Reported by Liku Zelleke
Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” has been riding high on charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The album opened at the top spot on the UK Albums chart this week. It is quickly climbing its way up to the same position in the Billboard 200.
The album was led by L.A. Reid, lead produced by Timbaland and includes additional works courtesy of Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain.
But, as popular as the posthumous work of the King of Pop has become, one person isn’t feeling it at all.
Composer, producer and music legend Quincy Jones sat down with Jian Ghomeshi on his Canada CBC Radio show “Q” to talk about what he thought was pure commercialization of the late singer’s name.
Jones was crucial in the making of some of the greatest of Michael’s work like “Thriller“, “Off the Wall” and “Bad“.
When he was asked about whether it bothered him that there was this ongoing rollout of recordings featuring Michael, Jones said, “Yeah, but it’s not my business anymore. They’re not our business.”
He added, “They’re trying to make money. And I understand it. Everybody’s after money, the estate [and] the lawyers. It’s about money.”
Jones’ comments come soon after a $10 million lawsuit he has filed claiming breach of contract in connection with Michael’s works that have been released since his death in 2009.
The complaint, filed in October of last year in the Los Angeles Superior Court, states that master recordings Jones had worked on were wrongfully edited and remixed so as to deprive him of back-end profit participation.
He also said that he had been denied credit on Michael’s posthumous works and that MJJ Productions and Sony Music had entered into side deals which allowed them to take profits that should have been included in the calculation of royalties.
Jones goes on to discuss the popular gossip that he had initially rejected “Billie Jean“. He said, “And this whole fallacy of me not liking ‘Billie Jean‘ is a lie. It is some lie that started somewhere. Anybody can hear that record’s a smash. And also, I know where it came from.”