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More on the Jackson estate’s alleged Universal talks

By | Published on Tuesday 27 October 2009

We already knew the estate of Michael Jackson was rumoured to be talking to Universal Music about them releasing the 70 odd unreleased Jacko tracks recorded after his contract with Sony Music ended.

According to the New York Post, executors John Branca and John McClain are in talks with both Universal and Sony about the unreleased Jackson catalogue, the latter having released that ‘This Is It’ track (recorded during Sony-funded sessions in the eighties) as part of the soundtrack to the Jacko documentary film, of course. Unsurprisingly, Branca and McClain are looking for a large upfront payment and higher-than-normal royalty for the new material. It’s thought the executors hope to play Sony and Universal against each other to score a bigger payment.

But my favourite bit of the Post article isn’t the repeated revelation of the Universal negotiations, but one of their source’s quotes. They note that Universal have officially denied they are interested in the Jackson songs, but add that a Sony insider had admitted to them that the Jackson estate was in talks with one other bidder other than them. That insider wouldn’t say who the other bidders were though.

The Post then explain the logic of their speculation that the other suitor is Universal, by quoting a source who says neither of the other music majors could be in negotiations with the Jackson clan because Warner Music is too weak internationally to exploit the new Jackson catalogue and “nobody talks to EMI any more”. Nice.



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