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this day in history 1985

Michael Jackson buys rights to Beatles songs

Yesterday, All My Songs Were Bought By MJThey were known as ‘the biggest pals in the music industry’. That’s right, it has to be Paul ‘Macca’ McCartney and Michael ‘Jacko’ Jackson. Paul wrote songs for Michael. They duetted together on tracks like Say Say Say and The Girl is Mine. McCartney lent Jackson an inflatable air bed when he had Tito staying for a few weeks (probably). But all this niceness and friendship ground to a halt on this day in 1985 when Jackson thought it would be a cracking wheeze to purchase the publishing rights for the Beatles back catalogue from under Macca’s nose.

Back in the 1960’s, song publishing rights were often complicated and convoluted with managers and middle men getting involved and inevitably Lennon and McCartney failed to hang onto their own songs, which were eventually sold to an Australian businessman. When the Aussie decided to sell, McCartney expressed an interest but Jacko beat him to it, paying nearly $50 million for the tracks. Paul, understandably, wasn’t too chuffed and the two of them never worked together again. After Jackson’s death, there was a rumour that he’d left the Beatles songs to Paul in his will. But that turned out to be a lie. Ouch.

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