By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated July 30, 2020 at 06:21 PM EDT

Image Credit: Kevin MazurLooks like This Is It might have been titled prematurely. Michael Jackson’s estate and Sony Music announced via press release today that they’ve signed a major new deal to continue their decades-long catalog relationship — and to start releasing some of the unheard music that Jackson kept under wraps during his lifetime. A rep for the label confirms reports that the deal includes 10 projects over the next seven years, including special reissues of his classic albums and all those legendary unreleased recordings. Bottom line, we’re looking at a first installment of never-before-heard Michael Jackson music coming this November.

Is this a good idea? The answer, of course, depends on just what’s on those unreleased tapes. Some of the songs in those vaults should no doubt remain there. But Jackson was a notorious perfectionist with extremely high standards for himself — so for every track that he left on the cutting-room floor for good reason, I’m betting there are more than a few that are well worth hearing. There’s probably not another “Billie Jean” out there, but there have to be tons of tunes that will give serious Jackson fans insight into his creative process. Ten albums’ worth? Maybe not, but when you factor in that five to six of those will presumably be revamped versions of his Epic releases (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, Invincible, and maybe HIStory), that doesn’t sound like such a big number.

What do you think of this deal? Do you think there’s enough quality unreleased Michael Jackson music out there to justify 10 albums between now and 2017? Sound off in the comments, below.

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