146: Cascio Tracks Removal Roundtable

On November 8, 2010, Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson unveiled the first song from their new Michael Jackson album in a worldwide premiere via michaeljackson.com. The song, called “Breaking News,” was said to have been written and produced by Eddie Cascio, James Porte and Michael Jackson. But there was one problem… The Jackson family, several of Michael’s former collaborators, and thousands of fans around the world believed the track was fake, with vocals sung by an impostor.

Five weeks after the premiere, “Breaking News” and two other songs also believed to be fakes were commercially released on the album, simply titled “Michael”. Despite the ongoing protests of fans around the world (including The MJCast), the album would remain commercially available in music stores, via online retailers and on streaming platforms for nearly twelve years. One fan in particular, Vera Serova, filed a class action lawsuit against the Estate, Sony, Cascio, Porte and their production company in 2014, which remains unresolved to this day.

Finally, in 2022, the three tracks in question have been removed from digital platforms.

In this conversation, host Jamon Bull is joined by author and Cascio track expert Damien Shields, studio engineer Dan Villalobos, award-winning journalist Charles Thomson, and Friends of the Show James Alay and Samar Habib. The panel discusses the impact of the Cascio Tracks, the long-running lawsuit to have them removed, emerging news that the songs have been removed, and also a statement from the Michael Jackson Estate’s online team that they have removed the songs from sale not because of their legitimacy, but because they have been distracting fans from buying more posthumous products.

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Participants
• Jamon Bull
• Damien Shields
• Dan Villalobos
• James Alay
• Charles Thomson
• Samar Habib

Additional Links
• The MJCast’s Remove the Cascio Tracks Now campaign
• #TheMJCast067: Joseph Vogel Special
• Damien Shields’s website, with a section dedicated to the Cascio Tracks.
• Damien’s upcoming Faking Michael podcast
• Damien’s book, Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault

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If you have feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Keep Michaeling!

141: Janet Jackson Documentary Roundtable

The team is back for Season Eight of the The MJCast! Host Jamon Bull is joined by Charles Thomson, Charlie Carter, and Courtney Stribling and Cuzin Kam (co-hosts of the Janet Jackson podcast, Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever) for a Roundtable to discuss the recent multi-part documentary series, JANET JACKSON. In this in-depth, lively chat, the guys and gals dissect their thoughts on pluses and minuses of the series, from the promos, to the rare footage, to representations of Janet, Michael, as well as other Jackson family members, and much more.

The MJCast team has a great season planned. Thank you for joining us!

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Additional Links
• 10 things we learned about Michael from the Janet Jackson documentary
• Links to listen to Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever podcast

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If you have feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Keep Michaeling!

139: Invincible 20 Roundtable

Released in 2001, Invincible was the seventh adult, solo studio album from Michael Jackson. Having released HIStory and Blood on the Dance Floor in uncharacteristically quick succession, Jackson had then largely retreated from the limelight for four years, appearing only at a handful of awards ceremonies and benefit concerts between 1998 and 2001.

Anticipation in the fan community was high. Appearing at the World Music Awards in 2000, to be honoured for his unparalleled success in the music industry, Jackson had teased in his acceptance speech: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” But whether the eventual album lived up to Jackson’s hype has split fans for the past two decades.

Invincible would be released in 2001 to a lukewarm critical reception, with many reviewers saying the man dubbed the King of Pop for his trendsetting career was now reduced to following trends instead, bringing in younger artists and lending his vocals to their work. With just two entirely self-penned songs on the 16-track album, Jackson seemed to be something of a passenger on his own album.

With his physical appearance attracting more interest than his art, and coverage of the album’s release unfortunately coinciding with the biggest news event of the century – the 9/11 terror attacks – the album charted well upon release but quickly sank, receiving little promotion from either Jackson or his record label.

By summer 2002, artist and label were locked in a vicious battle, with Jackson accusing Sony of sabotaging the project as part of a racist conspiracy, and the label countering that Jackson’s career had been killed by allegations of child molestation.

So what is Invincible’s true place in Jackson’s legacy? Did it deserve the critical pasting it received? Have the songs aged well? Would they have fared better if they had been released at a different time? In what is bound to be one of the most controversial episodes in this podcast’s history, our panellists (Jamon Bull, Shawn Shackelford, James Alay, John Cameron and Charles Thomson) ask and answer these questions, and many more.

This episode was edited by Jamon Bull.

