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Previously unreleased from the BAD sessions, produced and performed by Michael Jackson, this is the demo Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round. It’s a bossa nova inspired song which is now being posthumously released exclusively by WalMart. It is not an earth-shattering track but we’ll take the vintage Michael anyway we can.
A full album of previously unreleased material from the Bad sessions is due September 18, 2012.
The Atlantic has an extensive must-read piece on the story behind the making of the catchy song.
Jackson first wrote and recorded “Don’t Be Messin'” during the Thriller sessions with engineer Brent Averill. Around this time he was working on a variety of musical ideas, including demos of “P.Y.T.” and “Billie Jean.” “Don’t Be Messin'” features Jackson himself playing piano (“He could do more than he ever really let people know,” Forger says.) He also produced, arranged, and guided many of the instrumental parts, including the cinematic strings, Jonathan Maxey’s piano part in the bridge, and David Williams funky guitar licks.
Ultimately, since “Don’t Be Messin'” wasn’t fully developed and so much other strong material was coming in for Thriller, Jackson decided to put the song on the back burner, having in mind to revisit it for his next album. “That was kind of how Michael developed ideas and songs,” explains Forger. “He let the song unfold in its own time. Sometimes a song wasn’t ready or didn’t quite fit the character of an album or a project and it would stay in the vaults. And then at a certain point of time, he would pull it out again.”