Immortal (Michael Jackson album)

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Immortal
Soundtrack album / Remix album by Michael Jackson
Released November 21, 2011 (2011-11-21)
Recorded 1969–2011
Genre R&B, pop, soul, rock
Length 76:34 (Standard Edition)
106:09 (Deluxe Edition)
Label Epic, MJJ Productions
Producer Michael Jackson
Kevin Antunes
Michael Jackson chronology
Michael
(2010)
Immortal
(2011)
Icon
(2011)
Singles from Immortal
  1. "Immortal Megamix: Can You Feel It/Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough/Billie Jean/Black or White (Immortal Version)"
    Released: November 1, 2011 (2011-11-01)

Immortal is a remix album of music originally recorded by American recording artist Michael Jackson, and featuring The Jackson 5/The Jacksons, released on November 21, 2011 by Epic Records. The album is a soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, which debuted on October 2, 2011 in Montreal.[1]

Background and release[edit]

On October 3, 2011, Sony Music Entertainment announced that over 40 Jackson's original recordings were redesigned and reimagined by the Justin Timberlake and Rihanna producer Kevin Antunes throughout a year-period work in the studio with original multi-track master recordings.[2] Hence it's expected that Immortal will continue a similar mixing production to the soundtracks to previous Cirque du Soleil's shows: 2006's Love, with the remixed music of The Beatles (to the show of the same name), and 2010's Elvis Presley-themed remix soundtrack Viva Elvis (to the show of the same name).

Being released by Epic Records in conjunction with estate of Michael Jackson,[3] Immortal features an alternative version of The Jackson 5 song "ABC",[1] as well as a series of mashups and remixes such as a choir-assisted rendition of "They Don't Care About Us".[4] Despite over 60 songs had been used for the stage show, the album release will be available as a 20-track album or a deluxe 27-track album only.[1]

Immortal is the eighth album to be released by Sony and Motown/Universal since Michael Jackson's death on June 25, 2009. It is also the third set of remixes of Jackson's music released posthumously, following two 2009 collections, The Stripped Mixes, Jackson's early songs with most of rhythm section edited out, and four EPs under the common title The Remix Suite.

Promotion[edit]

The debut track from this album entitled "Immortal Megamix", which was composed of four of Michael's greatest hits - "Can You Feel It," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Billie Jean," and "Black or White" had been unveiled on AolMusic on October 31, 2011.[5] Following the premiere on AOL, the track became available to stream at www.MichaelJackson.com[6] and on Jackson's Facebook page.[7] On November 1, 2011, the track became available as a digital download on iTunes[5] and amazon.com.[8] There was no television promotion or radio airplay.

The week before its release, several tracks were unveiled on SoundCloud & Billboard.com:

NOTES:

  • 1 The three tracks are actually separated on the CD, but they were put on SoundCloud together like a whole mix.
  • 2 They are actually separated as two tracks "Is It Scary/Threatened (Immortal Version)" and "Thriller (Immortal Version)" on the CD, but they were put on SoundCloud together like a whole mix.

The whole album was unveiled via NPR on November 18, 2011.[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, an early estimate predicted Immortal would sell 50,000 copies in its first week.[20] The album opened with 43,000 copies sold, and it debuted at No. 24 on the chart issue of Billboard 200 dated December 3, 2011. Immortal's opening week was larger than the acrobatic troupe's take on Elvis Presley's Viva Elvis, which debuted and peaked at No. 48 in 2010 with 13,000 sold first week.[21] In Japan, 150,000 CD copies of this album had been sold during the first week of its release.[22]

Immortal was ranked number 174 on the list of the 200 best-selling albums of 2012 from the year-end charts of Billboard. It also was ranked number 35 on the top-selling 100 R&B albums of 2012. It is estimated that sales of Immortal as of December 2012, a year after launch, are between 1.5 to 2 million units sold worldwide, and at least 400,000 or 500,000 units sold in the U.S. during 2012.

Critical reception[edit]

The debut song "Immortal Megamix" received mixed reviews from music critics. Scott Shetler from Popcrash said the original songs were "left intact on this remix with only slight musical embellishments, such as a "Michael! Michael!" chant that appears during 'Billie Jean'", and despite other mixes as the "HIStory Megamix" that preceded his 1995 double-album were better, "with his (Michael Jackson's) legacy of musical gold, it would be nearly impossible to create a bad mix."[23] Bill Lamb from About.com said, "All four songs included on the megamix sound astonishingly current and contemporary."[24]

The album received mixed reviews. Ann Powers from NPR said, this soundtrack "adds another dimension to the Jackson omnibus," and it "crafts a new version of Jackson's life story through remixes of his biggest hits and a few obscurities, as well as his own stated favorite songs. "[19] Kevin Antunes the musical designer for Immortal said, "There are jewels throughout this entire CD … put there so you can truly appreciate Michael's musicality," and "It lifts you up, it challenges, it makes you feel. Being a super-fan myself, having the ability to work on this music is a true honor."[25] Randall Roberts from latimes.com gave this album two and a half stars out of four, "the soundtrack is beholden to the Cirque/Immortal story line and therefore sequenced not for the dance floor but for a Las Vegas-style production."[26] Chad Grischow from IGN said, "the collection at least does a fine job pulling from the various eras of his career", and "most of the songs are simply clipped into a shorter version of themselves, with the occasional sound effects to enhance the choreography left feeling odd without it."[27]