Participants
• Jamon Bull
• Shawn Shackelford
• James Alay
• John Cameron
• Charles Thomson

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If you have feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Keep Michaeling!

119: HIStory 25 Roundtable

Twenty-five years ago, Michael Jackson released what is arguably his most important, and certainly his most personal album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. Emerging from the tumultuous mid-90s era, when Jackson was treated more harshly than ever by the media, the album is an explosion of his rage and frustration. It is the most raw of any of his studio work, addressing the media, race relations, and tapping into his personal struggles in a way he never had before. Despite the fact that the album was reviewed negatively by some critics (primarily those who had written him off after the 1993 allegations), it would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, and the bold messaging of the songs would endure. Ultimately, these iconic tracks feel more relevant than ever today.

To celebrate twenty-five years of this masterpiece, The MJCast brings together a roundtable panel of Michael Jackson experts and mega-fans to discuss this landmark album, analyzing it track-by-track, discussing the short films, and exploring its relevance in the 1990s, and today. This discussion is hosted and moderated by James Alay, and includes panelists Rickey Alexander, Maria Paalberg Musoga, John Cameron, and Samar Habib.

Participants
James Alay, host/moderator.
Rickey Alexander, author of “A Track-By-Track Synopsis of Michael Jackson’s History 25 Years Later”.
Maria Paalberg Musoga, creator of a short documentary on the #BlackLivesMatter protests in Sacramento, California.
John Cameron, creator of the #JCsMusicology podcast.
Samar Habib, creator of The Michael Jackson Academia Project.

Ad Breaks
• Audible – Great audiobooks.
• The MJCast’s official shop. Support The MJCast and Michael Jackson all at the same time by buying some of our merchandise.

Connect with us
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If you have feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Keep Michaeling!

095: Leaving Neverland Roundtable

The recent Sundance screening of Dan Reed’s inflammatory film, Leaving Neverland, has, without a doubt, rocked the Michael Jackson community. Despite being based on the easily discredited stories of Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, and lacking any sort of real investigation, balanced interviews, or responsible journalism, this film has reignited the media’s firestorm against Jackson’s legacy, even as Michael is not here to defend himself.

In this special roundtable episode, The MJCast brings together a panel of experts and those who have seen the film and are taking action against it. Q and Jamon lead the discussion, and are joined by Taj Jackson (member of 3T and son of Tito Jackson, who is currently raising funds to produce his own docu-series), Charles Thomson (The MJCast’s Legal Correspondent and award-winning investigative journalist who has exposed a range of actual child abusers and cover-ups for The Yellow Advertiser in the UK), Marcos Cabotá (a film director who has seen the film and was one of its earlier critics) and Samar Habib (of the Michael Jackson Academia Project, who has been a leading figure in the online movement against the film).

The panellists discuss Reed’s film, the Sundance Q&A session, and the media reaction, as well as developments coming together to counter the film, such as Taj’s docu-series, which can be supported on GoFundMe. Taj also speaks to his own experiences of actually spending time with Michael at Neverland. The group offers talking points for anyone struggling with how to respond to people who say that Michael Jackson was an abuser, as well as coping strategies and words of encouragement.

Now, more than ever, it is the time to come together as fans, to support each other, and to remind the media and general public of the truth. The MJCast hopes that this episode provides resources, strength, and a sense of community during this challenging moment.

Participants
• Q (Host of The MJCast)
• Jamon Bull (Host of The MJCast)
• Charles Thomson (Award-winning investigative journalist and Legal Correspondent for The MJCast)
• Taj Jackson (Member of 3T, son of Tito Jackson and nephew to Michael Jackson)
• Marcos Cabotá (Film director best known for his Star Wars documentary, I Am Your Father)
• Samar Habib (Michael Jackson Academia Project)

Topics
• Leaving Neverland
• The reality of Robson’s relationship with the Jackson family, and why he turned on them.
• The effects on the Jackson family.
• Taj’s memories of spending time at Neverland with Michael, and what it was like being there during the 2005 trial.
• Taj’s GoFundMe campaign and his vision for the docu-series.
• How fans can combat this onslaught, and how this compares to 1993 and 2003-2005.
• Fan Comebacks 101 – Robson.
• Fan Comebacks 101 – General Allegations.
• Tips on coping, finding community, and supporting balanced opinions.

