Unreleased Michael Jackson tracks to feature on film soundtrack

Two versions of a song titled This Is It are due to hit shelves on 12 October and will also appear in the upcoming documentary of the same name

Two versions of a new Michael Jackson song will appear on the soundtrack to This Is It, the upcoming documentary about the singer's last days. An unreleased spoken word track will also be included on the two-disc set, which is due on 27 October.

In a convenient marketing coincidence, the unreleased song is also called This Is It - the same name as the documentary, not to mention Jackson's doomed O2 residency. The track includes backing vocals by Jackson's brothers, according to Rolling Stone, and runs over the film's credits. It will be released as a posthumous single on 12 October.

This Is It's double-album soundtrack will be released the same day as the movie hits cinemas, opening for a two-week engagement around the world. The first disc includes the original album masters of various Jackson classics, while disc two features unreleased versions. It's not clear what the "two versions" of the This Is It song consist of – whether they are a radio and extended edit, a remix, or a Bavarian polka version.

"The song [This Is It] only defines, once again, what the world already knows - that Michael is one of God's greatest gifts," said John McClain, film/soundtrack co-producer and one of the Jackson estate's co-executors.

The set's other gem is a spoken word cut called Planet Earth, featuring a poem written by Jackson. The poem first appeared on the inside album sleeve of Jackson's Dangerous album, released in 1991. It is a lyrical treasure – or at least it, er, rhymes - describing Earth as "a minor globe, about to bust / a piece of metal bound to rust / a speck of matter in a mindless void / a lonely spaceship, a large asteroid".

The This Is It documentary, directed by Kenny Ortega, will include previously unseen footage of Jackson's 2009 rehearsals. In the week since it was released, the film's trailer has already attracted almost 2.5m views on YouTube.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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