Killian Fox of The Observer said, "not much here is new", "the album tries to justify its bulky existence", "but they add little to a catalogue of music that has already been superbly produced." [28] Arwa Haider from metro.co.uk said, "the original songs are obviously fantastic", but "without the accompanying Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, these slightly spooky mixes don't add much to his canon. "[29] Michael Langston Moore from African American Entertainment Examiner said the album "deemed to be a bit sacrilege".[30] Gary Trust and Keith Caulfield from Billboard pointed out that "consumers surely didn't seem that interested in the mash-up style album."[21] Nekesa Mumbi Moody from The Associated Press said, "much of the album seems disjointed. Some songs are oddly chopped up, others are spliced together without much finesse, and there are a myriad of sound effects — bullets firing, glass shattering, the whistle of a train, basketballs bouncing — that just sound like noise," and "on stage, it probably all makes sense beautifully", "but without that visual picture, the listening experience is a disappointment."[31]

Track listing[edit]

MJJ Productions Inc, the record division of The Michael Jackson Company LLC, announced the titles of the tracks on Immortal[32][33] and Immortal (Deluxe) [34] as follows:

Standard edition
No. Title Additional artist(s) Length
1. "Workin' Day and Night (Immortal Version)"     3:36
2. "The Immortal Intro (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5; Janet Jackson 3:07
3. "Childhood (Immortal Version)"     4:35
4. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Immortal Version)"     3:07
5. "Dancing Machine/Blame It on the Boogie (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5; The Jacksons 4:49
6. "This Place Hotel (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons 2:08
7. "Smooth Criminal (Immortal Version)"     1:59
8. "Dangerous (Immortal Version)"     2:41
9. "The Jackson 5 Medley: I Want You Back/ABC/The Love You Save (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5 3:45
10. "Speechless/Human Nature (Immortal Version)"     3:18
11. "Is It Scary/Threatened (Immortal Version)"   Rockwell; 50 Cent 5:05
12. "Thriller (Immortal Version)"     3:32
13. "You Are Not Alone/I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Immortal Version)"   Siedah Garrett 6:07
14. "Beat It/State of Shock (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons and Mick Jagger 3:09
15. "Jam (Immortal Version)"   Heavy D 2:37
16. "Planet Earth/Earth Song (Immortal Version)"     4:04
17. "They Don't Care About Us (Immortal Version)"     3:36
18. "I'll Be There (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5 1:53
19. "Immortal Megamix: Can You Feel It/Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough/Billie Jean/Black or White (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons 9:08
20. "Man in the Mirror (Immortal Version)"     4:17
Total length:
1:16:34
Deluxe edition Disc 1
No. Title Additional artist(s) Length
1. "Workin' Day and Night (Immortal Version)"     3:36
2. "The Immortal Intro (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5; Janet Jackson 3:07
3. "Childhood (Immortal Version)"     4:35
4. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Immortal Version)"     3:08
5. "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons 2:27
6. "Dancing Machine/Blame It on the Boogie (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5; The Jacksons 4:04
7. "Ben (Immortal Version)"     3:44
8. "This Place Hotel (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons 2:08
9. "Smooth Criminal (Immortal Version)"     1:59
10. "Dangerous (Immortal Version)"     2:41
11. "The Mime Segment: (I Like) The Way You Love Me/Speed Demon/Another Part of Me (Immortal Version)"     2:52
12. "The Jackson 5 Medley: I Want You Back/ABC/The Love You Save (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5 3:45
13. "Speechless/Human Nature (Immortal Version)"     3:20
14. "Is It Scary/Threatened (Immortal Version)"   Rockwell; 50 Cent 5:03
15. "Thriller (Immortal Version)"     3:37
Total length:
53:42
Deluxe edition Disc 2
No. Title Additional artist(s) Length
1. "You Are Not Alone/I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Immortal Version)"   Siedah Garrett 6:08
2. "Beat It/State of Shock (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons and Mick Jagger 3:09
3. "Jam (Immortal Version)"   Heavy D 2:37
4. "Planet Earth/Earth Song (Immortal Version)"     4:01
5. "Scream/Little Susie (Immortal Version)"   Janet Jackson 4:45
6. "Gone Too Soon (Immortal Version)"     3:23
7. "They Don't Care About Us (Immortal Version)"     3:37
8. "Will You Be There (Immortal Version)"     4:56
9. "I'll Be There (Immortal Version)"   The Jackson 5 1:50
10. "Immortal Megamix: Can You Feel It/Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough/Billie Jean/Black or White (Immortal Version)"   The Jacksons 9:08
11. "Man in the Mirror (Immortal Version)"     4:14
12. "Remember the Time/Bad (Immortal Version)"     4:39
Total length:
52:27

