Apparently Michael Jackson had his bit of fun with "holophonics" on the album "BAD". I had already heard about this but never noticed any binaural effects on the album except for 1 - the intro to "Speed Demon". I knew about this for a long, long time.
Today however, I learned that more than that 1 song had binaural effects on them. Unfortunately, these effects had been removed due to a fall out with the binaural microphone maker. Apparently, Michael wanted to buy the microphone and all associated rights but the owner refused. As a result, the album was remixed without the binaural effects and re-released. That's right....re-released - not remastered, re-released. That means that there were some albums released with these binaural effects intact. How many original binaural effects albums were released? Well, estimates put it at the first 2 million copies. But how do you know if you have one of these original binaural albums? Easy! The first 2 million copies were released in Japan!!!! So, if you happen to have the Japanese 1st pressing with the catalog number of 32-8P-200 then you have one of the original binaural albums. How cool is that!!!!
What parts are binaural? Nobody really knows but judging from the dispute and the differences between the original and the immediate re-releases and future re-masters it seems ok to make the following educated guesses:
"The Way You Make Me Feel" [Album Version #2] replaced the original album version on all later pressings of the Bad album. It is the full-length version of the single remix without the finger snap (binaural effect?) after the second verse.
"Smooth Criminal" [Album Version #2] replaced the original album version on all later pressings of the Bad album. It omits the dramatic breathing within the intro which sounds like a binaural recording.
"Bad" [7" Single Edit] replaced the original album version on all later pressings of the Bad album. Horns are removed throughout the earlier choruses - maybe because they were recorded with binaural sound.
"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" [7" Single Edit] replaced the original version on the later releases of Bad. Originally, the album version featured a spoken intro by Jackson backed with a longer version of the opening music. This intro was mixed out on future releases of the album probably because the entire intro is recorded in binaural audio.
"Dirty Diana" [7" SIngle Edit] replaced the original version on later Bad releases also possibly due to binaural effects.
Have fun tracking the original binaural version down and enjoying those cool binaural recording tidbits!
EDIT: I was contacted by a fellow music fan who told me that my article was wrong in that not only the "Made in Japan" discs have the original mix. Apparently there are some other discs, like the Australian release and a "Made In Austria" disc that contain the original mixes. Unfortunately, there is no sure fire way to know which disc will have the original mix. Sucks...I know. However, the earlier the pressing, the more likely it is to have it. Search for one with the pressing numbers I listed above and you'll be fine.
Edited by LFF - 10/14/10 at 11:43am