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This also isn't it

This Is It, the film which purports to be an up-close snapshot of Michael Jackson’s final rehearsals for his planned O2 residency in London, has come under fire for being an elaborate con job in which old recordings are weaved into his supposedly live vocal performances. Hardly surprising given that he was 50 years old at the time and had to dance for two hours, but Sony’s dishonesty was a shocker.....actually no-one’s surprised by that either, are they?

‘Throughout the film sudden changes in vocal timbre suggest the dropping in of older recordings,’ said Andrew Rose, former BBC studio manager to The Sun, ‘which may have required significant digital manipulation to fit the new live backing.’

Significant digital manipulation means using recordings from 28 years ago to boost his flagging voice, the same voice that Jackson often complained about while rehearsing. Rose also said that his voice on the Billie Jean performance wasn’t that of a 50 year old, and that a 1991 recording of Earth Song was speeded up and had its pitch lowered to help Jacko out on stage. It’s all smoke and mirrors, is showbusiness.

‘In order to fulfil Michael's vision for his fans and his children... the film-makers had to incorporate some pre-existing materials,’ said Jim Kennedy of Sony Pictures. ‘Including vocals, where the rehearsal footage audio was incomplete and/or inaudible. In addition, usage of master recordings (such as Earth Song) was credited in the end titles.’

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