Michael Jackson - Thriller 25 Release Review - MjNewsOnline

Originally Posted by Paul View Post
I was privileged today to attend an exclusive playback of the new remixes from Michael Jackson's upcoming Thriller 25 release, at the Sony BMG offices in London.

Unfortunately there was no one on hand to answer some of the more detailed questions I had to ask, but I was able to get some basic information about the release, and listened to 3 runs of the new remixes of "The Girl is Mine", with will.i.am, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", with Akon, and the remastered, "For All Time" - the Kanye West version of Billie Jean was unavailable.

The Demo Disc


There are 4 different versions of the release - the standard version, which comes with 2 different sets of at work ("Zombie" and "Classic"), and a more expensive hard-bond, 'book-style' "Deluxe" version, which will be limited to 1 european run (of which the UK should get about 20,000). These come with the audio disc, and DVD, and will feature a nice holographic cover.

Also, a 12" vinyl will be available as a gatefold double LP.

These will be produced into next year, and after that point 'Thriller 25' will be available as a "standard" album, without the DVD, featuring the classic cover.


As we all know by now, will.i.am's "The Girl is Mine" will be the single released from the edition -- it will be out for digital purchase January 14, and available on CD 2 weeks later. It will feature 3 tracks, one of which may be a demo (though this is as of yet unconfirmed). There are no more details available on the contents of the single.

A video is as of yet unconfirmed, and from what I made out, nothing like this is in the pipeline just yet.


In Sony's presser, they've touted a "worldwide advertising campaign" to launch the release, and they're going the full mile with this - TV advertisements, billboards, posters. We can expect TV ads the Sunday before release, and they've plenty more ideas in mind to do some unique things to launch.

Radio play should take place at least a couple of weeks before launch, so we may have some of these blasting out of our speakers in just a months time.


The Girl is Mine (running time: 3m12s)

will.i.am's exciting version of "The Girl is Mine" features a funky, bassful hip-hop styled beat, that Will might very describe as being a "club banger". Noteworthy is its use of what might very well be a trash can, giving it a truly unique sound.

This track is much more than a classic remix - Will and Michael have made it a song in its own right, with Will accompanying Michael on the chorus, following "the girl is mine...", with a rhythmic "she mine, she mine" -- and "don't waste your time...", with "your time, your time". Will also interjects with rap-styled vocals: "She likes the way I rock, the-way-I-rock".

Paul McCartney is nowhere to be found on this track, with Will playing "the other guy", who instead of bickering with Michael (as in the classic track), makes a "comeback" with a rap verse nearing the end. The song is more collaborative than the original, which features Michael and Paul arguing back and fourth -- in this version Will is very much a part of Michael's vocals, and vice versa.

You're going to notice a different cut of vocals from Michael for this track. They're not brand-new, though some of the ad-libs questionably may very well be, though it's hard to discern considering the thousands of vocal cuts that must exist in Michael's collection. It's very exciting to hear though, because brand-new or not, they're still new, in that they're being released for the first time just now.

All in all it's an excellent track that you won't be able to resist the urge to bob your head to. The hard beat and funky sounds, accompanied by Michael's incredible vocals and Will's unique rap style are undoubtably going to put it on the top of the club charts.

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (running time: 4m14s)

The big question everyone has been asking is: Is this the same song I've heard on YouTube? The answer: Yes. Sorta.

Akon's vocals are very much the same as the "leaked" version, which I'd have to assume is a demo. The actual Thriller 25 version is much fuller, and features some of Michael's classic vocals, and a verse from the original song.

It doesn't seem to contain any different vocals from Michael, unlike "The Girl is Mine", though Michael's verse seems to start off a little 'differently' and yet immediately reverts back to the way I've heard it a thousand times. This may be something to do with the mixing, or perhaps they included that little twist just to give it a fresher sound.

It's generally a very smooth track, with a nice piano accompaniment, and what might just be an extremely soft backing by Michael, though it's hard to tell. "Mamma say mama sah ma ma ku sah" features a heavy, hard bass sound, that's sure to knock off a few pictures from the wall at full blast - it's bit of an escape from the underlying soulful sound, which slowly evaporates into what one can only describe as a dance track.

Overall I think it's a great song, but this is probably dependent on your taste for Akon. If you don't like Akon you're not going to like this track, plain and simple - a decision which I know many have made already!

For All Time (running time: 4m4s)

"For All Time" was leaked at least a year, maybe 2 years ago, and this version is not much different, but it is different. Clearly it has been remastered for this release, with a much crisper, clearer sound, bringing out Michael's vocals far more than the "original".

It features a different bridge than the one we all know, more vocal than the original, which most likely is from another cut. If you're a fan of this track already, then you're going to love this version, which sounds more fuller and more complete, but is still very much the same.

1 comment so far.

  1. Jennifer December 16, 2007 at 4:58 AM
    Why would he work with Akon?! India.Arie even mentioned that she did not want to work with him on his album but her label wanted it for the video. Fortunately, it is not on the CD. I want to call him acorn. But, I know that is not his name! I am so bad! ;)

    Michael does not need to collaborate with anyone. I love his voice alone but I guess he wants to bring in a younger generation to appreciate him.

    Oh, a reason why I "heard" that Paul McCartney may not with Michael Jackson again is because of MJ's ownership of the Beatles catalogue. Paul is not very happy with that sale to him. I can understand that. But, I guess $$ talks in this situation. Capitalism!

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