It’s better to burn out than it is to rust

June 26, 2009

Swept up in the spirit of worldwide musical tribute to a dead, crazy, noseless, white-girl wannabe, I offer this, my favorite Michael Jackson track:

http://blog.belm.com/belmblog/audio/dab.mp3

It’s “Dab,” by composer John Oswald (anagramatically credited to “Alien Chasm Jock”), from his legendary album plunderphonic — the greatest record you’ll never hear. It was never commercially released, but it was distributed to radio stations in 1989. Despite it’s obscurity, representatives acting for Jackson demanded that all copies be destroyed. It seems they didn’t take issue with Oswald’s Burroughs-ian cutup approach to the music, but rather took offense at the CD cover (which you can see here). I think they were more perturbed by the reworked lyrical assertion “my butt is love,” but I’ll never be able to prove it.

The irony in the claims of unauthorized use is rich; the original Jackson track samples a Eugene Ormandy recording of a Beethoven symphony. Yet the Oswald version lives on (here, for example) — may he get his extra five minutes of fame from the death of his tormentor.

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