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Michael Jackson’s “The Immortal World Tour” opened Oct. 2 in Montreal. The show, produced in collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and Jackson’s estate, features ambitious reinventions of some of the King of Pop’s biggest hits, performed by a live band as Cirque’s acrobats do seemingly impossible feats. The band, led by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, plays to the late singer’s vocals.
Similarly to Cirque du Soleil’s tremendsously popular “Love,” which is built around the Beatles' hits, “Immortal” takes Jackson’s music (solo and with the Jackson 5) and creates mash-ups and new arrangements. However, in the case of “Love,” the musical designers were George Martin, who, of course, produced all the Beatles hits originally, and his talented son Giles. Music designer Kevin Antunes handles the duties for Cirque. He is best known for his work with The New Kids on the Block, Marky Mark, Britney Spears and ‘N Sync.
As we previously reported, on Nov. 21, Epic Records will release the soundtrack to “Immortal,” with Antune’s reinventions of Jackson’s tunes as they appear in the spectacular. Billboard premiered the mash-up of “Dancing Machine/Blame In On The Boogie,” two songs from Jackson and his brothers. Hear it here.
The tune opens with a blazing guitar solo and throws in everything, including a train whistle, before it gets into a high-energy, thumping remix of “Dancing Machine.” We’re not really hearing “Blame It On the Boogie” in this mix other than the "I just can't control my feet" bridge. The arrangement gives way to some heavenly strings balanced again an industrial backdrop. It’s nearly impossible to judge this without seeing the accompanying visuals, but it’s works primarily for us as a club track, not as something we'd listen to in our house.
In case you’re counting, “Immortal” is the third posthumous release from Jackson since his 2009 death, following the “This Is It” soundtrack and “Michael.”
What do you think? Is "Immortal" a must for Jackson fans?