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PostSubject: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:07 pm

"Is It Scary" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The song was originally written to have been featured in the 1993 film Addams Family Values, but the plans were canceled after contract conflicts. The song was recorded for Jackson's 1997 remix album, Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix. "Is It Scary" was written and produced by Jackson, Jimmy Jam (James Harris III) and Terry Lewis.
"Is It Scary" received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Musically, the song was viewed by music critics as showing a "darker side" of Jackson, and compared the songs composition to material from Marilyn Manson. In November 1997, a radio edit version of the song was released as a promotional single in the Netherlands, while promo singles containing remixes were released in the United States and the United Kingdom.


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PostSubject: Re: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:07 pm

Background


"Is It Scary" was originally written by Michael Jackson, James Harris III and Terry Lewis for the 1993 film Addams Family Values.[2] Paramount Pictures had signed Jackson to record a horror-themed song for the film (which became "Is It Scary") and to promote it with a video, but the song was dropped from the soundtrack due to contractual difficulties.[2] The song was among those considered for inclusion on Jackson's 1995 double album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, but it was not chosen as it did not complement the other tracks on the album.[2] Jackson subsequently wrote the song into his 1997 short film, Ghosts. Jackson reused lyrics from "Is It Scary" for the film's title track, which is also included on his Blood on the Dance Floor album. Jackson, Harris and Lewis were given producing credit for the song on Blood on the Dance Floor.[3]
A remix of "Is It Scary", called "DJ Greek's Scary Mix", was included on a three-track 'minimax' CD single that was released as part of the Ghosts Deluxe Collector Box Set. Remixes of "Is It Scary" were also included on Jackson's canceled single, "Smile". The radio edit for "Is It Scary" was later included on the third disc of the deluxe edition of Jackson's greatest hits album King of Pop in 2008 in the United Kingdom.[4] "Is It Scary" was also featured on the deluxe edition of King of Pop in France. Samples of "Is It Scary" and "Threatened" (from Jackson's tenth studio album Invincible) are featured in the "Thriller" segment of the concert documentary film, Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009).[5] Tommy D. also produced a remix of the song, but this mix never officially released. However, this mix leaked in the internet in November 2010.
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PostSubject: Re: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:07 pm

Composition


Is It Scary clocks in at 5:35 and is sorted into the categories of goth rock, soul, operatic pop, and funk rock. The song is performed in alternating keys of Ab and A major, at a tempo of 109 beats per minute.[6] Jackson's vocal range on the song is Ab3-A5.
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PostSubject: Re: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:08 pm

Promotion


"Is It Scary" was never lifted as a commercial single, but it was given out to radio stations and dance clubs to promote Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix. Promo CD singles containing a radio edit and 12" promos containing three remixes of the song were released to the Netherlands.[7] The United States and the United Kingdom received 12" promo singles containing remixes of the song by Deep Dish, while the UK also received 12" promos with remixes of the song by Eddie Arroyo known as "Eddie's Love Mixes".[8] Due to lack of promotion and radio airplay, "Is It Scary" did not chart on any music charts worldwide.
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PostSubject: Re: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:08 pm

Critical Reception


"Is It Scary" generally received positive to mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Jim Farber, writer for the New York Daily News, commented that "Is It Scary' boasts a few innovative sounds but no real melodies".[9] Roger Catlin of The Hartford Courant stated that "the most intriguing pairing" was "Ghosts" and "Is It Scary" because Jackson "asks those who've only read about him in tabloids if he seems monstrous".[10] Anthony Violanti, a writer for The Buffalo News, remarked that Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix's songs "Superfly Sister", "Ghosts" and "Is It Scary" were "programmed plastic soul that makes you wonder how someone as talented as Jackson can churn out such tracks".[11]
Jae-Ha Kim, a writer for Chicago Sun-Times, noted, that "Is It Scary" shows a "darker side of Jackson than even the tabloids would have you believe".[12] Neil Strauss, a writer for The New York Times, described "Is It Scary" as "sounding more like the ghoulish rocker Marilyn Manson than the Motown prodigy that he is."[13] A long time commentator on Jackson's public life, J. Randy Taraborrelli, gave a retrospective analysis on Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix's critical reviews in the biography, The Magic & the Madness (2004). Taraborrelli argued that certain sections of the world took interest in tabloid stories about Jackson's personal life over his musical career.[14]
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PostSubject: Re: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:09 pm

Track Listings and Formats


UK promo 12" single (XPR 3195)[8]
A. "Is It Scary" (Deep Dish Dark & Scary Remix) – 12:10)
B1. "Is It Scary" (Deep Dish Double-O-Jazz Dub) – 8:35)
B2. "Is It Scary" (Deep Dish Dark & Scary Remix (Radio Edit)) – 4:38
UK promo 12" single (XPR 3168)[15]
A. "Is It Scary" (Eddie's Love Mix) – 8:00
B1. "Is It Scary" (Eddie's Rub-A-Dub Mix) – 4:33
B2. "Is It Scary" (Eddie's Love Mix Radio Edit) – 3:50
Netherlands CD promo single (SAMPCS 4562)[16]
"Is It Scary" (Radio Edit) – 4:11
Netherlands promo 12" single (SAMPMS 4674)[7]
A1. "Is It Scary" (Deep Dish Dark And Scary Remix) – 12:07
A2. "Is It Scary" (Eddie's Rub-A-Dub Mix) – 5:00
B1. "Is It Scary" (Eddie's Love Mix) – 8:00
B2. "Off The Wall" (Junior Vasquez Remix) – 4:57


Official Remixes


Album Version - 5:36
Radio Edit - 4:11
Deep Dish Dark & Scary Remix - 12:07
Deep Dish Dark & Scary Remix (Radio Edit) - 4:38
Deep Dish Double O-Jazz Dub - 8:35
Eddie's Love Mix - 8:00
Eddie's Love Mix (Radio Edit) - 3:50
Eddie's Rub-A-Dub Mix - 4:33
Downtempo Groove Mix - 4:50
DJ Greek Scary Remix - 7:11
Tommy D's Death Row Mix (Unreleased) - 4:15
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PostSubject: Re: Is It Scary   Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:09 pm

Personnel


Written and composed by Michael Jackson, James Harris III and Terry Lewis
Produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Michael Jackson
Arranged by Michael Jackson, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
Recorded and mixed by Steve Hodge
Solo and background vocals, vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson
Keyboard programming by Andrew Scheps
Drum programming by Jeff Taylor
Additional programming by Rob Hoffman
All instruments performed by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
Assistant engineers by Brad Yost, Xavier Smoth, Ryan Arnold, Steve Baughman and Steve Durkee
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