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Post here if you worked on Michael Jackson's DANGEROUS album
Old 16th September 2009
  #721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bottrell View Post
Blood on the Dancefloor was a song I wrote for MJ during the sessions when Dangerous was written, sometime in 1988. I thought I'd be a clever salesman and I teased Michael about this great song I had called Blood on the Dancefloor. He was out of town and I was trying to tweak the song and this went on for weeks. He was really intrigued, so much so that before he ever heard what I did, he wrote his OWN Blood on the Dancefloor.
Any chance we can listen to your demo?
Old 16th September 2009
  #722
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Encino..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mederick View Post
Bill: You're the man. Just made my day.

So, if I get it right, in Encino no family members were involved in the creation (helping, playing instrument, singing etc.) of a song from Michael's Bad or Dangerous... right?

In Neverland, was Michael's recording studio not that good? Could he actually use everything he had in there or always need a technician?

Did he ever come up with a demo that was something else than singing and beatboxing? Like a simple melody on a keyboard or easy beats on a drum machine? Anything like that?

It looks like you've never heard Men In Black. I'm also curious to know more about this song but, at the same time, Loren's tracks are not among my favorites. I'd definitely like to know more about Buffalo Bill.


THANKS for your time and honesty Mr Bottrell.

PS: I can't believe you didn't know you were also credited as producer in HIStory!!!??? Just moneywise, there's a difference! You really didn't wonder where some royalties were coming from at that time? Eh eh.
When I was at Hayvenhurst (Encino) it was pretty much all Michael as far as working goes.

Yeah, I heard Men in Black endlessly through the doors at Record One. I can't remember how it goes, but it was cool.

Regarding my apparent carelessness about what was released:
Believe me, if there was money involved, I'd be all over it. But the demos, rarities, and early versions were not slated for release, and I never made a deal for them. I got paid for my time.
When Dangerous came out, I was designated "Producer" and "Writer' and made deals appropriately for my work on that album, including "Monkey Business" and "Earth Song" Part of that deal was to give up my claims to royalties on my previous "experimental" work.
This is why I never really followed what was going on in that world, and why I ask if I (at least) got credit for those rarities.
Old 16th September 2009
  #723
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Even more respect for you Bill. Straight up. Right to the point and honest. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to all, and one by one!

Thank you for your work and insight.
Old 16th September 2009
  #724
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chtimixeur's Avatar
 

I had given up on this thread, but what a nice surprise to read so many stories from you Bill. Thank you so much for answering those many quetions (including a few of mine). You made my day !
Old 16th September 2009
  #725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bottrell View Post
When prince Abdulla of Bahrain played me my old epic demo, I about fell over. I hadn't heard it in 17 years!
Now I wanna go find the trash can version.
Thanks Bill! I remember first hearing your Dangerous demo in the mid 90's from a recording of one of Michael's (many) depositions, and instantly loved it. You have no idea how many times it has since been played!

....And if you're in a generous mood, I know we'd all LOVE to hear your 'trash can' version, and anything else you're willing to share.

And thanks for helping change music history with Michael!

Jme // Jamie Martin Automotive & Concept Design - Portfolio
Old 16th September 2009
  #726
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Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiefmartin View Post
This may be of interest to the technical gearslutz on here - a thorough list of the specific keyboards used to create many of Michael Jackson's hits over the years, including the processes involved to obtain certain sounds: Michael Jackson: Keyboard Sounds of His Signature Songs, Then and Now,

Jme // Jamie Martin Automotive & Concept Design - Portfolio
Thanks for posting. I just wish we had this kind of detailfor the BAD album!! arr!
Old 16th September 2009
  #727
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Recording David View Post
Don't want to get this off topic too much, but I saw this video of MJ layering vox earlier. Very cool imo, and some cool work with Michael's mic placement.

YouTube - Michael Jackson recording We Are the World
YouTube - Michael Jackson - We are the world in studio HQ

Thanks for this thread!
Old 16th September 2009
  #728
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Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bottrell View Post

