DID MICHAEL JACKSON SING LIVE ON THE HISTORY TOUR? (PART 3 – Conclusion)

It’s time to wrap up our History tour article series and the question “DID MICHAEL JACKSON SING LIVE ON THE HISTORY TOUR?”.

We have already looked at “Scream” to “Smooth Criminal” in part one (which you can read here) and “You are not alone” to “Dangerous” in part two (which you can read here).

We missed out “Blood on the Dance floor” from our songs yesterday, so we will start with that and go straight to “Black or White”! Here goes …

17) Blood on the dance floor!

Did Michael sing “Blood on the dance floor” live on the History Tour?

Michael Jackson performed “Blood on the dance floor” during the second leg of the tour and lip synced the whole song. He usually introduced it live. This a song with multiple layers of Michael’s vocals and it’s odd that it sounds like the backing singers microphones were turned off completely … sounding very much like the original CD release. He did not sing this song live on stage in his career.

18) Black or White!

Did Michael sing “Black or White” live on the History Tour?

Good performance. The song was mimed by Michael on the History tour. The song was never performed live on the History tour (except for the “rap” performed by various backing singers)

19) Earth Song!

Did Michael sing “Earth Song” live on the History Tour?

One of my favourite songs on the tour “Earth Song”, was mimed my Michael. He lip synced this song on the whole tour. The microphone is off from beginning to end as it is a very planned performance. Consequently, when a crazy fan ran up the crane and grabbed Michael in Korea (which you can read about here), the vocal track continued without interruption.

20) Heal the World!

Did Michael sing “Heal the World” live on the History Tour?

This was actually a very long song and many people thought that this was the end of the show and walked out! The song was mimed for the most part. Michael’s lead vocals were lip synced and the choir was obviously from the source, as well as backing vocals. The volume of the actual live backing singers vary, sometimes slightly louder than other times (like Gothenburg, Sweden) but usually pretty quiet, nearly silent.

There is a point during this song when the microphone is switched on and Michael starts singing live.

This (roughly) is the section near the end where it goes into “you and for me, you and for me (repeat)”, just after he lip syncs “save it for our children”… the point varies slightly from concert to concert.

During concerts, like the one in Burcharest, Romania, Michael head microphone fails and he is forced to use his backing singers hand held microphone to finish the song. During the restart, the choir, failed to kick in and the backing singers took this live with Michael. I think that it sounds a lot better without the choir at the end (Dangerous Tour “esque”) for the encore.

You can hear the “choir” accidentally triggered and quickly switched off again right at the end of the song in the Kaohsiung, Taiwan, concert (see here)

21) History!

Did Michael sing “History” live on the History Tour?

Michael Jackson often introduced this song live and sang his “Hooooooo’s! live but when the actual song started he was miming the vocals. He lip syncs until the middle part where you will him give another “Hoooooooo!” (if the microphone doesn’t fail) and then go back to lip syncing. Once the song is finished Michael’s microphone is switched on and he will say his goodbyes and be off! 🙂

Conclusion

I enjoyed the History Tour a lot. I think that Michael could have sang one or two songs more live but that the tour didn’t suffer too much because of that. In my opinion Michael had the perfect compromise of live and lip synced vocals in the Dangerous tour and we will take a look at that too!

Remeber that there are always exceptions. We talked about ways to notice how songs were performed in part one of this article but there are exceptions. Technology has advance quickly over the years so it gets harder and harder to tell. Mistakes were made, more so in the Dangerous tour but during songs like “Billie Jean” (in Bucharest, Romania – first line) and the “Off the wall medley”, say in Prague opening night, Beat it during the same concert…. overall, the band did a very very good job and there were a lot less mistakes than on the Dangerous tour with the backing tracks. The band director Brad Buxer must have been under intense pressure having to rely on computers that sometimes fail!

The technicians on “This is it” did an AMAZING job at sourcing demo’s, rehearsals and rare recordings and putting them together to create the vocals for “This is it” (including genuine MJ live vocals which were great in songs like “Human Nature”).

Even in concerts like the 30th Anniversary celebrations in New York back in 2001, the technology was available to lower the lead vocal without changing the tempo or sound quality (which they did on many songs … we will come to this at a later date, also).

It get’s even more complicated with a performance like Man in the mirror at the United we stand concert in Washington D.C, where they mix live vocals, with a lead vocal track that has been given more depth (same key though) AND they use an extended source version of the lead vocal that is previously unreleased – the “Startin with the man in the mirror” line, is not on the original version, it is not sung live and has never been on any other live version because Michael’s microphone was always switched on just before this point … must have been an out take not used in the original studio recording…. it get’s complicated – but it is possible if you have a good ear! We’ll cover the lot, so don’t worry 🙂

By Anthony King (c)


Related articles

DID MICHAEL JACKSON SING LIVE ON THE HISTORY TOUR? (Part 1)
DID MICHAEL JACKSON SING LIVE ON THE HISTORY TOUR? (PART 2)
MICHAEL JACKSON DANGEROUS TOUR MUNICH, JUNE 27, 1992
MICHAEL JACKSON HISTORY TOUR LIVE IN SEOUL, KOREA
MICHAEL JACKSON DANGEROUS TOUR BUCHAREST LIVE CONCERT/DVD
MICHAEL JACKSON AND FRIENDS 1999 CHARITY CONCERTS
MICHAEL JACKSON’S HISTORY WORLD TOUR 1996
MICHAEL JACKSON’S DANGEROUS WORLD TOUR 1992
MICHAEL JACKSON’S BAD TOUR 1988
MICHAEL JACKSON AND CLASSICAL MUSIC

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