Track elements[edit]

Credits taken from the liner notes.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[35] 43
Austrian Albums Chart[35] 29
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[35] 13
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[35] 17
Dutch Albums Chart[35] 17
French Albums Chart[35] 42
German Albums Chart[36] 23
Italian Albums Chart[35] 13
Japanese Albums Chart (Billboard)[37] 9
Japanese Albums Chart (Oricon)[22] 11
New Zealand Albums Chart[35] 35
Norwegian Albums Chart[35] 34
Spanish Albums Chart[35] 16
Swedish Albums Chart[35] 59
Swiss Albums Chart[35] 17
UK Albums Chart[38] 65
US Billboard 200 24
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 5

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Position
US Billboard 200[39] 174
US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[39] 35

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing country, record label, and format
Region Date Label Format
Austria[40] November 18, 2011 Sony Music Entertainment CD
Austria[40] November 18, 2011 Digital download
Netherlands[41]
Germany[42]
Germany[43] November 21, 2011 CD
United Kingdom[44] CD, digital download
France[45]
United States[46] Epic Records
Spain[47] November 22, 2011 Sony Music Entertainment
Italy[48]
Japan[49] November 23, 2011 Sony Music Japan CD
Australia November 25, 2011 Sony Music Entertainment CD, digital download
Indonesia[50] December 22, 2011 Sony Music Entertainment CD
China[51] March 30, 2012 Sony Music China CD

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "IMMORTAL, the highly anticipated musical tapestry for Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour". Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Clarke, Suzan (2011-10-03). "New Michael Jackson Album, 'Immortal', to Be Released". ABC News. abc.go.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  4. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2011-10-03). "Michael Jackson Immortal Album Due November 21". MTV.com. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  5. ^ a b Peter Fowler (2011-10-31). "Michael Jackson "Immortal Megamix" Released". Newsroom America. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  6. ^ "Listen to the "Immortal Megamix" Now!". SonyMusic. The Official Michael Jackson Site. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  7. ^ "Listen to "Immortal Megamix" – the debut track from the upcoming album IMMORTAL now and let us know what you think!". 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  8. ^ "Amazon.com: Immortal Megamix: Can You Feel It/Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough/Billie Jean/Black Or White (Immortal Version): The Jacksons;Michael Jackson: MP3 Downloads". amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  9. ^ "You Are Not Alone/I Just Can't Stop Loving You by MJImmortal on SoundCloud". Sony Music. SoundCloud. 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  10. ^ "Listen to a Brand New Track from IMMORTAL". Sony Music. The Official Michael Jackson Site. 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  11. ^ "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' by MJImmortal". Sony Music. SoundCloud. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
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  15. ^ "Dancing Machine/Blame it on the Boogie by MJImmortal". Sony Music. SoundCloud. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
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  22. ^ a b (Japanese)"CDアルバム 週間ランキング-ORICON STYLE ランキング". Oricon. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  23. ^ Scott Shetler (2011-11-03). "Michael Jackson, ‘Immortal Megamix’ – Song Review". popcrash.com. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  24. ^ Bill Lamb (2011-11-02). "Michael Jackson's Immortal Megamix Reimagines Classic Hits". about.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  25. ^ Carly Mallenbaum (2011-11-16). "Exclusive: Michael Jackson 'Immortal' remix – USATODAY.com". USAToday. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  26. ^ Randall Roberts (2011-11-21). "Album Review: Michael Jackson's "Immortal"". latimes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  27. ^ Chad Grischow (2011-11-21). "Michael Jackson: Immortal Review - MJ tribute too cluttered, chopped to offer good look at his career". IGN. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  28. ^ Killian Fox (2011-11-20). "Michael Jackson: Immortal – review". The Observer via guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  29. ^ Arwa Haider (2011-11-21). "Michael Jackson's Immortal is full of hits but a bit of a circus". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  30. ^ Michael Langston Moore (2011-11-21). "Michael Jackson's 'Immortal' review: Good album or money grabbing scheme?". African American Entertainment Examiner. Examiner.com. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
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  34. ^ "Immortal (Deluxe Version) by Michael Jackson - Preorder Immortal (Deluxe Version) on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
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  38. ^ http://www.theofficialcharts.com/albums-chart/
  39. ^ a b "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums -2012 Year End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
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  46. ^ "Immortal by Michael Jackson - Preorder Immortal on iTunes". Sony Music. iTunes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  47. ^ "Immortal de Michael Jackson - Pide por anticipado Immortal en iTunes". Sony Music. iTunes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  48. ^ "Immortal di Michael Jackson - Ordina in anteprima Immortal su iTunes". Sony Music. iTunes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  49. ^ "Amazon.co.jp: イモータル デラックス・エディション(初回生産限定盤): マイケル・ジャクソン: 音楽". Sony Music. Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  50. ^ http://www.disctarra.com/index.php/front/detail/2733
  51. ^ "迈克尔•杰克逊:不朽(CD)-音乐-卓越亚马逊". amazon.cn. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]