2. "Streetwalker" was recorded after Bad was released. I don't understand the story told about it and "Another Part of Me" it's impossible.
Quincy Jones himself told that (detailed) story on the re-release Bad CD. Could his memory be THAT bad??? Are you sure, Bill, cos Streetwalker sounds like it would have fitted sonically and thematically on the BAD album - a sort of 'Bad' meets 'Way you make me Feel' street tune? Not doubting you but just asking you to double check your recollection.
Old 16th September 2009
  #729
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?????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
Quincy Jones himself told that (detailed) story on the re-release Bad CD. Could his memory be THAT bad??? Are you sure, Bill, cos Streetwalker sounds like it would have fitted sonically and thematically on the BAD album - a sort of 'Bad' meets 'Way you make me Feel' street tune? Not doubting you but just asking you to double check your recollection.
Well, I know for sure the version we hear on Bad Re-issue was done between Bad and Dangerous, while Michael was on tour. Now i'm just trying to imagine some earlier version from Encino, (and coming up with nothing) OR. maybe there was a Westlake (Quincy) version!
Old 16th September 2009
  #730
Gear Head
 

The track Blood On The Dancefloor was one I remember for a couple of reasons...

I was in NYC working with Teddy Riley when he told me we were going to LA to work with Michael. I was very excited of course. For the next couple of weeks, we camped out at Soundtracs studios and Teddy came up with about twenty song ideas. Pretty full on but just tracks. No melody or hook ideas. All from his computer (an Atari Stacy running Notator then), MPC and racks and racks of keys and samplers. All of it was coming up through the SSL with compressors and eq etc. and we made a reference DAT with each idea to be able to play for Michael when we got to LA.

When we were finally sitting at Record One with Michael, he asked us to play some of the ideas. I hit play on the DAT. At ear splitting level, the first track immediately showed where Teddy was coming from. It was hard hitting, hard grooving, new jack infused funk and Michael was visibly pleased and from there all nervousness in the room (from all sides) was gone. When we finished playing the DAT, which included what became "Remember The Time" and "In The Closet", Michael asked us to play the fist one again. It became his favorite.

Now that we knew things looked good and that we were going to be staying in LA for awhile, we got to putting some of these ideas onto multitrack. I was excited to use the huge Neve that was at Record One then. It was gorgeous. So we recalled all the keys settings etc and spent a week or 2 getting everything down (I believe it all went straight to Mitsubishi 32 trk).

In the meantime, Michael had started coming up with lyric and melody ideas to the tracks and we almost immediately got into recording some vocals ( chorus vocals on "Remember The Time") and melody ideas for some others. I was simply blown away by Michael's singing and technique. He was ON.

But for some reason, after we retracked that first cut on the DAT, it just wasn't as exciting as what Michael first heard. It didn't hit as hard and tight and he asked me why. I said that I thought it mainly had to with the console. In NY we were using an SSL and it has a harder, edgier sound. Michael then asked if we could get one of those. Of course we couldn't just wheel in an SSL and back then, the only way to get that sound was to go to a studio that had one. Of course he then asked, "Well who has one?" and I responded with the only studio in LA that I'd worked in at that time - Larrabee. Next thing I knew, we were all moving 10 mins east on Ventura to the new Larrabee NORTH.

We tracked that song again at Larrabee and did our best to match the DAT but Michael still seemed to prefer the DAT. He took the DAT version and had Matt Forger bounce it to a multitrack at Havenhurst so he could put down some lyric ideas.

The next day, he came in with a good chunk of a complete song called "Blood On The Dance Floor". I remember thinking that was a very cool title.

But for whatever reasons, that song didn't get worked on much, if at all after that.
I thought it was strange since it started off as almost everybody's favorite track, but that's how it goes sometimes. You never know where a song will (or won't) go.

Fast forward to 1996 and I'm at Record Plant working with Michael again and he plays me some of the songs they've been working on and says "This one's the title track". It's called "Blood On The Dancefloor". What do you know? It's the track from that very first DAT with some more music and percussion added and of course, Michael's excellent vocals.

Sounded great.


Hey Bill. Great to see you chiming in here. One of the best parts of working on Dangerous for me was hanging with you and talking about music, studios etc. I've always been inspired by your work and always look forward to anything you're involved with. Thanks.
Old 17th September 2009
  #731
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I don't mean to flood this thread with "Thank you"s but, guys, your stories are so much appreciated. You have no idea.

THANK YOU Daveway! THANK YOU Bill !

As pros with your own icons, I am sure you can relate to how it is important for MJ's work lovers and fans to finally read these stories. This is a true shared treasure for us. It is also so INSPIRING. So Inspiring!

Now that he is in another world, it is our turn to bring awareness, to show his legacy, to talk about his incredible talent, his work.

Beyond his natural skills and talent, I always stress one major point which everyone needs to understand and apply: Michael was working really really hard. Constantly. As talented and gifted as he was, he was first and foremost a hard-worker. So, people, if you think you don't have any talent, it does not matter. If you are passionate and work hard, your talent will rise in one way or another.

