, but it’s conceived as an interactive monument — fans who buy a print by Jackson will receive a card in the mail. They can scan this card at the monument, and then have a computer organize a personal greeting for them, or allow them to book it for weddings. Jackson initially thought it would be perfect for Las Vegas, but Strong says that Los Angeles might have the honor of hosting it — apparently, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently paid a visit and made a few oblique promises.
The Michael Jackson monument mock-up, featuring miniature pilgrims and a bridal couple
As for Jackson’s art, the contents of the hangar barely scratched the surface of the collection, as Strong estimates Jackson’s total output at 150 to 160 pieces. A few large pieces hanging on the walls had been donated as reproductions to the L.A. Children’s Hospital last Monday, along with other sketches and poems.
In all of his art, certain motifs kept cropping up: chairs (usually quite baroque), gates, keys and the number 7. His portrait of Bubbles, his pet chimpanzee, shows a monkey-like face vanishing into a cushy, ornate lounge chair. “He loved chairs,” says Strong. “He thought chairs were the thrones of most men, women and children, where they made their decisions for their daily activity. He was inspired by chairs. Rather than just do a portrait of the monkey, he put it in the chair. And you see, there are a few sevens — because he’s the seventh child.”
Jackson, who was a technically talented artist — and completely self-taught — fixated on these motifs, elevating everyday objects into cult symbols. Strong added that Jackson’s sketchbooks are completely filled with studies of his favorite objects, in endless permutations.
MJ’s portrait of George Washington — he initially planned to do a series of all of the presidents, but never continued it.
But Jackson also created portraits: a small sketch of Paul McCartney, and a large drawing of George Washington, created as Strong was working with the White House to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution back in 1987. He also sketched self-portraits — one as a humorous four-panel drawing charting his growing-up process, and a darker one that depicts him as a child cowering in a corner, inscribed with a sentence reflecting on his fragility.
As an artist, Jackson preferred using wax pencils, though Strong adds, “He did do a lot of watercolors but he gave them away. He was a little intimidated by mixing colors.” Some surviving pencils are archived in the hangar; Strong moves over to a cabinet on the far wall of the hangar and pulls out a ziploc bag containing a blue wax pencil, a white feathered quill and a white glove that Jackson used for drawing.
Jackson turned to art as times got hard for him. “His interest in art, in drawing it, was just another level of his creativity that went on over a long period of time,” Strong says. “It was quite private to him. I think he retreated into it when he was being attacked by those accusations against him.” The sketches and drawings certainly reveal an extremely sensitive creator, though it’s clear that Jackson also had a sense of humor.
Jackson’s art was kept under wraps for such a long time simply because of the pedophilia scandal, which erupted right around the time that he was looking for a way to publicize the works. “A lot of his art was going to be exhibited 18 years ago. Here’s one of his tour books, where he talks about exhibiting art. He didn’t want it to be a secret,” Strong says, pointing at a leaflet from the 1992 Dangerous World Tour.
Strong and Jackson wearing matching leather and velvet jackets, celebrating their artistic alliance.
Prior to that period, Jackson and Strong had met and become fast friends. This marked the beginning of Strong’s mentorship, in which he encouraged Jackson to create bigger paintings and drawings, and exhibit his work. The idea behind their Jackson-Strong Alliance was that Strong would help Jackson manage and exhibit his art. Notably, the alliance birthed Strong’s infamous $2 million portrait of Michael Jackson entitled The Book, the only known portrait Jackson ever sat for.
In 1993, everything blew up. At the time, Jackson and Strong were both on the board of Big Brothers of Los Angeles (now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters), a chapter of the national youth mentoring organization established in L.A. by Walt Disney and Meredith Willson. They had planned out a fundraising campaign involving Jackson’s art. Strong explains, “We thought that if we would market [his art] in limited edition prints to his fans, he could support the charities that he wanted to, rather than have everybody think that he was so wealthy he could afford to finance everybody.” When the pedophilia scandal erupted, Disney put a freeze on the project. The artwork stayed put, packed away from public eyes in storage crates.
Jackson’s sketch of an airplane at the Santa Monica airport
As for the spectacular appraisal of $900 million for Jackson’s art collection, Strong says that it derives from the idea of reproducing prints as well. The figure was originally quoted by Eric Finzi, of Belgo Fine Art Appraisers. “The reason somebody came out with that was because there was an appraisal on if all of his originals were reproduced — he wanted to do limited editions of 777 — and he would sell them to his fan base in order to build his monument, support kids and do other things. You multiply that by 150 originals, and if they sold for a few thousand dollars each, then you would end up with 900 million dollars.” Fair enough, though now Strong says he has gone to an appraiser in Chicago to get that value double-checked, and they arrived at an even higher estimate.
The story of Jackson’s art ends up being quite a simple one, though confused by so much hearsay and rumor. Strong and the Jackson estate will slowly reveal more works as time passes, and an exhibit is tentatively planned for L.A.’s City Hall. Negotiations with museums for a posthumous Jackson retrospective are still underway, but Strong has high hopes. He’s even talking of building a Michael Jackson museum that would house all of Jackson’s artwork.
Jackson’s sketch of the White House doors, to which he added the following quote from John Adams: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men [MJ’s addition:] or women rule under this roof.”
