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Post here if you worked on Michael Jackson's DANGEROUS album
Old 10th July 2009
  #361
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
Thanks Rob for all your great stories and for taking the time. This is the best thread I've seen on any of the forums, thanks.

Since Michael's death (gosh that's hard to say) I haven't watched much of the news or listened to any of his music, but did attend the memorial service at a local movie theater in Nashville and watched it on the big screen. What a great feeling it was to be surrounded by people who hurt as bad as I did for 2 hours and hear the music blasting in the theater.
The TV news interviewed me and I got my picture in the paper, nice items to add to a box of MJ stuff I keep.

I've got some great stories too ... and they will be told in Bruce's upcoming book. I worked on the "BAD" album and was around Michael for two years, and got to know him pretty well. Back at the time, we didn't have a musical director, it was just Michael, Bruce & Quincy and the rest of us were family. Bruce's book has been a couple years in the making, I'm sure the release was planned to work off of the publicity of the tour, not the unfortunate circumstances we're all dealing with now. Oh and no there wasn't a cage at Westlake for Bubbles, but I did play with him a lot.

I've got a session about to start, so I need to sign off for now, if anyone has any questions from the "BAD" era, I'll be happy to talk about it and some of my wonderful memories of MJ, Bruce and Quincy. They changed my life.

Russ
Nashville
"In Order To Predict The Future ... Create It"
Yes , the cage was there they showed it to me . I was there 3 years ago, maybe it was moved there later on but i can guarantee you it's there
Old 10th July 2009
  #362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trog View Post
Amazing way to write string parts. It brought up another question about something you wrote earlier, Robmix:

I've always been extremely impressed with Michael as a songwriter (an area where he's criminally underrated). When writing the chords, would he always sing them out note-by-note? Would he ever name the chords? Did he know the names of the chords? Play them on an instrument? Many of Michael's songs are not simple I-IV-V songs, and there are more than a few "exotic" chords and progressions in his compositions that bespeak some technical harmonic knowledge. I can't imagine composing some of that harmony by ear--but is that really how it's done? If so, wow...

And one more thing....what was the song you mentioned that MJ wrote overnight?

Thanks again! I've learned a ton from this thread!
I don't think he knew the names of notes or chords. At least I never heard him name them. I think the "exotic" chords or progressions are probably due to the arrangers trying to harmonize MJ's melodies if he didn't have an exact chord in mind.

I've got a lot of unreleased titles in my head, but I should probably wait to see what gets released so as not to fuel the rumor mills.
Old 10th July 2009
  #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerousInc View Post
Could you please tell me about the process of doing the music for Michaels short films?

How was the the group Odulum recorded live in Rio as they were used in the music video They Don't Care About Us incorporated with the single mix.

Thank you.
I worked on the Ghost film for quite a while. Michael would have ideas, much the way he makes a record, and he would dictate to one of the crew what he wanted - singing, and beat boxing. As the film progressed those ideas would be refined, often while filming was taking place. We would get video from the set and need to edit and make changes, sometimes with MJ there, sometimes without. There would be remixes, and original music based on stuff the choreographers would do. They might dance to something on the set with either a click track or loop, and then we would build the track around their movements.

Not sure who recorded Odulum . . .
Old 10th July 2009
  #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chtimixeur View Post
I've got some more questions about HIStory :
- was the album always intended to be titled HIStory, or were there other names earlier on ?
- did some songs have different working titles ?
- who did edit "They Don't Care About Us" after the controversy ?
- can you give us some details about the session with Shaq ?
- were there other rappers who came in, but whose rap wasn't selected ?

Thanks in advance
As early as I can remember it was called HIStory, never heard of another working title.

Some of the songs had different working titles, many had a title right from the start.

Eddie Delena, Andrew and MJ did the "they don't care about us" edit

Shaq was recorded down in Orlando. Rene Moore flew out there to capture it. I think they recorded at Platinum Post (Full Sail recording school).