That is why there is and will be one and only Michael Jackson, why he is the greatest entertainer of all time. He never went in a comfort zone. He was, gifted, talented, passionate, inspired, innovative and was working hard for 40 years!!!
He combined everything to reach beyond understanding.

OK.

Dear engineers and producers: Are you excited about the release of This Is It, or not?
Old 17th September 2009
  #732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
For what it's worth, MJ and Prince did have a meeting during HIStory as well. We were all kicked out of the room however (Prince's wishes, not MJ's), so I don't know what was said.
Man. I would give anything to know about their interactions and thoughts on oneanother.
Old 17th September 2009
  #733
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riviera1992 View Post
Also JordanRose are you the one saying all over youtube that MJ lipsynched and mimed all the time?

Shamone man, just use your eyes and WATCH Michael singing in that Bucharest concert. You can see that his singing is very energetic and comes from his guts. You can see his diaphram moving to get the voice out. Yes, he has backtrack with his voice but he's singing LIVE with it. NOT miming or lipsynching.
Best regards,
LG
I don't waste time commenting on Youtube.

For the Bucharest show and Dangerous tour in general MJ lip-synched Jam, Smooth Criminal, Thriller, Black or White, Heal The World and Man In The Mirror, although some had live ad-libs.

The HIStory show was entirely lip-synched bar Startin' Somethin', the J5 medley and some ad-libs.

It's not a knock, it's an observation. MJ only ever sang one solitary song live from Dangerous, HIStory or Blood (Gone Too Soon, Clinton Gala). That's pretty sad. I'm aware of the Dangerous rehearsal footage where he sang bits of everything live but he was only giving a rehearsal performance at 50%.
Old 18th September 2009
  #734
Gear Head
 

To Daveway or Bill:

Once again, thankyou so so much with the time you have given us... Something interesting now:

With regards to the track "Blood On the Dance Floor" - I know of an internal 'Future Records' Teddy Riley acetate [from 1990]? It apparently has a 1.5 minute demo version of the song, however it has the lyrics to "Sunset Driver"?

Is this at all familiar???? It's very short and it's on one of Teddy's old acetates from the Future Records Studios; he sold these on eBay a while back.


Secondly Bill, have you any idea on the following regarding "Men In Black":

- which year it was worked on in the studio? Or even the year which you stated you heard it being played many times; was this at Record One at Sherman Oaks, or Ocean Way Studios on Sunset Blvd?
- do you remember if it only made the demo stages, or was it complete or almost completely produced/mastered piece?
- was it only Bryan Loren and MJ who worked on it?
Old 18th September 2009
  #735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bottrell View Post
Well, I know for sure the version we hear on Bad Re-issue was done between Bad and Dangerous, while Michael was on tour. Now i'm just trying to imagine some earlier version from Encino, (and coming up with nothing) OR. maybe there was a Westlake (Quincy) version!

I was always real suspicious of the "story" on the Bad reissue. MJ has spoken about how streetwalker and dangerous were related during a plagarism court deposition and reading between the lines, it sounded very much as if it was done post Bad. Add to this the overall sound of the track, especially the vocals which at least to my hears are harsher, and the horn stabs and vamp sound like synths as opposed to the seawind horns - anyways I always had trouble beleiving this track was made during the Bad project. perhaps there was an earlier version or demo or something, or maybe just quincy got it mixed up with another number.

Slightly off topic, but there is similar story with a track called Sunset Driver which is allegedly an outtake from Off The Wall that sounds completely alien in terms of the production to the stuff on that record. plus that one is protooled up the gazoo.

Bill: in terms of the track on the re-issue, would you say there had been much done to it since you worked on it? in terms of "cleaning it up" or pro-tools or whatever, it's real loud on that CD!! FWIW i love the guitar behind "baby I love you, baby i want you"
Old 18th September 2009
  #736
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Not to mention "For All Time" credited as an outtake from the Thriller sessions in Thriller 25th Anniversary. What a joke!
Old 19th September 2009
  #737
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Yeah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderingWho View Post
I was always real suspicious of the "story" on the Bad reissue. MJ has spoken about how streetwalker and dangerous were related during a plagarism court deposition and reading between the lines, it sounded very much as if it was done post Bad. Add to this the overall sound of the track, especially the vocals which at least to my hears are harsher, and the horn stabs and vamp sound like synths as opposed to the seawind horns - anyways I always had trouble beleiving this track was made during the Bad project. perhaps there was an earlier version or demo or something, or maybe just quincy got it mixed up with another number.

