News just in. Apple’s online music store iTunes is reporting that it has completely sold out of all electronic copies of Michael Jackson’s back catalog. Owing to increased demand following the singer’s sudden death, and a shortage of electrons at their Jacksonville plant, they are unable to produce digital files until an emergency shipment arrives from an electron supplier in Taiwan.
Meanwhile, what’s your favourite Michael Jackson album?
We’ve got a few of Jacko’s records, but our favourite would have to be Off The Wall. This was Jackson’s first solo record as a grown-up, and I don’t think he ever improved upon it. I know Thriller had the hits, but Off The Wall to my ears is the winner. The arrangements are more sparse, there’s some room to get in there and boogie! It’s a bit like comparing Revolver to Sgt Pepper. Sure, Thriller sold a gazillion copies, but the production is just so dense, and lurking in between the hit singles are tracks such as the McCartney-Jackson duet “The Girl is Mine”, a song so painfully mawkish and contrived it almost makes me physically ill.
The mention of McCartney’s name raises the question of what will happen to the publishing rights to the majority of Lennon/McCartney songs, which are currently part of Sony/ATV Music, of which Jackson owned a 50% stake. (Background: Northern Songs, the company created in 1963 to publish Lennon & McCartney’s Beatles output was aggressively bought out by ATV in 1969, with ATV Music then being bought by Jackson in 1985. He later merged with Sony to form Sony/ATV Music.) There has been some speculation that Jackson had of late felt sorry for nicking his old mate Paul’s songs and had included a clause in his will that they be returned to McCartney upon Jackson’s death. This seems optimistic in the extreme given the realities of the music industry today, and Jackson did not have total ownership in any case. Still, I personally would like to see the day when a living Beatle has control of their own music!
Finally, there seems to be some sort of frenzy on eBay with countless auctions for Jackson-related domain names. Most of them are awful, such as MichaelJacksonNaked.com or LifeAfterMichaelJackson.com, with asking prices in the millions of US dollars. Seriously, what sort of clown is responsible for this nonsense! I tells ya!