No other rappers were recorded for the section. it was always to be Shaq. He's a really good writer, comes up with stuff on the spot, and nails it. I got to work with him on Quincy's record a few months after HIStory.
Old 10th July 2009
  #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdjice View Post
Yes , the cage was there they showed it to me . I was there 3 years ago, maybe it was moved there later on but i can guarantee you it's there
That one may come down to urban legend, and a great story passed on amongst the Westlake alumni . . . . .
Old 10th July 2009
  #366
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This is for robmix, russrags, and anyone else who worked with MJ--a question that might fall into the rumor mill-fueling category, so dodge if you must: Is there a decent amount of releasable (finished or close-to-finished) tracks from the sessions you worked on?

Michael was said to have written 80 songs for Bad (not sure what the case was for HIStory). How many of those songs were seriously worked on in the studio? And in what shape did the demos come in, if they were Michael's own compositions?

Thanks!
Old 10th July 2009
  #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trog View Post
This is for robmix, russrags, and anyone else who worked with MJ--a question that might fall into the rumor mill-fueling category, so dodge if you must: Is there a decent amount of releasable (finished or close-to-finished) tracks from the sessions you worked on?

Michael was said to have written 80 songs for Bad (not sure what the case was for HIStory). How many of those songs were seriously worked on in the studio? And in what shape did the demos come in, if they were Michael's own compositions?

Thanks!
Some of the unfinished songs from HIStory ended up on Blood On the Dancefloor. There are piles of unfinished grooves. I can think of three finished songs that could be released if the family chooses to.
Old 10th July 2009
  #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
Some of the unfinished songs from HIStory ended up on Blood On the Dancefloor. There are piles of unfinished grooves. I can think of three finished songs that could be released if the family chooses to.
And do you think those three finished songs would be up to MJ standards?
When I say standards I'm not talking of Billie Jean or Thriller.
I ask you this because nowadays a lot of Newspapers and Websites are saying that there are montains of unreleased material from Michael. And a lot of people is speculating, some people say that if they weren't released back then it's because they weren't good enough. Some other people thinks they weren't released back then because it didn't fit the purpose or idea of the album itself.
Old 10th July 2009
  #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F D B View Post
And do you think those three finished songs would be up to MJ standards?
When I say standards I'm not talking of Billie Jean or Thriller.
I ask you this because nowadays a lot of Newspapers and Websites are saying that there are montains of unreleased material from Michael. And a lot of people is speculating, some people say that if they weren't released back then it's because they weren't good enough. Some other people thinks they weren't released back then because it didn't fit the purpose or idea of the album itself.
yes, the ones I know of would be great. I'm sure there are many others that simply are not finished.
Old 10th July 2009
  #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
Some of the songs had different working titles, many had a title right from the start.
Do you remember any of those working titles ?
(I have no idea if you're allowed to tell them, or if you want to, so I'm just asking in case you want to share those working titles, and not trying to pressure you or whatever )

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
No other rappers were recorded for the section. it was always to be Shaq. He's a really good writer, comes up with stuff on the spot, and nails it. I got to work with him on Quincy's record a few months after HIStory.
When I was asking about other rappers, I was not specifically thinking about 2 Bad's rap. I was just wondering if some rappers had come to the studios for songs that did not make the cut (you mentioned 40 songs that were cut, so I guessed a few of them must have had a rap)

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
Some of the unfinished songs from HIStory ended up on Blood On the Dancefloor.
Are those Morphine, Is It Scary and Ghosts ?
Did you notice any differences between the versions you heard in 1994/1995 and the retail versions that were released in 1997 ? Did Michael go back in the studio for a while prior to the release of Blood on the Dance Floor, or did he just release those songs without changing anything ?

