Off the Wall

Performers Michael Jackson

Epic | October 16, 2001 | Compact Disc

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Michael Jackson had recorded solo prior to the release of Off the Wall in 1979, but this was his breakthrough, the album that established him as an artist of astonishing talent and a bright star in his own right. This was a visionary album, a record that found a way to break disco wide open into a new world where the beat was undeniable, but not the primary focus -- it was part of a colorful tapestry of lush ballads and strings, smooth soul and pop, soft rock and alluring funk. Its roots hearken back to the Jacksons' huge mid-'70s hit "Dancing Machine," but this is an enormously fresh record, one that remains vibrant and giddily exciting years after its release. This is certainly due to Jackson's emergence as a blindingly gifted vocalist, equally skilled with overwrought ballads as "She's Out of My Life" as driving dancefloor shakers as "Working Day and Night" and "Get on the Floor," where his asides are as gripping as his delivery on the verses. It's also due to the brilliant songwriting, an intoxicating blend of strong melodies, rhythmic hooks, and indelible construction. Most of all, its success is due to the sound constructed by Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, a dazzling array of disco beats, funk guitars, clean mainstream pop, and unashamed (and therefore affecting) schmaltz that is utterly thrilling in its utter joy. This is highly professional, highly crafted music, and its details are evident, but the overall effect is nothing but pure pleasure. Jackson and Jones expanded this approach on the blockbuster Thriller, often with equally stunning results, but they never bettered it. [The 2001 reissue adds demo versions of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Workin' Day and Night," interviews with producer Quincy Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton, and a new booklet] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 16, 2001

Genre: Contemporary R&B

Style: R&B

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1979

Label Name: Epic

UPC: 074646607022

Found in: Contemporary R&B

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– More About This Product –

Off the Wall

Off the Wall

Performers Michael Jackson
Guest Artist(s) George Duke, Patti Austin
Engineer Bruce Swedien

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 16, 2001

Genre: Contemporary R&B

Style: R&B

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1979

Label Name: Epic

UPC: 074646607022


Title Track Time
1.Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough --
2.Rock With You --
3.Working Day And Night --
4.Get On The Floor --
5.Off The Wall --
6.Girlfriend --
7.She's Out Of My Life --
8.I Can't Help It --
9.It's The Falling In Love --
10.Burn This Disco Out --
11.Quincy Jones Commentary --
12.Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - (Intro) --
13.Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - (previously unreleased, 1978 demo) --
14.Quincy Jones Commentary --
15.Working Day And Night - (Intro) --
16.Working Day And Night - (previously unreleased, 1978 demo) --
17.Quincy Jones Commentary --
18.Rod Temperton Commentary --
19.Quincy Jones Commentary --

Editorial Notes

Michael Jackson had recorded solo prior to the release of Off the Wall in 1979, but this was his breakthrough, the album that established him as an artist of astonishing talent and a bright star in his own right. This was a visionary album, a record that found a way to break disco wide open into a new world where the beat was undeniable, but not the primary focus -- it was part of a colorful tapestry of lush ballads and strings, smooth soul and pop, soft rock and alluring funk. Its roots hearken back to the Jacksons' huge mid-'70s hit "Dancing Machine," but this is an enormously fresh record, one that remains vibrant and giddily exciting years after its release. This is certainly due to Jackson's emergence as a blindingly gifted vocalist, equally skilled with overwrought ballads as "She's Out of My Life" as driving dancefloor shakers as "Working Day and Night" and "Get on the Floor," where his asides are as gripping as his delivery on the verses. It's also due to the brilliant songwriting, an intoxicating blend of strong melodies, rhythmic hooks, and indelible construction. Most of all, its success is due to the sound constructed by Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, a dazzling array of disco beats, funk guitars, clean mainstream pop, and unashamed (and therefore affecting) schmaltz that is utterly thrilling in its utter joy. This is highly professional, highly crafted music, and its details are evident, but the overall effect is nothing but pure pleasure. Jackson and Jones expanded this approach on the blockbuster Thriller, often with equally stunning results, but they never bettered it. [The 2001 reissue adds demo versions of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Workin' Day and Night," interviews with producer Quincy Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton, and a new booklet] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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