October 12th, 2009
09:27 PM ET
So, how was your Monday?
Executives at Sony Music Entertainment thought it would be a big day. After all, they were releasing "This Is It," the first Michael Jackson song since his death in June, the latest salvo in the media blitz leading up to "This Is It" the album, dropping October 26th internationally and October 27th in the U.S., and "This Is It" the movie, opening October 28th. Except "This Is It"... isn't.
It isn't really a Michael Jackson song, or a new song. Turns out Michael and singer-songwriter Paul Anka co-authored the ditty, way back in 1983, for an Anka album. Latin hip-hop artist Safire recorded and released it in 1990 as "I Never Heard," and then it was "never heard" again... until some poor soul at Sony, whose name will probably never be revealed, unknowingly found the tape in Jackson's archives. Add some Jackson brothers' backing vocals and orchestration to Michael's voice and Anka's piano, and you've got MJ's first post-mortem single.
Anka's being gracious, saying the producers did a beautiful job of completing the song, and calls the mess "an honest mistake." Of course, after some no-doubt-frantic negotiating by the Sony folks, Anka now owns 50% of the song. Monday was a pretty good day for him!
Now, let's get down to what's truly important: did you like the ballad? Did you stay up until midnight to hear it online as soon as possible? And does the revelation about its origins make any difference to you?
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