Do you have any memories from the Morphine sessions ?
I've read here and there on the internet it had 2 alternative titles : "Demerol" and "Just Say No". Is it true ?
I've always been very impressed by the beat of this song and by the lyrics. It looks like this song meant a lot to him, and I just wish I had seen him perform this one in the booth. Did he seem a bit more tense than usual before singing this song ?
Old 10th July 2009
  #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chtimixeur View Post
Do you remember any of those working titles ?
(I have no idea if you're allowed to tell them, or if you want to, so I'm just asking in case you want to share those working titles, and not trying to pressure you or whatever )

When I was asking about other rappers, I was not specifically thinking about 2 Bad's rap. I was just wondering if some rappers had come to the studios for songs that did not make the cut (you mentioned 40 songs that were cut, so I guessed a few of them must have had a rap)

Are those Morphine, Is It Scary and Ghosts ?
Did you notice any differences between the versions you heard in 1994/1995 and the retail versions that were released in 1997 ? Did Michael go back in the studio for a while prior to the release of Blood on the Dance Floor, or did he just release those songs without changing anything ?

Do you have any memories from the Morphine sessions ?
I've read here and there on the internet it had 2 alternative titles : "Demerol" and "Just Say No". Is it true ?
I've always been very impressed by the beat of this song and by the lyrics. It looks like this song meant a lot to him, and I just wish I had seen him perform this one in the booth. Did he seem a bit more tense than usual before singing this song ?
Not sure I can or should reveal the working titles. MJ chose the titles as they are for release.

I don't recall any other rappers coming in.

Morphine, Scary, and Ghost are the songs we worked on during HIStory. Ghost was a rework from Dangerous as Teddy started the track, and Rene Moore worked on it quite a bit with Bruce and me during the fall of '95. I vaguely remember the title "demerol", and it may have turned into "morphine". We started on the Blood songs again right after finishing the Ghost short film. The sessions just rolled into each other. I pulled out a bit before the end in the fall of '96. Eddie, Andrew, and a couple other engineers finished the tracks with Michael. As far as I can tell the songs did not change much from the time that I left and the release of the record. Nothing stands out from the Morphine sessions except some extremely long and very loud listening sessions. It's obviously influenced by NIN, which I've mentioned before in this thread.
Old 10th July 2009
  #372
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Michael was said to have written 80 songs for Bad (not sure what the case was for HIStory). How many of those songs were seriously worked on in the studio? And in what shape did the demos come in, if they were Michael's own compositions?
Trog, "BAD" has eleven songs on it, there was only one out take recorded and that song was called "Street Walker" which now appears on the "BAD" Special Edition. We also recorded several songs in French & Spanish.

I think Michael had written 80 songs maybe, but Quincy narrowed it down to 12 before recording began the Fall of '86.

I'll have more stories tomorrow ... but sorry, NO Monkey Cage during "BAD,"
I also worked on Quincy's "Back On The Block" still no monkey cage then either ..... but

after we finished "BAD" I logged and delivered over 800 Multi track reels, both Analog, Digital & 2-trk tapes ... all to get 12 songs!!!

Russ
Nashville
"In Order To Predict The Future ... Create It"
Old 11th July 2009
  #373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
after we finished "BAD" I logged and delivered over 800 Multi track reels, both Analog, Digital & 2-trk tapes ... all to get 12 songs!!!

Russ
Nashville
"In Order To Predict The Future ... Create It"

Ahh yes, the tapes. I think we had about 1200-1400 multitrack tapes and another 800 DAT's and cassettes.
Old 11th July 2009
  #374
Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
I also worked on Quincy's "Back On The Block"
Hi Russ - which camp? Brad and Matt were with me at Record One and I also moved between The Lighthouse and Jay Graydon's studio on that project.

Rail
Old 11th July 2009
  #375
Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
Ahh yes, the tapes. I think we had about 1200-1400 multitrack tapes and another 800 DAT's and cassettes.
I think you have to explain how Bruce works to explain that - where each overdub artist gets their own 2" reel of tape to work on... so there are a ****-load of slave reels for each song. It's a full-time job just keeping the slave reels updated.

Cheers,

Rail
Old 11th July 2009
  #376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
Trog, "BAD" has eleven songs on it, there was only one out take recorded and that song was called "Street Walker" which now appears on the "BAD" Special Edition. We also recorded several songs in French & Spanish.