We’ll leave you with Strong’s own description of Jackson at work, during the time where they shared a studio in a house in Pacific Palisades:
He was in a very light and happy mood most of the time. He would have the oldies on, and sometimes he’d hear some of his Jackson Five songs. He’d kind of move along to that, but most of the time he would change it and listen to a variety of songs. He liked classical music. His inspiration to create was that he loved life, and wanted to express his love of life in some of these simple compositions.
I came to the studio one day, and we had a Malamute. I came into the house, and I heard this dog barking and thought, Wow, I wonder what that is. I go into the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I see Michael up in the pots and pans in the middle of the center island. He’s holding a pen and paper and the dog is running around the island and barking at him, and he says, “He wants to play! He wants to play!” He’s laughing, and I’m laughing about it as I’m thinking to myself, “I’m wondering how long he’s been up there.”
Michael Jackson’s dedication to art: so strong that he’ll end up perched on a kitchen island.
Michael Jackson’s older brother Jackie Jackson is convinced that the late King of Pop is fully supportive of all the Cirque du Soleil show developments and the two productions set for Mandalay Bay starting in December. “He’s definitely watching over this. He’s going to be alive in everybody’s minds for all the years to come now. He lives on,” Jackie said.
“Michael would have loved what’s going on now for his legacy. He always loved the business and the entertainment all his life. He loved the flash. He loved Las Vegas. He loved Cirque and saw every Cirque show they produced.
“I still remember the very first Cirque that came out. He called and told me, ‘Jackie, you’ve got to see this show.’ And he flew me out, and we saw the show together and from then on he saw every show. He loved Guy (Laliberte), the Cirque founder, and the whole Cirque show family. He loved them, so he really wanted to be a part of them. … He’s a part of it right now with these shows. It all fulfills his own dreams, and I believe he knows all about this and would be very proud and happy with it.”
Jackie told me that the first Michael Jackson: Immortal show that arrives at Mandalay Bay on Dec. 3 is a traveling rock concert spectacular. “The second show will be permanently housed at Mandalay Bay. They will be completely different in the way they look and feel, even though Michael’s songs will be the same.
Photo: Darrin Bush/Las Vegas News Bureau
Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil; Chuck Bowling, president and COO of Mandalay Bay; Jackie Jackson, brother of Michael Jackson; John Branca, co-executor of The Michael Jackson Estate; and Jamie King, writer and director of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, at Mandalay Bay on April 27, 2011.
“Obviously, because people want the hits in both. I can’t get into the other show right now because there’s going to be surprises about it, and I don’t want to give anything away. All kinds of things will be going on with the permanent show and the memorabilia zone.”
His line of leather jackets from Michael’s own designs will be launched in about five weeks on Amazon and will be among items for sale in the Michael Jackson Zone to be opened at Mandalay Bay.
Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling is the executive who has to reconfigure his hotel gaming floor for the Michael Jackson invasion.
“We have a reputation around the world for providing the best in dining, the best in nightlife and for many, many years have provided the highest quality of entertainment. Our sister MGM resort hotels are homes to the most successful entertainment brands in the world largely due to our partnership with the creative geniuses at Cirque De Soleil. We are ready for this. We are confident of its success, and we know Michael Jackson will be at Mandalay forever.
“Simply put, there’s a Cirque show for every kind of fan. In recent years, Cirque has partnered with such powerful bands as The Beatles and Elvis Presley, and that left only one other … who could join this extraordinary group — Michael Jackson!
“We’re honored that the relationship here at Mandalay Bay will ensure it is home for all things Michael Jackson. … Michael stood in a category all his own. Over his lifetime, he achieved and sustained a level of success that transcended any one genre or any one audience. Michael is an international icon renowned for his music, his dance, his mystique and his style.
“The world lost an extraordinary entertainer, but through the eyes of the creative geniuses at Cirque De Soleil, Michael will now live on in many new ways, for new audiences for years to come. That’s a wonderful gift to us all. We look forward to welcoming the world here in the coming months and years to enjoy experiences unlike anything Las Vegas has seen before.”
Photo: Darrin Bush/Las Vegas News Bureau
Michael Jackson’s fedora and crystal glove at Mandalay Bay on April 27, 2011.
And the incredible logistics involved? Cirque will keep the 1,800-seat Lion King Theater when they move in Dec. 31, but everything else changes. “We’ve begun thinking about the process of putting all three elements together: theater, interactive space, the MJ Zone with the ultra lounge and retail. The logistics of it are still in design. … We’ll clearly create an amazing experience inside of the showroom that we’re starting to define now.
“So far, we have not developed a firm budget — not even really a tentative budget. We’ve got ideas in the background, but it wouldn’t be accurate to quote you anything, but we’re working on that. Certainly multi-, multi-million dollars. We’re only going to do the right thing, like Cirque and MGM resorts have always done: always first class. Add the Michael Jackson element, it can only be one thing, which is top-of-the-line first class.
“We are very excited about all the Michael Jackson elements that will elevate the total brand of Mandalay Bay. We know it will further our entertainment footprint not only in Las Vegas but also all over the world. This is an important message that Las Vegas is more than alive and well. … This will bring hope.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.