On October 15th, Sony Music released the Expanded Editions of Michael Jackson’s OFF THE WALL, THRILLER, BAD and DANGEROUS. Here is a review of the special versions of the King of Pop’s classic albums.


Two bonus tracks are featured on this remastered special edition of OFF THE WALL: the original 1978 demo versions of “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” (4:48) and “Working Day And Nigh” (4:19). These captivating pieces of music history demonstrate Michael Jackson’s natural talent to create and produce music. Both tracks were recorded at the Jacksons’ home in Encino, California. Janet and Randy Jackson participated in the recordings. Randy played the bass and keyboards while Janet handled the percussions using glass bottles among other things! Both tracks are home demos with rudimentary arrangements. Yet, the foundations of the songs are there. The amazing talent of Michael Jackson as a music creator is obvious. So much for the skeptics who thought legendary producer Quincy Jones was behind Michael’s inspiration.

On an amusing note, the demo version of “Working Day And Night” starts off with a funny squabbling between Randy, Michael and Janet. «Michael, turn down the headphones, man!» yells Randy. «He’s trying, Randy!» snaps back Janet.

The expanded version of OFF THE WALL also contains audio interviews with producer Quincy Jones and composer Rod Temperton where they share their memories on the making of the album.


The expanded version of the THRILLER album contains 4 bonus tracks. The first one is “Someone In The Dark,” the instant classic that Michael originally recorded for the E.T. Storybook. It is the “Opening Version” (4:47) of the song that is available on this record. Then comes a demo of “Billie Jean.” This early version of Michael’s masterpiece is extraordinary. Although he has no lyrics for the song yet (except for the chorus line), Michael performs the complete vocals in total improvisation. This is legendary art in the making. A must-hear. The next bonus track on the record is the amazing recording session of the “Thriller” rap with actor Vincent Price. The track features the never-before-released second verse of the famous rap and the complete uncut infectious closing laughter. A hilarious moment. The final bonus track on this special edition is the never-before-released song “Carousel” (1:49), a left-off of the THRILLER sessions. “Carousel” was written and composed by Michael Sembello. It is a superb song that will undoubtedly become a favorite among fans. Unfortunately, the song has been shortened for the expanded version. The second verse and several choruses have been edited out. Fans will have to content themselves with one third of the actual song. Given the quality of the track, it is really too bad.

The expanded version of THRILLER also contains audio interviews with producer Quincy Jones and composer Rod Temperton. These interesting insights deal with the making of the album, Vincent Price’s participation, “Carousel” and the videos.


The expanded version of the BAD album features 3 bonus tracks: “Streetwalker,” “Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu” and “Fly Away.” “Streetwalker” (5:49) is a never-before-released song from the BAD sessions. It was originally supposed to be included to the album instead of “Another Part Of Me.” Although the track is inspired and full of energy, it is fair to say that it ultimately didn’t measure up to “Another Part Of Me.” When listening to this song, fans will finally discover where the intro doo-woops from the live versions of “Heartbreak Hotel” and “The Way You make Me Feel” come from!

“Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu” (4:04) is the Spanish version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” It has previously been released in 1987 in Spanish-speaking markets. It is sung in Spanish by Michael and Siedah Garrett (lyrics translated by Ruben Blades). This special version is now available to all.

“Fly Away” (3:26) is an original song written, composed and performed by Michael Jackson. It was finally cut from the final selection of tracks for the BAD album. Although this song was covered by sister Rebbie on her 1998 Yours Faithfully album, Michael’s mid-tempo version was never-before-released. “Fly Away” is another instant classic that definitely deserved to be released from the King of Pop’s vaults. Note: this version of “Fly Away” is an advanced demo. It is not a final mix.

As with the other expanded versions, BAD contains audio interviews with producer Quincy Jones where he talks about recording “Bad” with Prince, his favorite songs on the album and shooting the “Bad” video.


The expanded version will only include the original 14 tracks.