Given the cash-in nature of posthumously assembled albums, I’m a little surprised by the restraint in terms of celebrity guests featured on the tracklist for “Michael,” the new MJ album. Akon, 50-Cent and Lenny Kravitz, all of whom he had been working with before his death were not big surprises (Kanye West and, who were also working with him are not featured, perhaps they are saving it for the fifth or sixth posthumous album).
The only collaborator I wasn’t expecting was Ryuichi Sakamoto. It’s well known pop music lore that Sakamoto and Jackson recorded a version of YMO’s “Behind the Mask” for Thriller. But the song didn’t make the album cut, possibly for legal reasons, and Jackson’s arrangement was rerecorded and released by Greg Phillinganes in 1985. Now the MJ version is finally seeing release, albeit in an updated version.

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