Additional Links
• Taj Jackson’s GoFundMe campaign
• Marcos Cabotá’s documentary I Am Your Father on iTunes and Netflix
• The MJCast: Episode 094 – Harrison Funk Special
• Jermaine Jackson’s appearance on Good Morning Britain
• Michael Jackson and Wade Robson: The Real Story
• Joseph Vogel’s Forbes article What You Should Know About the New Michael Jackson Documentary
• RazörFist’s The Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 1) and Defaming the Dead: The Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 2)
• Macaulay Culkin’s appearance on the Inside of You podcast
• Taj Jackson’s interview around Leaving Neverland on Sunrise
• Mary Fischer’s GQ article Was Michael Jackson Framed?
• FBI files pertaining to their ten-year investigation into Michael Jackson
• The MJCast – Episode 058: Vindication Day Special (Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations)

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Michael on!

090: Thriller 3D Roundtable

Happy Thriller Night 2018! While Jamon is busy setting up Studio Brisbane and Q is on holiday, Elise takes over for this special roundtable discussion focused on the world’s favorite dancing zombie, Michael Jackson. She welcomes two long-time Friends of the Show and regular guests, James Alay and Andy Healy, to join her for an in-depth chat about the recent IMAX theater release of ‘Thriller 3D’.

The Halloween trio discuss their first memories of the original ‘Thriller’ short film, experiences seeing ‘Thriller 3D’, thoughts on promotion and screenings (the decision to not screen the film in Australia is another reason that Jamon and Q are not part of this episode), the quality of the remastering, impact of this iconic film which changed the landscape of pop culture, their feelings around supporting the Estate when it comes to respectful and quality products, and the possible future of ‘Thriller’ in the years and decades to come.

The MJCast wishes all of our listeners a great Thriller Night!

Participants
Elise Capron, Web Assistant at The MJCast
James Alay, researcher, megafan, and part of the A Truth Untold project
Andy Healy, author of the MJ 101 series

Topics
First time seeing ‘Thriller’.
Thriller 3D experiences.
The Remastering: audio and video quality.
The impact and legacy of the ‘Thriller’ short film.
The Estate: If/when/how we should cautiously give support?
• What’s next for ‘Thriller’ and other potential Estate products?

Additional Links
James Alay’s last show appearance; Episode 052 – Michael Prince Special
• Andy Healy’s last show appearance; Episode 076 – MJ101 Special: Thriller 35
Episode 068 – Thriller Night Special with Ola Ray
Episode 043 – Thriller Night Special feat. CJ DeVillar
Episode 019 – Thriller Night Halloween Special with LaVelle Smith Jr.

Music Breaks
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Stranger Things Season 2 UltraTraxx Maxi Mix)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Groovefunkel Remix)
Michael Jackson – Ghosts (Ajax’s Multitrack Mix)
Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me (feat. Michael Jackson) [No Idols Remix]

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comStay BAD!

083: Reflections on Joseph Jackson Roundtable

On June 27th, 2018, the patriarch of the Jackson family, Joseph Walter Jackson, passed away. Jamon and Q welcome return guest Taj Jackson to discuss memories of his grandfather, and to set the record straight regarding the way the way the media has handled news of Joe’s passing. For this very special roundtable episode, the guys are also joined by The MJCast’s Jackson Family Correspondent, Janneke van der Linden, and Legal Correspondent, Charles Thomson.

Joe Jackson, also known as ‘The Hawk’, started life with a rough childhood in Arkansas. He married Katherine Scruse, and fathered ten children with her, all while working two jobs, one at a steel mill and another as a welder, imbuing his children with a love of music and performance. Joe quickly started managing his son’s blossoming musical careers, and, though he became known for ruling the group with an iron fist, loved ones say his fire only sprang from wanting the very best for his children. He pushed his sons to achieve greater and greater heights, from local talent shows, to national competitions, to Steeltown Records, Motown, and international stardom.

Joe was a complex and sometimes controversial figure, but he is remembered now, by his family members, for his amazing will and the sacrifices he made to help his sons reach incredible levels of success. He was also there for his son, Michael, through many of the hardest years of his life, particularly during the 2005 trial and in the lead up to Michael’s ill-fated This Is It tour.

The MJCast’s entire team offer their condolences to the Jackson family on their loss, and thank Taj for sharing his memories. May Joe rest in peace.

