Xscape is Michael Jackson's second posthumous compliation album that was released on May 9, 2014 by Epic Records & MJJ Music.
The album consists of previously unreleased songs by Michael. It is the 11th album released by Sony & Motown Records since Michael's death in June of 2009.
The chairman of Epic Records, L.A. Reid curated & executively produced the album and enlisted Timbaland to lead a team of producers such as StarGate, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, John McClain and Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins to retool & contemporize the 8 selected tracks on the album.
Rodney Jerkins produced the title song on the album & and is the only original song producer to work on the album's final productions.
The album was officially announced on March 31, 2014 and the title track was recorded in 2001 for Michael's album "Invincible."
Producer Timbaland and Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid executively produced the album (with addition production from Rodney Jerkins, StarGate and John McClain).
Timbaland said that L.A. had personally approached him at his home to discuss the new Michael Jackson project.
Jesse Johnson (former lead guitarist of band The Time) revealed that he had worked on elements of one song that featured Mary J. Blige, Questlove and D'Angelo, however, the track failed to be included in the final tracklisting of the album.
L.A. said that they wanted to honor Michael's legacy when naming the album, stating:
"The title of this album (Xscape) honors Michael's album naming process. He always chose a song from the album to name his projects and, beginning with Thriller, used only one word titles, each with an edgy quality to them (Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory and Invincible). This is true of the new project."
Song Recording HistoryEdit
The song "Love Never Felt So Good" was co-written by Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka.
It was originally recorded in 1983 as a demo with Paul at the piano. The song was also recorded by singer Johnny Mathis.
A duet version of the song with Justin Timberlake was recorded and released as a single (the song featured percussion and breaths from Michael's 1979 song "Workin' Day And Night").
The song "Chicago" (originally called "She Was Lovin' Me") was recorded in 1999, but failed to make the "Invincible" album.
The song "Loving You" was recorded in 1987 during the "Bad" sessions.
The song "A Place With No Name" was written and recorded in 1998.
The track resembles "A Horse with No Name" (which was a hit song by rock band America).
A 24-second snippet was leaked online by TMZ in July of 2009 and a full version was leaked in December of 2013.
The song "Slave To The Rhythm" was recorded during the 1991 "Dangerous" and was completed in 1998. A remixed version leaked on the internet in 2010.
Singer Justin Bieber also recorded a "duet version" featured with Michael's vocals which was leaked in August of 2013.
The Michael Jackson Estate afterwards stated that they had not authorized the release of this recording.
The song "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" was written and recorded during the "Bad" recording sessions and revisited during the "Dangerous" recording sessions, but the song failed to make the album.
A 2010 reworked version leaked on the internet in 2010. This version considered for inclusion on Michael's first posthumous album "Michael" features guitar solo performed by Steve Lukather.
"Blue Gangsta" was written and recorded in 1998 but failed to make the "Invincible" album, Dr. Freeze confirmed it will be released with finalize instruments, but did not give a confirmed date of release.
Rapper Tempamental remixed the song without Michael's permission and made it available on his MySpace web page in late 2006.
The remix titled "Gangsta (No Friend of Mine)" featured Pras (of the Fugees).
The song "Xscape" was originally written and recorded in 1999 for the Invincible album but failed to make the final list.
The song was completed in 2002 and leaked on the internet that same year. The tune has been given a modern spin by its original producer Rodney Jerkins.
The contemporized version of the ong featured on the album samples "You Rock My World" (which is a song recorded in the same era as "Xscape").