Epic Records chairman/CEO LA Reid was in session recently at Bernie Grundman Mastering for the mastering of Michael Jackson’s Xscape. Reid, who curated the collection of eight previously unreleased Jackson songs, also decided on the final track-list.
“Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with. We are extremely proud and honoured to present this music to the world,” Reid said.
Grundman mastered most of Michael Jackson’s albums many times with recording engineer Bruce Swedien, including Thriller. Reid recalled that his very first mastering session was with Bernie Grundman in 1983.
Reid curated the final list of recordings to deliver to the producers, who retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson's essence and integrity. It’s a process Reid calls contemporising. The album’s lead producer, Timbaland was one of a handful of producers Reid believed had the gravitas, depth, and range to creatively engage with Jackson’s work. Additional producers include global hit makers Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome ‘Jroc’ Harmon, and John McClain.
Xscape will also be available in a deluxe edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings in their original form. The Xscape standard and deluxe editions are available worldwide on 13 May.
Pictured left to right in session at Bernie Grundman Mastering is Reid and Grundman. Credit: David Goggin.