|Promotional single by Michael Jackson from the album The Ultimate Collection|
|Released||September 14, 2004|
|Format||12" vinyl, CD single, digital download|
|Recorded||March 13 - 17, 1987 at Hayvenhurst (Encino) Studios|
|Genre||Funk, soul, rhythm and blues, hip-hop|
|Writer(s)||Michael Jackson, Greg Phillinganes|
"Cheater" is a song written by Michael Jackson and Greg Phillinganes and was originally slated to appear on Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad (1987), but it was removed from the track listing for unknown reasons. After being sent to US and UK radio stations, the full commercial release of "Cheater" was cancelled for unspecified reasons, turning the song into a promotional release. The song was then released on November 16, 2004 on The Ultimate Collection album.
"Cheater" was written and produced by Michael Jackson, and co-written by Greg Phillinganes. The song was originally intended for Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad (1987). However, it failed to make into the final track listing. It was described by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic.com as "funky, loose, and alive," saying "that it's hard not to wish that Jackson didn't fuss over his albums and just record like this all the time". However, the full commercial release was cancelled for unspecified reasons, with the song being released as part of the box set.
As promotion of the limited edition box set from The Ultimate Collection, Epic Records distributed a sampler of the compilation featuring twelve tracks. Eight songs were previously released, while four – "Beautiful Girl", "Scared of the Moon", "We've Had Enough", and "Cheater" – remained unreleased until the compilation's release. The sampler was titled Highlights From The Ultimate Collection in the United States, and The Ultimate Collection Sampler in Europe.
A music video was also shown on some channels; it features clips from the Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour DVD, which was included in the same album the song appears in.
The song received positive critical reception. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described this song as "good stuff" and described "Cheater" as "so funky, loose, and alive that it's hard not to wish that Jackson didn't fuss over his albums and just record like this all the time."
- Digital download
- "Cheater" (Demo) – 5:08
- Europe Promo
- "Cheater" (Radio Edit) – 3:58
- UK 12" Vinyl
Credits and personnel
- Michael Jackson - songwriting, production, lead and background vocals
- Greg Phillinganes - songwriting, piano, synthesizers
- Bill Bottrell and Matt Forger - audio engineering
- David Williams - guitar
Credits adapted from The Ultimate Collection liner notes.
- "Cheater by Michael Jackson (12" Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Cheater by Michael Jackson (Europe Promo)". Discogs. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- The Ultimate Collection (Liner notes). Michael Jackson. Epic Records. 2004.
- Cadman, Chriss; Craig Halstead (February 27, 2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors OnLine Ltd. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0-7552-0267-6. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (November 16, 2004). "Allmusic: The Ultimate Collection - Michael Jackson - Review". Allmusic. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Amazon.com: Ultimate Sampler (12 Tracks): Michael Jackson: Musicr". Sony Music. 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Michael Jackson - Highlights From The Ultimate Collection". Discogs. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Michael Jackson - The Ultimate Collection - Sampler". Discogs. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Amazon.com: Cheater: Michael Jackson: MP3 Downloads". Epic/Legacy. September 14, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- Cheater (Europe CD Single liner notes). Michael Jackson. Epic Records. 2004. XPCD2989.
- Cheater (12" Vinyl liner notes). Michael Jackson. Epic Records. 2004. XPR 3829.