As it turns out, the new Michael Jackson song that was released earlier today—entitled “This Is It,” to coincide with the imminent concert film of the same name—is a retitled, only slightly reworked version of “I Never Heard,” a track that Jackson and ex-teen idol Paul Anka wrote in 1983 that was later recorded by the freestyle singer Sa-Fire. Anka, as you might expect, is really not happy about this, especially since his name has been erased from the new track’s list of composers! “They will be sued if they don’t correct it,” Anka told the New York Times. He also shed some light on the song’s origins!
For Mr. Anka, the song has a long and painful history. He said that he and Jackson wrote and recorded it in 1983 in Mr. Anka’s studio in Carmel, Calif., and that it had been intended as a duet for Mr. Anka’s album “Walk a Fine Line.”
But shortly after it was recorded Jackson took the tapes, Mr. Anka said. He threatened to sue to get them back, he said, and now has the original multitrack tapes in his possession, along with documentation that the copyright for the song was held by both men. “It’s exactly the same song,” Mr. Anka said. “They just changed the title.”
And he’s right. Listen to the Sa-Fire version and tell me that you’re not hearing what you heard this morning:
You can even hear Jackson’s vocals in the background! Here’s the “new” song, for comparison’s sake.
No comment yet from Sa-Fire, but let’s all just say that we’re thinking of her, mmkay?
Paul Anka Says He Was Not Credited for New Jackson Single [NYT]
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL JACKSON “I Never Heard” by Safire [YouTube]
Sa-Fire – Thinking Of You [YouTube]
Earlier: Michael Jackson: Reminding Us From Beyond The Grave That This Is Indeed It