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Hear the Unreleased ‘Bad’-Era Michael Jackson Track ‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round’

Michael Jackson
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

A song called ‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round’ that Michael Jackson considered for four separate albums but never released has finally surfaced. A demo version of the track from 1987 was issued as part of the rollout of new music for the upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album.

‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round’ appears as the B-side to the re-released ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ single, available only at Walmart. The track features sunny, tropical percussion with piano played by the King of Pop himself. He sings in falsetto, improvises vocal parts and gives verbal cues between sections of the clearly unfinished song (“Bridge!“).

‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round’ was written before ‘Thriller’ but didn’t get a serious look until the ‘Bad’ recording sessions. The version here was recorded in 1987, and sound engineer Matt Forger insists that the tapes have not been enhanced with any new sounds. “No new parts were allowed, not even parts that were recorded after ’87 but still done under Michael’s supervision,” he says.

Jackson biographer Joseph Vogel writes in The Atlantic that MJ revisited the track during his ‘Dangerous’ and ‘HIStory’ recording sessions but never perfected the song enough to put it on a record.

The track is one of more than 20 previously-unheard demos under consideration for inclusion on the 25th anniversary edition of ‘Bad,’ which will hit stores later this year. Though its sales figures fell well short of ‘Thriller,’ ‘Bad’ was still a hugely successful album, going eight-times platinum and producing five No. 1 singles, a record that still stands (and was recently matched by Katy Perry).

Check out ‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round’ and leave a comment to let us know what you think. Would this song have fit in with ‘Dirty Diana,’ ‘Smooth Criminal’ and ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ on the ‘Bad’ album?

Listen to Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx0_r0ll3K4

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