I think Michael had written 80 songs maybe, but Quincy narrowed it down to 12 before recording began the Fall of '86.
What about Fly Away and Cheater ? Were they just demos that were never "officially" recorded ?
I've also read about "Chicago 1945" which is supposed to be a BAD outtake, as well as "Crack Kills" (featuring Run DMC)...

There is also a lot of rumours on the internet about Michael recording dozens of Beatles songs around this period of time. Do you know if it is true ?

Thanks in advance for answering, and by the way, I can't wait to read your stories about the BAD sessions.
Old 11th July 2009
  #377
Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
Thanks Rob for all your great stories and for taking the time. This is the best thread I've seen on any of the forums, thanks.

Since Michael's death (gosh that's hard to say) I haven't watched much of the news or listened to any of his music, but did attend the memorial service at a local movie theater in Nashville and watched it on the big screen. What a great feeling it was to be surrounded by people who hurt as bad as I did for 2 hours and hear the music blasting in the theater.
The TV news interviewed me and I got my picture in the paper, nice items to add to a box of MJ stuff I keep.

I've got some great stories too ... and they will be told in Bruce's upcoming book. I worked on the "BAD" album and was around Michael for two years, and got to know him pretty well. Back at the time, we didn't have a musical director, it was just Michael, Bruce & Quincy and the rest of us were family. Bruce's book has been a couple years in the making, I'm sure the release was planned to work off of the publicity of the tour, not the unfortunate circumstances we're all dealing with now. Oh and no there wasn't a cage at Westlake for Bubbles, but I did play with him a lot.

I've got a session about to start, so I need to sign off for now, if anyone has any questions from the "BAD" era, I'll be happy to talk about it and some of my wonderful memories of MJ, Bruce and Quincy. They changed my life.

Russ
Nashville
"In Order To Predict The Future ... Create It"
.

wow - thank, russ - that's awesome of you to show up here!

cheers for your generosity contributing here, as well!

...i was hoping we'd get some more foks here who worked with MJ.

this is really great!




...i'm terribly sorry for the loss of your wonderfully talented collaborator...

yes, it's very sad - and feels like the end of an era.

...i'm sending you some good vibes...cheers, man!


you guys did such incredible work - and you're so lucky to have worked with him!

this amazing music will continue to live with us for a long, long time! SO, THANKS!


and rob and resonator - you guys are princes for sharing so much here with us!

cheers to you both!

.
Old 11th July 2009
  #378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatinumSamples View Post
I think you have to explain how Bruce works to explain that - where each overdub artist gets their own 2" reel of tape to work on... so there are a ****-load of slave reels for each song. It's a full-time job just keeping the slave reels updated.

Cheers,

Rail
Basically there were two master digital 48 track reels per song. So everyone would work on 2" 24 track, and Bruce, Michael and Eddie would comp those work tapes down to the 96 tracks we had available. As I mentioned earlier, on the song "HIStory" we had four 48 track tapes worth of stuff, and those were DASH locked for the mix. Brian Vibberts worked hard to figure out a numbering and cataloging scheme that made sense for the tapes, and it worked perfectly throughout the sessions !!
Old 11th July 2009
  #379
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
Trog, "BAD" has eleven songs on it, there was only one out take recorded and that song was called "Street Walker" which now appears on the "BAD" Special Edition. We also recorded several songs in French & Spanish.

I think Michael had written 80 songs maybe, but Quincy narrowed it down to 12 before recording began the Fall of '86.

I'll have more stories tomorrow ... but sorry, NO Monkey Cage during "BAD,"
I also worked on Quincy's "Back On The Block" still no monkey cage then either ..... but

after we finished "BAD" I logged and delivered over 800 Multi track reels, both Analog, Digital & 2-trk tapes ... all to get 12 songs!!!

Russ
Nashville
"In Order To Predict The Future ... Create It"
Hi Russrags.

Firstly - do you or Robmix know of anyone I could talk to who worked during the Dangerous Sessions?

Secondly - would you reccommend buying 40 DAT tapes worth of recordings from the Bad Sessions? I just want to know in your opinion if the stuff recorded would be worth the purchase.

