Distributor: Sony
Suggested Retail Price: $6.99

Michael Jackson mania may finally be over. After lackluster sales for his 2010 posthumous release MICHAEL, the fervor following his death (and a resurgence of his old music) didn’t translate into sales for the hodge podge of leftover tunes from his vaults.

Some claimed there was too much studio work done to the demos he left behind, others claimed he wasn’t singing on all the tracks.

I will say, that there were at least a few songs on the disc that were damn good, and probably should not have stayed in the vault as long as they did. However, the rest of the album was absolute crap – it stunk up the place and reminds us once again that satsifying die-hard fans is a lot tougher than it seems.

With Record Store Day 2011, a limited edition 7 inch single of two tracks from MICHAEL arrives with remixes. And the remixes are on two of the most unexceptional tracks.

“Behind The Mask” is an “edit” version here (not even a true remix) so it’s at least shorter than the album version which is the only thing that makes it better. Meanwhile, “Hollywood Tonight” is presented in a “Throwaway Mix.” The mix is a little sharper than the original, but again, the song really isn’t all that good. Another previously unreleased B-side or even the original demo might have been more interesting.

The prices for many of Record Store Day 2011 releases also vary by label and artist. And when you can get The Cars new 45 for $4.99 (suggested retail price) and Michael Jackson’s 45 costs $6.99 (suggested retail price), you can also feel a bit ripped off. Maybe the label was hoping for die-hard collector’s to get the release in droves, but I found extra copies of the 45 at the store I bought it out, so, in some ways the steep price for this leftover crap backfired.

Check out your local independent record store to find out if “Behind the Mask” is still available and CLICK HERE to see other releases from Record Store Day 2011.

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  1. Behind the Mask happens to be one of my favorites. From what I have heard, all the tracks are good. You probably don’t have any idea what to listen for. That’s your problem and not that of the songs. A lot of people consider this album some of Michael’s best work. There certainly is quite a variety. It is unfortunate that there was so much controversy over this album before it even came out. Having been told by media such as yours that the songs aren’t any good, and having been told that the voice isn’t Michael’s, and not having him around to decently promote his album, certainly did not help. But take it from me, folks, the songs are great, they are fun, they are amazing. And Carl Cortez’s review sucks.

  2. Whatever you think of various tracks on this album, I don’t think it’s accurate to proclaim Jackson Mania over – it may not have sold as well as expected in the U.S., but don’t forget,it sold very well worldwide. The controversy around it at release probably did put a damper on sales at the time.

  3. … and I love Behind the Mask!

  4. I have to say that in the grand scheme of things Michael was not M.J’s best album which is partly due to the fact that these were not edited by him and also not properly promoted, however, if there is one (or 2) song(s) that come(s) to mind as being catchy rhythmic songs both behind the mask and Hollywood tonight fit that description perfectly! Michaels vocals on behind the mask were fantastic and the song itself could easily have been a commercial success if it was released on a properly promoted album, and Hollywood tonight is like a smooth criminal/Billie Jean hybrid that definetely makes you start to groove wherever you are…in no way are these legendary or classic mj songs but definetely better than what you have said and personally, I feel they are better than most pop songs being released today! I think you should check out the track sunset driver (if you haven’t already) and comment on what you think about that track because that’s another late 70’s demo recording which I feel could have been a huge commercial success…love and respect

    • Like I said, I liked songs off of MICHAEL as well. I think “Hold My Hand” is one of the best things he’s done in years. And there are other tracks I like too. However, when you’re going to release a limited edition 7 inch single for Record Store Day and charge $6.99, you should put your best foot forward. “Behind the Mask” should have been remixed and the remix of “Hollywood Tonight” was unexceptional. I like Michael’s music, just thought this was more of a crass release, than something special for the fans.

      Carl Cortez
  5. Pingback: Anonymous

  6. Another whiney a*s Michael denigrator. I LOVED the album, almost every song is great and a joy to listen to. Not crazy about Best of Joy but Hollywood Nights, I Love How You Love Me, Behind the Mask, Keep Your Head Up, Breaking News, and on and on. Great album! Not only was it poorly promoted but the Sony controversy did a back stab on this album. Really sad. The real loser here was Michael.

  7. hey Carl thank for replying and I to think that hold my hand is one of the better tracks of the past decade but still believe that those two songs are still good enough quality to be “mixed” and put on a 7″…just saying, also have you checked out sunset driver, if so what do you think?


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