Gary Flockhart: MJ goes from Bad to Bard

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GO on, admit it. When you first read the news that Michael Jackson recorded a pop album of Robert Burns’ poems before his death in 2009 you couldn’t resist trying to imagine what they might sound like.

‘O my luve’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June/You know who’s bad, Cha-mon! [Crotch grab]

You just can’t help yourself, can you? And yes, the pairing of Jacko and Scotland’s Bard is indeed a weird one - but it’s a fascinating prospect all the same.

Story goes that MJ’s hit single Thriller was inspired by the supernatural elements of Tam O’Shanter - that’s the claim of David Gest, the music producer who collaborated with the late pop star on a collection of songs based on the works of our Rabbie.

And now they could be heard by the public for the first time after Gest offered the album to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire during a recent visit to Scotland.

According to Gest, Jacko was glad to make the recordings, which see the works of Burns transformed into show tunes. Their existence was revealed the year before his death in June 2009 but they have never been released.

Gest, the former husband of singer Liza Minnelli, said, “We went to his studio and we took about eight or ten of Burns’s poems and put them to contemporary music, things like A Red Red Rose and Ae Fond Kiss and Tam O’Shanter.”

Somehow, I can’t quite see many moonwalking along to Rabbie-B feat Wacko Jacko down the local disco - but I still can’t wait to hear the results.