I'm really after unreleased tapes/acetates/masters from any of the Bad, Dangerous or History (don't like my chances there) recording sessions. This is what I've been seeking out from various people.

Any info on songs that were recorded but didn't make the cut?


Robmix - I have read that Bruce worked on "Basszouille" during 1994 for HIStory.. Any thoughts?
Old 11th July 2009
  #380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bforest4 View Post
If he does, I would love to see a Q&A with him, probably my favorite engineer.
Agreed. Swedien and Bottrell, amazing engineers..
Old 11th July 2009
  #381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
Once, while we were taking a break, I think we were actually watching the OJ chase on TV, there was a news program talking about him being in Europe with some little boy. I was sitting next to the guy while the news is making this crap up. He just looked at me and said this is what I have to deal with.

I spent close to 3 years working with him, and not once did I question his morals, or ever believe any of the allegations. I wasn't even a fan then. I saw him interact with his brothers kids, other people's children, and at one point my own girlfriend's kids. I got to spend a day at Neverland with them. A completely incredible human being, always looking for a way to make all children's lives better. Every weekend at Neverland was donated to a different children's group - children with AIDS, children cancer, etc., and most of the time he wasn't there.

He was simply living the childhood he never had. In many ways he never grew up.

I can believe it. It's so sad how people can say and print whatever they like and they don't have to be accountable.

I saw him at Wembley Stadium in 1992.... the opening to his show was the most exciting thing I have ever witnessed. All around me, kids, skinny white guys like me, tough looking London black dudes, older people....exactly the same reaction...mouths open staring in complete wonder.

I saw Queen live in 1986, and Prince, also in 1992 .... and much as I love them, I never felt as I did at that Michael Jackson concert, and I doubt I ever will again.



Thanks for all the stories btw, it's great to hear about the side of him that mattered, ie as an incredible artist.
Old 11th July 2009
  #382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP777 View Post
Hi Russrags.

Firstly - do you or Robmix know of anyone I could talk to who worked during the Dangerous Sessions?

Secondly - would you reccommend buying 40 DAT tapes worth of recordings from the Bad Sessions? I just want to know in your opinion if the stuff recorded would be worth the purchase.

I'm really after unreleased tapes/acetates/masters from any of the Bad, Dangerous or History (don't like my chances there) recording sessions. This is what I've been seeking out from various people.

Any info on songs that were recorded but didn't make the cut?


Robmix - I have read that Bruce worked on "Basszouille" during 1994 for HIStory.. Any thoughts?
Are you willing to pay a couple of hundred thousand dollars for such material?

Because I imagine that is what it would require at minimum.

Some artists' archive materials - the likes of Elvis, The Beatles, and now Micheal Jackson - are simply priceless.
Old 11th July 2009
  #383
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Could someone please tell me the reason why Speed Demon fade out has crossover of Liberian Girl intro please? It always annoyed me that there isnt a clean fade out of Speed Demon.
Old 11th July 2009
  #384
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Hi Russ - which camp? Brad and Matt were with me at Record One and I also moved between The Lighthouse and Jay Graydon's studio on that project. Rail

"Back On The Block"
I was at the Westlake camp, I did come visit at Record One a few times. I've talked w/ Brad recently, but haven't seen Matt in years. One of the highlights from that session was Quincy producing the song "Places You Find Love" for Barbra Streisand, letting her put it on her album, but not letting her release it as a single ... only for Quincy to rearrange the same song and put it on his record ... it's an interesting study.
I pulled the album (CD) out a couple years ago and noticed that some of it had been recorded in Nashville (where I live now), so I called Bruce and asked him about it and he said, "oh yea we recorded Take 6 in Nashville and talked about Quincy feeling like moving Bruce was like moving an army."

