|1. I Want You Back|
|3. I'll Be There|
|4. Got To Be There|
|5. I Wanna Be Where You Are|
See all 19 tracks on this disc
|1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'|
|2. The Girl Is Mine|
|4. Beat It|
|5. Billie Jean|
See all 11 tracks on this disc
|2. The Way You Make Me Feel|
|3. Man In The Mirror|
|4. I Just Can't Stop Loving You|
|5. Dirty Diana|
See all 14 tracks on this disc
|1. You Are Not Alone|
|2. Stranger In Moscow|
|3. Childhood (Theme From 'Free Willy 2')|
|4. On The Line|
|5. Blood On The Dance Floor|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Aswell as including the all time classics and a jaw-dropping live DVD of the Dangerous Tour in Bucharest it lets us dive into some of the songs that have been kept in the Michael Jacksons' vault for some time....
The Ultimate Collection is a chronological timeline that spans 4 decades showcasing one of the greatest singers, songwriters, arrangers, composers and humanitarian to ever live. Aswell as the all time classics, it is the rarities and unreleased songs that captivated me.
It's all very well me preaching the greatness of Billie Jean or the infectious riff of Black or White or the fact that Thriller is STILL the biggest selling album of all time, THIS IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE...!
I aim to take you through the unreleased rarities in this box set as a further reason to purchase this iconic collection:
Shake A Body (Early Demo) - Get an insight into how this song eventually became the disco classic that has been covered countless times and what people still dance to! The Jacksons recorded this early demo in their home studio at Havenhurst.
Sunset Driver (Demo) - An outtake from the 'Off The Wall' sessions, but why this was left off the album is completely beyond me...what could have been another disco classic shows Michael in an upbeat dancing state pumped with plenty of 'WOO's and 'HEE's along the way. With its catchy "You're a Saturday Nighter..AOOW!" line, you'll be humming along to it for hours!
PYT (Pretty Young Thing) - Demo: Unlike the Shake Your Body demo, this is not only an early version, but what can be seen as a totally different song. Not only are the lyrics totally different, but so is the melody, the tempo and the mood. It left a lot of fans preffering this version, with its funky bridge in which Mike beatboxes.
Someone in the Dark - heart warming ballad about friendship, from the E.T soundtrack.
Scared of The Moon - Here, we see Michael in quite a different light, this haunting piano ballad recorded inbetween the Thriller and Bad sessions, highlights his beautifully recognisable voice with some impressive falsetto.
We Are The World (Solo Version) - Rough solo version that was given to all of the celebs due to sing on the final version to practice, includes the second chorus that was never made the final cut.
We Are Here To Change The World - Taken from the Disneys Captian Eo in which Michael starred in.
Cheater - One of the box sets HIGHLIGHTS for me... recorded during the Bad sessions and eventually left off the album is instantly catchy! Great bass line with a late 80's feel, Michael's vocals are outstanding and again I am left wondering why it was left off the album...however if it was to be left on the album with 'Leave Me Alone' and 'Streetwalker', the album would appear too 'samey'. Still an AMAZING track!
Dangerous (Early Version) - Has a more 80's feel to it, it has nothing on the album version but it sheds another light on the song and features a totally different bridge. The stripped down version on the album works better.
Monkey Business - An outtake from the 'Dangerous' sessions that was due to be released as the first song off the album, but was later left off altogethr and replaced with Black or White. It kicks off with the bizarre sounds of Monkeys then carries on with a late 80's early 90's instrumentation. The lyrics are quite hard to make out due to it only being a demo, he probably hadn't even fully written the song, however good track!
Someone Put Your Hand Out - Nice ballad recorded during 'Dangerous', sung totally in falsetto.
Who Is It (Remix) - I was totally annoyed as to why the remix version was put on and not the original. The original version remains one of Michael's greatest songs amongst his fans and has an amazing beatbox melody.
*A lot of people now see Michael Jackson as an eccentric freak and any music that he brings out nowadays is totally overlooked by the media and therefore results in people saying 'Michael was great during the 80's, but now his music is crap and he's totally wacko!' Because this attitude stands, a lot of his work from the mid 90's onwards is only known and appreciated by the hardcore fans, which is a great shame as this is where his greatest creativities lie. Although it is not totally showcased on Disc 4, or even this whole collection, Disc 4 for me remains my favourite as the era of his music is simply fantastic*
After looking at the tracklist prior to its release, I was left wondering why the monumental 'Earth Song' was left off as was 'Scream' (probably due to contractual difficulties with Janets record company). However, there are some superb songs on this disc; the UK No.1 hit 'Blood on the Dance Floor' regarded highly among fans as a floor filler, the gorgeous ballad 'Stranger in Moscow' which features on the 1995 comeback album HIStory, which is a metaphoric response to tabloid scrutiny is he often subjected to. The overlooked 'Unbreakable' which opens the 'Invincible' album with a phatt hip-hop feel and a sampled rap from the late Notorious B.I.G. in which Mike claims his resiliancy. 'Butterflies' taken from 'Invincible' proves Michaels fantastic vocal range is still wide depsite his age, a song which was due to be released for the world to hear, but due to Mike's conflict with Sony, it never saw the light of day.
Invincible outtake 'Fall Again' is an amazing ballad that could have been a huge hit if released, but sounds too unfinished.
The true highlight comes at the very end; 'We've Had Enough' is a journey told in a story-like manner of the main concern we have in the world today, war and terrorism. The song starts quite sombre, but as the touching lyrical verses progress, we are struck 3 minutes into the song with, powerful volins, striking electric guitar and angry vocals from the King Of Pop.
The collection is a MUST for any fan and whether you love him or loathe him, he is a master creator who contrastingly has instantly recongnizable classics and totally underrated masterpieces(mainly his recent work) I urge anybody to buy it!
"Great music never dies" - Michael Jackson 2003.
So to conclude on the album, it is definitely worth getting, hence the 5 star. Do not listen to people who just say 'oh it's just another greatest hits album' because it isn't. This is a proper collection of MJ classics with virtually a whole new album diffused through the discs (because of the 13 unreleased and demo tracks). So when you are buying this album you are getting the classics that made MJ a legend forever, the songs that made MJ fans keep the faith (like 'who is it?', 'jam' and 'stranger in moscow' which are virtually unknowns to the average person) and also new great songs (especially 'beautiful girl' as I have said before). In addition, of course you also get an MJ concert DVD in there as well, which I already have, (eBay) and I must say the dancing and singing is breathtaking. So this Ultimate Collection is for sure worth getting as it is quite simply Ultimate Michael Jackson. *****
Sure, you probably know Billie Jean, Thriller, Smooth Criminal, etc. But Michael is a prolific artist and has a plethora of magical, soulful pop songs that few people know of. Have you ever heard: Sunset Driver, Someone In The Dark, Scared Of The Moon, We Are The World, We Are Here To Change The World, Cheater, Monkey Business, Someone Put Your Hand Out, Fall Again, In The Back, Beautiful Girl, The Way You Love Me, or We've Had Enough?
Despite being arguably the most talented singer/dancer/performer in the World, Michael has never actually released a DVD of one of his live shows! This is unbelievable considering that every "celebrity" and reality TV contestant has a DVD out now. So, to finally have the Dangerous World Tour on DVD is something to celebrate.
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