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Home / News Archive / News February 2020

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Space Channel 5 VR GameSpace Channel 5 Is Coming Back As A VR Game Without Michael. 10-02-'20

A fresh version of one of Sega's classic properties that isn't Sonic the Hedgehog was announced last year, with Dreamcast classic Space Channel 5 returning in VR form. Now there's a launch trailer and while only the PlayStation VR version has a release date (February 25 in the US, February 26 in Europe) the website lists Vive, SteamVR, and Oculus versions coming soon.

Space Channel 5 and its sequel (which is the only one of the two available on PC) were deeply strange rhythm games from the early 2000's in which a journalist named Ulala who lives in the 1960's idea of the future defeats aliens in dance-offs. They featured cameos from Michael Jackson, who played a character named 'Space Michael'. That's one thing this new VR version will presumably leave out, though it does look true to the style of the originals. (Original voice actor Apollo Smile has been replaced by Cherami Leigh, who voices the lady version of V in Cyberpunk 2077.)

Michael Jackson made multiple cameo appearances in the games, which won 2000 GDC awards for original game character of the year and excellence in audio. But as it became clear that the Dreamcast would be Sega’s last console, the franchise transitioned to the PlayStation 2, and UGA disbanded, ending the series.

While it was unclear Michael’s cameo will return, it has been officially said the cameo will not be part of the new version unfortunately!

While it's a shame this new Space Channel 5 game, subtitled 'Kinda Funky News Flash', will only be available in VR, it's nice to see Sega bringing back one of their old series people actually liked.

Source: PC Gamer / Billie Jean


Greg Phillinganes Rare Interview, Speaks About Working With Michael Jackson. 07-02-'20

Greg PhillinganesIn a rare interview given to Keyboard Magazine, Greg Phillinganes, who has worked for Michael Jackson in the studio, on tour, in videos but also pays tribute to the 'King of Pop' working on projects such as Immortal Tour, recalls moments with Michael.

Here part of the interview regarding Michael:

Was Quincy your entry point into working with Michael Jackson?

Yes, but before Quincy started producing Michael’s solo albums, a buddy of mine named Bobby Colomby called me one day and asked me, “How do you feel about arranging?” Now, even though I’d done some, I was still a bit timid about my abilities. Bobby said to me, “You should do more arranging.” And I replied, “Well, I don’t know.” He then replied, “Let me put it this way. You will do more arranging. And here’s who you’re going to do it with!” The next thing I knew, I was in a room with the Jackson brothers, doing rhythm arrangements for the 'Destiny' album. The first song I worked on was 'Blame It On The Boogie'.

How did your work with Michael Jackson develop after that?

I had worked on the Jackson 5’s 'Triumph' album after 'Destiny'. After that, Quincy asked me to be involved in Michael’s solo album 'Off The Wall'. I played on virtually all of that album, and things just took off from there.

Then recording with Michael Jackson led to touring?

I’ll never forget the way Michael asked me to tour with him. We were working on the 'Bad' album, and from time to time he’d say, “Um, you really enjoy performing, right?” And I’d say, “Yeah. It’s great.” I didn’t really think anything of it. Time would pass, and he’d say to me, “Um, you like performing live, right?” I’d reply, “Yeah, it’s great.” More time would pass, and he’d then say to me, “Um, you really like live audiences, right?” This went on and on, until it finally dawned on me. I said to him, “You want me to tour with you, don’t you?” And he said, “Yeah.” The next thing I knew, I was the musical director for the Bad tour, which was huge.

Michael did something really sweet for me that I’ll never forget. The running joke at that time was that I was a famous keyboard player but I didn’t own a Rhodes of my own. After we finished the 'Destiny' album, I was at home minding my own business when my doorbell rang. A guy driving a white truck asked me, “Are you Greg Phillinganes? I have something for you.” He opened the truck and took out a giant case with a Rhodes Suitcase model in it. Attached was a note from Michael: “I knew you didn’t have one of these so I thought you’d like one.” I still have that Rhodes, and I recently had it completely redone. It sounds amazing.

How did you wind up musical director of the Immortal show?

A few years ago, John McClain from the Jackson estate called me and said, “You’re doing this,” and that was pretty much it. I’d turned down other Michael Jackson tribute shows because I thought they weren’t of the quality they needed to be. But when I learned that the Immortal was sanctioned by Michael’s estate and involved Cirque du Soleil, I wholeheartedly signed on. I think it’s the next best thing to Michael doing his own tour. Michael was actually a huge fan of Cirque, and had seen all of their shows.

Jamie King, the show’s director, brought Kevin Antunes on board as music designer. Jamie and Kevin had worked together on many productions, including shows for Rihanna and Madonna, and this time, Kevin had the enviable job of going through all of Michael’s original Sony master tapes. He ultimately assembled them into what we now have as our show.

Source: Keyboard Magazine / Billie Jean


#MichaelJacksonBlackHistory Trending On Social Media. 02-02-'20

#MichaelJacksonBlackHistory is trending on social media.

The reason for the hashtag is due to the fact that Google has omitted (purposely or not) Michael Jackson from their search during the Black History Month.

The Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month.

It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.

Michael Jackson Black History
#MichaelJacksonBlackHistory is trending on social media.

The hashtag movement originated leaded by Taj Jackson who discover Google did not included his uncle:

Let’s trend #MichaelJacksonBlackHistory this Saturday, February 1 in honor of Black History month. Post an image or video of Michael Jackson’s many accomplishments for Black History. Let’s remind them how MJ was a Black history maker who ”helped shape and influence American culture”. https://t.co/Gi0Y49mtro
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) January 27, 2020.

Started yesterday, millions of fans have used the hashtag and it is believed to carry on during the whole month of October.

So carry on the good work and let’s push Google to put back Michael Jackson in his right place in the Black History!

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

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