Additional Links
Taj Jackson’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages
Charles Thomson’s Facebook, Twitter and website
• Janneke van der Linden’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages and Website
• The MJCast – Episode 020: Taj Jackson Special on themjcast.com and Apple Podcasts
• The MJCast – Episode 050: Tito Jackson Special on themjcast.com and Apple Podcasts
• Michael Jackson’s 2001 Oxford University speech
• Joseph Jackson’s 2014 TV One interview

Ad & Music Breaks
The Jacksons – I’ll Be There (Live at Motown 25)
• Michael Jackson – To Make My Father Proud on YouTube and Apple Music

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comMichael on!

045: Dangerous 25 Roundtable (Part 1)

Twenty-five years ago today Michael Jackson released perhaps his most important album… Dangerous. Sonically groundbreaking, spiritually profound, sexually provocative and socially conscious, Dangerous exploded onto the music market on November 26th, 1991, taking Michael to new global audiences and cementing his position not only as the King of Pop, but an artist willing to illuminate and challenge some of the world’s most important issues. In many ways, the album is relevant now more than ever. To celebrate twenty-five years of this masterpiece, The MJCast has brought together a roundtable panel of authors, academics and researchers – all mega fans.

Q, Elizabeth, Mike, James, Andy & Samar begin the show by giving brief introductions as to who they are and their early experiences with the Dangerous album, followed by an exploration into the album’s groundbreaking sound. Next, the panel delves into the album’s masterpiece cover art by Mark Ryden, an analysis of the song and video Black Or White and the lyrical messages within Dangerous. The show finishes up with a discussion around the short films for the album. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this Roundtable as we continue our celebrations of Dangerous 25!

Participants
• Q, Co-Host of The MJCast.
• Elizabeth Amisu, author of The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife.
• Mike Smallcombe, author of Making Michael: Inside the Career of Michael Jackson.
• James Alay
• Andy Healy, author of the MJ 101 series.
• Samar Habib, creator of The Michael Jackson Academia Project.

Topics
• 
The sound of Dangerous
• The Dangerous album cover
• Black Or White
• The lyrical messages of Dangerous
• Dangerous’ short films

Music Breaks & Ads
• 
Michael Jackson – Remember The Time (New Jack Main Mix)
• Michael Jackson – In The Closet (The Newark Mix)
• Michael Jackson – Black Or White (Immortal Version)
• Michael Jackson – Dangerous (Live From A Night at the Apollo, 2002)
• Jackson Source

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comMichael on!

Episode 042 – Michael Jackson & Prince Roundtable (Part 2)

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Welcome to part two of our Michael Jackson & Prince roundtable discussion, a new format for The MJCast which a panel of expert participants discuss a particular topic in depth. For this second and concluding episode, returning guest Paul Black continues moderating our discussion around the two legendary entertainers, Prince and Michael Jackson. Participants again include Samar of The Michael Jackson Academia Project, Casey Rain and Kim Camilia of The Violet Reality, Charles Thomson, Jamon Bull of The MJCast and of course, Paul Black. Beginning with an exploration into the participants personal experiences with Michael Jackson and Prince, Paul then leads us in a comparative discussion around the unfortunate deaths of both artists, their commitment to challenging expectations in a corrupt entertainment industry and finally their impacts on culture, style and fashion.

Participants

Topics

  • Our personal experiences with Michael Jackson and Prince
  • The deaths of Prince and Michael Jackson
  • Artistic independence (challenging the industry)
  • Cultural impact
  • Michael and Prince as style/fashion icons

Links

The Violet Reality on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Music Breaks & Ads

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comKeep Michaeling!

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Episode 041 – Michael Jackson & Prince Roundtable (Part 1)

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Welcome to the first roundtable episode of The MJCast, a format in which a panel of expert participants discuss a particular topic in depth. For this debut roundtable, returning guest Paul Black moderates a discussion around two legendary entertainers, Prince and Michael Jackson. Participants include Samar of The Michael Jackson Academia Project, Casey Rain and Kim Camilia of The Violet Reality, Charles Thomson, Jamon Bull of The MJCast and as mentioned, Paul Black. Beginning with an exploration into the participants own experiences and views on both artists, Paul then takes the conversation in the direction of Prince and Michael’s individual strengths as recording artists and live performers, all while exploring their similarities, differences and awareness of each other.

Participants

Topics

  • Our own views and experiences around Michael Jackson and Prince
  • Sexuality
  • Studio musicianship
  • Live performance

Links

The Violet Reality on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Music Breaks & Ads

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comMichael On!

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