In the annals of pop history, there’s never been anyone quite like Michael Jackson—in life and, now, in death.
Last night at midnight, “This is It,” Jackson’s first posthumous release, was made available online at michaeljackson.com. Ala John Lennon’s “Free as a Bird,” a previously released demo which the surviving Beatles would complete many years later, production values and backing vocals from the brothers Jackson were added to complete “This is It.” Later this month, the concert movie of the same name will also debut for a two-week limited engagement in theaters from coast to coast.
The timeliness of these multi-media offerings truly boggles the mind. Traditionally, posthumous anythings have typically taken many, many months if not years to compile, master and complete. It is a telling sign of our times that, in 2009, mere weeks are necessary (Jackson, you’ll recall passed in June).
Some might say it is all inappropriate; opportunistic—too soon. Yet, the Jackons family realized that, in this era of YouTube and online piracy, acting in as timely a manner as possible offered the best chance of preserving the integrity and legitimacy of the final product.
It is almost ironic that, had Jackson lived, his Fall London concerts would be, right now, at their midday point. “This is It,” in a way, offers a new beginning for fans of Jackson, his music and his moves. And it should truly be just the beginning—evidently there are at least 100 unreleased tunes in the MJ vault. Don’t stop ’til you get enough, indeed.