Slightly off topic, but there is similar story with a track called Sunset Driver which is allegedly an outtake from Off The Wall that sounds completely alien in terms of the production to the stuff on that record. plus that one is protooled up the gazoo.

Bill: in terms of the track on the re-issue, would you say there had been much done to it since you worked on it? in terms of "cleaning it up" or pro-tools or whatever, it's real loud on that CD!! FWIW i love the guitar behind "baby I love you, baby i want you"
Yeah, this has become very confusing. I testified at Michael's Denver plagiarism trial: about how I was working on "streetwalker" and came up with the "Dangerous" track.
I still can't work out if there was maybe a previous demo of "Streetwalker". It seems to me I can't remember MJ ever coming all the way out to Smoketree.(to do vocals)That would indicate maybe a demo from Encino. Maybe Matt Forger worked on it.
What is heard on the Streetwalker release is my rough mix from Smoketree.
I played the horns, (samples) drums, bass, and guitars, and Jasun Martz came in to do the blues harp.
Here is why I'm shocked that some of my roughs have been released: There was a process that I learned well, that any MJ release went through: a process of vetting, re-thinking, replacing midi with live players, etc. It was a long process. "Streetwalker" never did that. Nor did "Come Together". I doubt I ever made an analog mix of Streetwalker, somebody just took it from the DAT.
Old 19th September 2009
  #738
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP777 View Post
To Daveway or Bill:

Once again, thankyou so so much with the time you have given us... Something interesting now:

With regards to the track "Blood On the Dance Floor" - I know of an internal 'Future Records' Teddy Riley acetate [from 1990]? It apparently has a 1.5 minute demo version of the song, however it has the lyrics to "Sunset Driver"?

Is this at all familiar???? It's very short and it's on one of Teddy's old acetates from the Future Records Studios; he sold these on eBay a while back.


Secondly Bill, have you any idea on the following regarding "Men In Black":

- which year it was worked on in the studio? Or even the year which you stated you heard it being played many times; was this at Record One at Sherman Oaks, or Ocean Way Studios on Sunset Blvd?
- do you remember if it only made the demo stages, or was it complete or almost completely produced/mastered piece?
- was it only Bryan Loren and MJ who worked on it?
It was at Record One, the little room with the API. (1990?) (about the time of our little run-in with Saddam Hussein) Brian and his engineer were in there forever. I never heard vocals on the song. They were using very early Pro-tools (called "Sound Tools"?) They dealt with tech issues more than I would have tolerated.
Old 19th September 2009
  #739
Gear Head
 

Thanks Bill,

With regard to the vocals for "Men In Black", according to Adrian Grant (producer of the Thriller Live show in the UK), he has actually heard the track and said "Michael's vocals were amazing".

This was published in 1990 by Adrian:




It's an interesting little peice. Maybe the vocals were added after what you had heard? Do you have any more memories about the track at all, or how it sounded etc? Lots of bass? .. (also, who is Mr. Jones?).
Old 19th September 2009
  #740
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
I never saw MJ get mad. Pretty amazing. If something didn't work the way he wanted or thought it would, he'd say "ok", and move on.
Oh god! he was really patient and nice...now I miss him again! :(
Old 19th September 2009
  #741
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP777 View Post
Thanks Bill,

With regard to the vocals for "Men In Black", according to Adrian Grant (producer of the Thriller Live show in the UK), he has actually heard the track and said "Michael's vocals were amazing".

This was published in 1990 by Adrian:




