A lot of books are written about Michael Jackson and I do my best to read majority of them but to be honest not all those books excite me. While I can go without ever reading another Michael Jackson biography; I value the books that provide new information, new insights, and anecdotes from the people who were around Michael. It’s those books that help us understand Michael Jackson - the artist, the philanthropist, the person, the father- more.

Michael Jackson’s music and art has a special place for all of us. After all his music, dance and short videos are the reason why we became fans in the first place. While authors such as Joe Vogel, Chris Cadman, and Susan Fast have done commendable job in writing about Michael’s music, fans are still striving to find information about Michael Jackson’s unreleased and mostly unknown music. On Michael Jackson fan forums I have seen post after post trying to gather information about such songs.

Xscape Origins by Damien Shields sets to provide the very much sought after information about the songs on the posthumous Xscape album.  Now I know, posthumous albums are a controversial issue among fans and I’m not talking about contemporized versions of the songs. Even releasing original songs that Michael did not finish and release in his lifetime could be seen as a topic of debate among fans. However Xscape Origins goal is to provide the reader with the story of the creation of the songs on Xscape album.  As far as the Xscape Origins book goes, it doesn’t matter if you are for or against posthumous albums, it doesn’t matter if you prefer contemporized versions or the originals. The correct question to ask is “Do I want to know the story of these songs, learn about their creation history?” If your answer is “Yes”, Xscape Origins is the book for you.


I was given an advance copy of the "Remember the Time : Protecting Michael Jackson in his final days" by MJ's bodyguards Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard

Below is my review and brief summary. 

As a MJ fan who has read all the books written about him, I look for unique and interesting books about him. This book delivers on that front. It's not the same old stuff you read a million times before, it's the unique and first hand experiences of Bill and Javon. Just this could be enough reason to get the book. 

The book covers December 2006 (when Michael returned to US) to June 2009 (his death). Although Bill and Javon worked for Michael till the day he died, the bulk of the book covers the period between December 2006 to early 2009 when Michael moved to LA. (Bill and Javon did not go to LA but was supposed to join Michael at London). Book talks about Michael's stay at Las Vegas, Virginia, New Jersey and back at Las Vegas. 


Note: Many people have requested a summary of Mottola's book to learn about what he said about Michael. Tommy Mottola has released his autobiography called Hitmaker. This book is not about Michael Jackson but Mottola mentions his interactions with Michael in it – although they aren't a lot or long in nature. 

Here is the summary : (Dates aren't exact, direct quotes are in blue)

Mottola very early in the book mentions Michael calling him racist and denies such claims mentioning his wives & openness to all cultures. He says Michael lashing out had nothing to do with racism but it was about declining sales numbers and Michael wanting to get out of his contract withSony

Tommy Mottola : “The attack was sad and pathetic. As the head of the company, I remained above the fray and most certainly did not comment on it. Now that Michael has passed there’s little benefit to me in bringing the incident back up. But if you know me, you know that I’m not the kind of guy to avoid it.


Full quotes from Paul Anka's book

Michael Jackson was a classic example of a songwriter who began with very basic ideas. He was not a great musician, not particularly talented at playing an instrument— piano, guitar, whatever— but he had this great way of singing out the parts so that the arranger could hear the latent potential.

Everyone has a dark side, but in those days no one guessed that there could be a dark side to Michael Jackson. However, I saw it early on and it wasn’t pretty. I had a cool run of stuff in the early seventies, but at some point I decided to get back to writing with other people. I love collaboration and the diversity it brings to a song. 


The book starts with Andy Picheta writing "For the fans of Michael: You were right". And yeah we were right as you will see when you read through what I wrote below. 

the idea of the tribute was introduced by Jeffre Phillips - Latoya's boyfriend and their company Ja-Tail was behind it. 

They had high expectations for the tribute concert with high attendance, Live Broadcast, DVD and Cinema releases and such and hoped to bypass "This is it" Movie revenues ($400 Million). 

They selected the location as UK to benefit from tax relief and Cardiff was selected because initially Wembley was booked and Cardiff was cheaper. Another reason for the selection of UK is due to the different copyright laws. 

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