Quote:
DJP777
I'm really after unreleased tapes/acetates/masters from any of the Bad, Dangerous or History (don't like my chances there) recording sessions. This is what I've been seeking out from various people.
I've got a few things you'd LOve .. but there's no way anyone will ever get close to it ... Bruce let me make my own mix of "Liberian Girl" and I chose to only showcase the Paulinho Da Costa percussion tracks. Several years later I was working at another Studio with Paulinho, and after the session I pulled out the tape and played it for him. You should have seen the look on his face, it was a priceless jaw dropping moment. He said, "man during the session, I always wanted to hear it like this, but was afraid to ask, do you think I could get a copy of this???" So Paulinho and I have the only copies that exist.

Quote:
RE: Fly Away and other out takes
Chtimixour yea I forgot about "Fly Away," we ran a pretty tight ship, as we only had a 5 million dollar budget to work with, we couldn't get tooooo carried away Ha!! Ha!! "Street Walker" was a great tune and I went 15 years without hearing it, until the Special Edition came out. "Come Together" was around, we added LIVE audience loops to it from the "Victory Tour" crowd response. Michael loved singing "Black Dog" and it was great hearing him sing it, but no recordings .. dang it !!!

Let me get some more coffee and do a few things around here, and I'll tell you some more ... thanks guys, this isn't what I had planned on telling you, but I'm having fun.

Russ
Nashville
"In Order To Predict The Future ... Create It"
Old 11th July 2009
  #385
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ProFool's Avatar
 

I had goosebumps reading this thread from page one...

Thank you
Old 11th July 2009
  #386
Gear Head
 

Russrags:

Was "Men In Black" worked on or brought up during the Bad Recording Sessions? Do you know anything regarding this project?

I believe a demo was possibly recorded in 1989/1990, maybe earlier? .. The song exists on a rare set of Sony Executive Flight Only Promo CDs


Lastly, to what extent was "Crack Kills" with RUN DMC worked on during the recording of BAD? I've read that MJ had a meeting with them, but nothing ever came of it.. any thoughts?
Old 11th July 2009
  #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
Michael loved singing "Black Dog" and it was great hearing him sing it, but no recordings .. dang it !!!
Is it Black Dog by Led Zeppelin or Blackbird by The Beatles ? I can't really imagine Michael loving any Zeppelin song, but I may be wrong.
If you were talking about Blackbird, well, all I've gotta say is you were very fortunate for being able to witness him while he was singing it. Lucky you !
It's one of the best Beatles songs ever, and IMO, it would have been a perfect match for Michael's sweet voice

Quote:
Originally Posted by russrags View Post
Let me get some more coffee and do a few things around here, and I'll tell you some more ... thanks guys, this isn't what I had planned on telling you, but I'm having fun.
can't wait to hear it !
Old 11th July 2009
  #388
Gear Head
 

New Interview with Teddy Riley on working with MJ:

WHEN “HEAVEN CAN WAIT”: Teddy Riley Remembers Michael Jackson
WHEN “HEAVEN CAN WAIT”: Teddy Riley Remembers Michael Jackson | HipHopWired.com
Old 11th July 2009
  #389
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP777 View Post
Hi Russrags.

Robmix - I have read that Bruce worked on "Basszouille" during 1994 for HIStory.. Any thoughts?

I never saw that title.
Old 11th July 2009
  #390
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MJ

First of all thank you Robmix, Resonator and Russrags for sharing your experiences, it's a once a lifetime for people who followed MJ

Out of interest what songs would Michael sing when he was around the studio, russrags mentioned some beatles songs, just be cool to know what songs got stuck in his head!

Would be interesting to hear any stories about vocal range and power, one story I read from Bruce was how MJ could keep the volume of his voice the same and not have to massively raise his voice when he was belting out some parts of songs, Bruce said MJ had remarkable control in that area.

Robmis, do you remember anything from the recording of the song Money? Is it just MJ's vocals on the chorus harmony or others too, it's very deep and rap like, such a great track, and very frank too.

Just how much of a perfectionist was he, from all you read he seemed overly dedicated to his craft.

Any strories regarding jokes or practical jokes (I love the pie in face story btw) or was MJ more professional in the studio haha!

Thank you again, will try and think of some good questions for you all.
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