It's an interesting little peice. Maybe the vocals were added after what you had heard? Do you have any more memories about the track at all, or how it sounded etc? Lots of bass? .. (also, who is Mr. Jones?).
I don't know anything about Men In Black other than all the rumors, but Mr Jones is Bob Jones, who was a VP of MJJ productions from way back until 2004 and was previously a publicist at Motown.
Old 19th September 2009
  #742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mederick View Post
Not to mention "For All Time" credited as an outtake from the Thriller sessions in Thriller 25th Anniversary. What a joke!
LOL, yeah - that one sounds nothing like the other outtakes and doesn't feature the same players or kit! the only relationshop it has to Thriller is the writer being Steve Pocaro.
Old 20th September 2009
  #743
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
Quincy Jones himself told that (detailed) story on the re-release Bad CD. Could his memory be THAT bad??? Are you sure, Bill, cos Streetwalker sounds like it would have fitted sonically and thematically on the BAD album - a sort of 'Bad' meets 'Way you make me Feel' street tune? Not doubting you but just asking you to double check your recollection.
Can I just say elements of this ended up being incorporated into different songs - for instance the "doo doo's" at the beginning were then used as samples for the "Dangerous" tour performance of "Smooth Criminal". The bassline that has a curious "Billie Jean" feel also crept up on a demo of the title track "Dangerous" as well...
Old 20th September 2009
  #744
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
I was always real suspicious of the "story" on the Bad reissue. MJ has spoken about how streetwalker and dangerous were related during a plagarism court deposition and reading between the lines, it sounded very much as if it was done post Bad. Add to this the overall sound of the track, especially the vocals which at least to my hears are harsher, and the horn stabs and vamp sound like synths as opposed to the seawind horns - anyways I always had trouble beleiving this track was made during the Bad project. perhaps there was an earlier version or demo or something, or maybe just quincy got it mixed up with another number.
"Streetwalker" was recorded during the "BAD" sessions, not after. As Epic records began putting pressure on us to finish the album, Humberto Gatica was brought in to occupy Westlake Studio "C," this way we had two Studio's under one roof operating in high gear. I know he worked on "Streetwalker" for a couple weeks or so, as I was there. This move later became a thorn in Bruce Swedien's side, when it became Grammy time.

"The Making of BAD" yes Michael did bring in a film crew ... I'd love to see the footage, it was an exciting few days in the studio with them.

Russ
Nashville
Old 20th September 2009
  #745
Gear Head
 

I would pay through the nose to see a making of the Bad album.
Old 21st September 2009
  #746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP777 View Post
Yeah well maybe it was more controlled during the recording of HIStory.

I know for a fact an engineer (who worked on Thriller) can sell me a copy of the Thriller demo reels containing "Starlight" and all the rest, for a nice sum.

It's the same case with the 40 Bad DAT Tapes - another engineer is offering an exlusive deal.

But to be honest I'm more interested in the Dangerous Sessions. I just HAVE to find out about this track "Men In Black".. lol
He probably tightened his control after the "Dangerous" plagiarism case. I found it all interesting from a musical standpoint. Everyone in the courtroom got a lesson and a little mini-concert. He sounds awesome. =) YouTube - ULTRA RARE : Michael Jackson And The Dangerous Court Case Deposition 1994 -2/5
He tells about the wall or partition that fell on him during the demo. There's a huge thud at the beginning and you can hear him yell "No, keep it, keep it!" and he keeps on singing. LoL. Priceless. =)

PS - Lately, all I've heard coming from most of the people in his life is trash. So, thank you. It's so great to hear from all you guys directly. Good to know he was genuinely loved and cared for here. =)
Old 21st September 2009
  #747
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Stranger in Moscow...

First of all, words cannot express my gratitude towards the sharing of your experiences with Michael, it means so much to me...thank you. And seeing as this is my first post here on this forum (yes, I was drawn by the talk of Michael, but hopefully I will end up diving into all of this further as I do have an interest in it), hello to everyone!

I have a question regarding the sessions spent on "Stranger in Moscow". This song is my favorite of Michael's (and a favorite over all); I feel as though Michael was it his rawest in this song, pouring his soul out, and this song speaks to me as it is also the story of my life. I'm just curious as to what his emotion was like when he was recording this song, any comments made, etc.

Thank You,
Jessica
Old 22nd September 2009
  #748
Gear Head
 

It'd be great to know if any of the engineers here are lucky enough to work on MJ's new This Is It song or the album slated for release next year. Maybe I'll just have to wait to see the credits!
Old 22nd September 2009
  #749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJP777 View Post
It'd be great to know if any of the engineers here are lucky enough to work on MJ's new This Is It song or the album slated for release next year. Maybe I'll just have to wait to see the credits!
I saw a list somewhere that included all the songs that MJ ever recorded, I am pretty sure I saw a song called "This Is It" from 1979, it's possible it's an old song that's been brought to life.
Old 30th September 2009
  #750
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Quote:
Originally Posted by platinummind View Post
I saw a list somewhere that included all the songs that MJ ever recorded, I am pretty sure I saw a song called "This Is It" from 1979, it's possible it's an old song that's been brought to life.
that seems to be the consensus so far. as it includes the brothers on background it's likely an outtake from Triumph which has been reworked
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