Why did Michael Jackson obtain the rights to The Beatles’ music?
In 1985, Michael Jackson purchased the rights to a number of songs, including several of The Beatles’ tunes, which Sir Paul McCartney described as “dodgy,” but why did he do so?
Michael Jackson’s sixth studio album, Thriller, had just been released to widespread acclaim in 1985. The young American star was swiftly establishing himself as one of the most popular performers in the world, and he was eager to increase his fortune and fame as much as possible. Jackson decided to buy the copyright to certain great tunes after working on some music with Paul McCartney, a member of The Beatles.
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In 1983, Jackson collaborated with McCartney on the song Say Say Say. McCartney told Jackson about the wonders of music publishing rights during their time together.
In 1985, the Fab Four member unwittingly gave Jackson the idea of purchasing the rights to the Liverpool lads’ back catalogue from ATV Music.
Jackson continued to possess The Beatles’ music until his death in 2009. Following that, the tracks were returned to Sony.
In 2014, McCartney retold the anecdote on The Graham Norton Show, saying, “[We lost] the early Beatles stuff.” It was a jigsaw puzzle.
“Because we didn’t know anything about [music management], we were taken advantage of. But, hey, who cares? “Yeah, it was a strange one, yeah,” McCartney continued, referring to Jackson. I was working with Michael at the time, and he called me over the holidays. ‘Hello, it’s Michael, do you want to create some hits?’ he said. ‘” When the two first started working together, McCartney tried to offer guidance to the rising star.
“You’re pretty hot, you’re just getting started,” McCartney recalled. “He just [published]Off The Wall, and I told him, ‘You’ve got to do some amazing videos.’ So he went off and made Thriller and stuff like that. ‘You need to get a really good management, since everything is going in and it might all go out again!’ I replied. “You should think about getting into song publishing!” he said. ” In an unexpected turn of events, Jackson said, “I’m going to purchase yours!” McCartney exclaimed. ” Shortly later, Jackson purchased ATV. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”