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Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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"A fascinating, fresh, detailed account of how Michael Jackson changed the game for artists in the entertainment industry. Packed with new angles and insights, Greenburg avoids cheap sensationalism in favor of real, research-based reporting. The result is at once a story of Jackson's remarkable business acumen, as well as a cautionary tale about the price of the ticket. While Jackson's success came at a great cost, reading this book makes clear how he paved the way for generations of artists to come." (Joseph Vogel, author of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson)
"Zack follows every step of the way as the King of Pop becomes the Citizen Kane of Pop, creating an empire so strong that even Jackson’s most mind-boggling excesses couldn't bring it down. Michael Jackson Inc. is the deepest examination and most resounding proof yet that Jackson was as pioneering in business as he was in music -- a pathfinder in the establishment of Artist as Brand." (Jem Aswad, editor-in-chief of SPIN)
"Jackson was crazy like a fox, and could be as cold in business as he was hot onstage and in the studio. I'm crazy for this gripping, beautifully-reported book." (Michael Gross, author of House of Outrageous Fortune)
“The King of Pop is perfectly captured by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, who has a journalist’s eye for detail with Michael Jackson, Inc. The words dance across the page, the mark of a writer with vivid, natural storytelling talent. Bravo, Zack!” (Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones)
“What a story Zack Greenburg tells well, one that is as absorbing and exciting as Michael Jackson on stage in his prime. It’s a modern, pop version of Citizen Kane.” (Steve Forbes)
"We know the circus that Michael Jackson's personal life became in the media, yet Zack found the stories of who he became in the business world, which was starkly different and industry influencing. Jackson went hard in the vocal booth and even harder in the boardroom. Artist-entrepreneurs like Jay Z, Diddy and Lady Gaga owe him the world; we're indebted to Zack for shedding light on Jackson's business acumen." (Datwon Thomas, contributing editor at Ozy.com)
“We all know Michael Jackson worked hard to become the undisputed King of Pop. Zack Greenburg’s well researched Michael Jackson, Inc. follows the money and shows us how he learned from the best, defied the odds, and turns out to have been just as good at business—making this a fun, compelling read and one of the most incisive looks at the business of show business at its highest level.” (Fab 5 Freddy, hip-hop pioneer and longtime host of Yo! MTV Raps)
“Greenburg explores the brilliance and business acumen of Michael Jackson. He intricately carves the truth behind the man who went from rags to revolutionizing—and paving the way for artists to ultimately become business moguls.” (David Banner, Grammy-winning musician, actor and entrepreneur)
"Greenburg adroitly reviews Jackson's artistic growth and achievements not with pecuniary jargon or obsequious praise, but as a narrative of the fruitful relationships the artist established with others. He includes surprising facts about Jackson's recording breakthroughs as well as his ambitious, and very expensive, long-form music videos, which became the industry standard... A useful, informative examination of this important artist’s career." (Kirkus)
“Offers a perspective fans around the world may have never seen…You feel like you’re getting to know the man he was… Read it. And if you’re a singer and/or songwriter or remotely involved in music, you truly should, just to understand how a master of the game played it to win.” (Ebony)
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Top Customer Reviews
There are few angles of the Michael Jackson story that have been left unexplored. This was one of them, and this book looks at it spectacularly.
Every Michael Jackson fan should read it but actually, it will probably be as interesting or more interesting to general business readers who can only name one or two Michael Jackson songs.
It is also a cautionary tale about the unanticipated effects of corporate mergers & acquisitions - in this case, Jackson, ended up owning half of the Sony/ATV music catalog (worth billions) but also having a separate relationship with Sony as a recording artist (when his label, CBS/Epic, was eventually acquired by Sony). This dual relationship of being co-owner and contractor seems to me to be at the root of the disputes and frustrations that soured a previously good business arrangement between Jackson & Sony. He had several albums still to deliver under his recording contract, but when he became unhappy with them, couldn't afford to legally dispute and/or walk away, because the rest of his fortune was too attached to the same company.
The book is well written and well-documented with numerous interviews and little reliance on third party reports. What it doesn't do is explain the 'why" of some of Jackson's later decisions. There are several clues, however. For example, at one point after Jackson's acquittal & return to the Unites States, he strongly considered selling his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog in order to liquidate and pay off debts. But he was advised not to do so.Read more ›
As in most things Michael Jackson, the media have typically provided over-the-top and misleading coverage of MJ's business dealings, overlooking his entrepreneurial prowess, visionary acumen, and genius. Zack reveals the surprising inside stories of MJ's acquisition of the largest music catalog in history, of his fantastical 2700-acre Neverland that reflected his core personality, and of the stratospheric earning power of the King of Pop. He also interprets the downfall of MJ and of his financial status in a thorough, credible, and interesting way, in parts difficult to read because of the pathos and victimhood in the story.
Although the public was fed negatively skewed material about MJ's finances across the years, Zack shows how the lens and yardstick with which MJ was perceived and measured were generally inaccurate and distorted. He presents the reader with a fascinating case study of the King of Entrepreneurship, who set the bar in so many areas for other artists to follow his lead. He was a game changer, whose soft voice and steel will combined to effect new ways of marketing music and monetizing celebrity. MJ studied the greats - in music, dance, and finance - and then became greater, a goal that he set for himself as a very young man.
Michael Jackson was indeed a trail-blazer in everything he did - dance, music, film, life-style, philanthropy - with risk-taking decision-making, out-of-the-box thinking, driving ambition, and a level of perfectionism that fueled his bigger-and-better obsession.Read more ›
wasn't sure what to think exactly. thought it might be fawning (although i just notice the title refers to "the fall" of MJ too). and the fact that the writer is at forbes made me think i would be quite well done and balanced...
and it was... a very enjoyable read.......... alot of good details that aren't in any other books.
a few comments (unfortunately all of them a bit negative... but i do think it's actually a very good book):
1) comparing 50 cent to michael jackson in any way shape or form is mind-boggling. the author and 50 cent sort of mention this but i would never have gone there. maybe Jay-Z or Rihanna or someone like that (not that i listen to their music)
2) i didn't understand the one paragraph about MJ's naming his child Prince was the name his great-great grandfather gave his child. or something like that. so it was a white master giving his slave the name "prince"... or something to that effect. didn't understand that at all. seemed to just jump into the narrative with no real explanation.
3) the greatness of michael jordan and nike is all the shoes they sold together, not the deal he signed out of UNC, where he was in the same situation as 2 or 3 players every year..... the greatness would have been selling a ton of shoes for LA Gear, not signing a contract with a big up-front payment... the author does mention this but not nearly enough or strongly enough.
4) i'm a huge MJ fan but his work after thriller was pretty commonplace (if even that a couple of albums later)..... it wasn't just having to top thriller's success (which is a good point) but the quality of the music wasn't that good.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a MJ fan, I was skeptical about this book. But while reading this, I was in it non stop. It's a great read that focuses on his business savvy and not just his obvious talents.Published 2 months ago by Marcus Shannon
I couldn't put this book down once I started reading it. The business of "Michael Jackson" is fascinating. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I've skimmed the material and I'm impressed. I've not read the book as of yet, but from what I've gleaned I'm glad I purchased it.Published 7 months ago by Susie
It's nice to get accurate, well-researched information. Zack O'Malley Greenburg is known for great research and beautiful writing style. Business of music buffs will learn a lot.Published 8 months ago by Quality Hunter