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E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Michael Jackson - audiobook, storybook, someone in the dark

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an audiobook and soundtrack album for the 1982 blockbuster film of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg. Narrated by American recording artist Michael Jackson, the album was produced by composer Quincy Jones and distributed by MCA Records.

Michael Jackson Crying During the Recording

During the recording of the narration, Jackson became so upset when E.T. died that he wept. Jones and Spielberg both felt that trying to record the part again would not change the pop star’s emotional reaction, and decided to leave Jackson’s crying in the finished recording.

You can hear how emotional he was in the beginning of this clip:

Jackson’s empathy with the E.T. character

According to the biography Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, written by journalist J. Randy Taraborrelli, the pop singer had shown an early attachment to the story of E.T. After a publicity photo shoot for the soundtrack album in which an animatronic robot of the extraterrestrial character hugged Jackson, the singer stated with wonderment, “He was so real that I was talking to him. I kissed him before I left. The next day, I missed him.” Jackson later revealed in the December 1982 issue of Ebony magazine—in which both he and E.T. appear on the cover—that he felt he actually was the creature during the album recording and shared his thoughts on why he had such a strong connection to the character:

“He’s in a strange place and wants to be accepted—which is a situation that I have found myself in many times when travelling from city to city all over the world. He’s most comfortable with children, and I have a great love for kids. He gives love and wants love in return, which is me. And he has that super power which lets him lift off and fly whenever he wants to get away from things on Earth, and I can identify with that. He and I are alike in many ways”

Someone in the Dark

The album opens and closes with the song “Someone in the Dark” which was written specially for the audiobook.

As a result of the legal restrictions that prohibited the public release of “Someone In the Dark” as a single, the promo copies which were made have since become one of the singer’s rarest and most sought-after records; some have been sold for over £1000 ($1587).

You can isten to the whole album here.