Michael Jackson’s Ultimate Box Set Has Demos, Hits, Live DVD

Embattled singer's five-disc collection hits stores on November 16.

Although he’s currently entrenched in legal battles, Michael Jackson may bring the focus back to his music — at least a little bit — when he releases a five-disc, career-spanning box set this fall.

The massive anthology, aptly titled The Ultimate Collection, will contain four audio CDs with 57 singles, album tracks, rarities and previously unreleased recordings, as well as a live concert DVD. The box set is due November 16, just over one year after Jackson’s last best-of collection, Number Ones, hit shelves.

The DVD disc features Jackson’s October 1992 concert at Bucharest’s National Stadium during his Dangerous tour. The show includes “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Billie Jean,” “Heal the World” and “Will You Be There” in its 16-song set list.

For the first time, fans will be a peek into the pop star’s recording process with The Ultimate Collection‘s nine previously unreleased demo recordings. Included in the set are demos of “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” (from the Thriller recording sessions), Jackson’s solo demo of “We Are the World,” “Shake a Body” (a track recorded with the Jacksons, which later turned into 1978′s “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”), “Sunset Driver,” “Scared of the Moon,” “Cheater,” “Fall Again,” “Beautiful Girl” and “The Way You Love Me.”

Tracks by Jackson, the Jackson 5 (“ABC”) and the Jacksons, as well as collaborations with artists including Diana Ross (“Ease on Down the Road” from “The Wiz”) and “The Girl Is Mine” (with Paul McCartney), and tracks from movie soundtracks, including “Childhood” from “Free Willy 2,” pepper the four discs.

The set, executive produced by Jackson, also includes a 64-page color booklet with details on each track, rare photographs, personal memorabilia from Jackson’s archives, a timeline of his life and an essay by journalist Nelson George.

Though the timing of the release of this box set may seem strange given the media’s current focus on Jackson’s legal battle, the release date of his last greatest-hits effort was even more unfortunate. Number Ones landed in stores on November 18, 2003, just as his Neverland Ranch was being searched due to new allegations of sexual misconduct (see “New Allegations Spark Search Of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch” ).

Track list for The Ultimate Collection:

Disc 1:


  • “I Want You Back”
  • “ABC”
  • “I’ll Be There”
  • “Got To Be There”
  • “I Wanna Be Where You Are”
  • “Ben”
  • “Dancing Machine”
  • “Enjoy Yourself”
  • “Ease on Down the Road”
  • “You Can’t Win”
  • “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”
  • “Shake a Body”
  • “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
  • “Rock With You”
  • “Off the Wall”
  • “She’s Out of My Life”
  • “Sunset Driver”
  • “Lovely One”
  • “This Place Hotel”

Disc 2:


  • “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ”
  • “The Girl Is Mine”
  • “Thriller”
  • “Beat It”
  • “Billie Jean”
  • “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”
  • “Someone in the Dark”
  • “State of Shock”
  • “Scared of the Moon”
  • “We are the World”
  • “We Are Here to Change the World”

Disc 3:


  • “Bad”
  • “The Way You Make Me Feel”
  • “Man in the Mirror”
  • “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
  • “Dirty Diana”
  • “Smooth Criminal”
  • “Cheater”
  • “Dangerous”
  • “Monkey Business”
  • “Jam”
  • “Remember the Time”
  • “Black or White”
  • “Who Is It”
  • “Someone Put Your Hand Out”

Disc 4:


  • “You Are Not Alone”
  • “Stranger in Moscow”
  • “Childhood”
  • “On the Line”
  • “Blood on the Dance Floor”
  • “Fall Again”
  • “In the Back”
  • “Unbreakable”
  • “You Rock My World”
  • “Butterflies”
  • “Beautiful Girl”
  • “The Way You Love Me”
  • “We’ve Had Enough”

Disc 5 (DVD):


  • “Jam”
  • “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ”
  • “Human Nature”
  • “Smooth Criminal”
  • “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
  • “She’s Out of My Life”
  • “I Want You Back”
  • “I’ll Be There”
  • “Thriller”
  • “Billie Jean”
  • “Working Day and Night”
  • “Beat It”
  • “Will You Be There”
  • “Black or White”
  • “Heal the World”
  • “Man in the Mirror”