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Michael Jackson - Off The Wall

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Off The Wall

Michael Jackson

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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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Off The Wall

Michael Jackson

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1
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
00:06:05

Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Percussion - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael J. Jackson, Composer - Michael J. Jackson, Lyricist - Jim Gilstrap, Background Vocal - Augie Johnson, Background Vocal - Mortonette Jenkins, Background Vocal - Paulette McWilliams, Background Vocal - Zedric Williams, Background Vocal - David Williams, Guitar - Marlo Henderson, Guitar - Randy Jackson, Percussion - Richard Heath, Percussion - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - John Robinson, Drums - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Louis Johnson, Bass - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

2
Rock with You (Single Version)
00:03:40

Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Quincy Jones, Producer - R. Temperton, Composer - R. Temperton, Lyricist - David Williams, Guitar - Marlo Henderson, Guitar - John Robinson, Drums - David "Hawk" Wolinski, Piano - Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer - Bobby Watson, Bass - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

3
Workin' Day and Night (Album Version)
00:05:13

Michael Jackson, Arranger - Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Co-Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer - Michael Jackson, Lyricist - Michael Jackson, Percussion - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Michael Jackson, Vocal Arranger - Quincy Jones, Producer - David Williams, Guitar - Steve Conger, Assistant Engineer - Phil Upchurch, Guitar - Rick Ash, Assistant Engineer - Ed Cherney, Assistant Engineer - John Robinson, Drums - John Robinson, Percussion - Erik Zobler, Assistant Engineer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Jim Fritzpatrick, Assistant Engineer - Mitch Gibson, Assistant Engineer - Frank D'Amico, Assistant Engineer - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Louis Johnson, Bass - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

4
Get on the Floor (Album Version)
00:04:37

Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Co-Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer - Michael Jackson, Lyricist - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Michael Jackson, Vocal Arranger - Quincy Jones, Producer - Louis Johnson, Bass - Louis Johnson, Composer - Louis Johnson, Lyricist - Jim Gilstrap, Background Vocal - Steve Conger, Assistant Engineer - Augie Johnson, Background Vocal - Rick Ash, Assistant Engineer - Mortonette Jenkins, Background Vocal - Ed Cherney, Assistant Engineer - Ben Wright, Arranger - Paulette McWilliams, Background Vocal - Erick Zobler, Assistant Engineer - Zedric Williams, Background Vocal - Jim Fritzpatrick, Assistant Engineer - "Wah Wah" Watson, Guitar - Mitch Gibson, Assistant Engineer - Frank D'Amico, Assistant Engineer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - John Robinson, Drums - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

5
Off the Wall
00:04:05

Michael Jackson, Performer - R. Temperton, Composer - R. Temperton, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Producer

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

6
Girlfriend (Album Version)
00:03:04

Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Michael Jackson, Vocal Arranger - Quincy Jones, Producer - Quincy Jones, Vocal Arranger - Mccartney, Composer - Mccartney, Lyricist - Steve Conger, Assistant Engineer - "Wah Wah" Watson, Guitar - Rick Ash, Assistant Engineer - Marlo Henderson, Guitar - Ed Cherney, Assistant Engineer - John Robinson, Drums - Erik Zobler, Assistant Engineer - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Jim Fritzpatrick, Assistant Engineer - David Foster, Synthesizer - Mitch Gibson, Assistant Engineer - George Duke, Synthesizer - Frank D'Amico, Assistant Engineer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Louis Johnson, Bass - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

7
She's out of My Life (Single Version)
00:03:38

Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Quincy Jones, Producer - Tom Bahler, Composer - Tom Bahler, Lyricist - Larry Carlton, Guitar - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Louis Johnson, Bass

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

8
I Can't Help It (Album Version)
00:04:29

Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Quincy Jones, Producer - Stevie Wonder, Composer - Stevie Wonder, Lyricist - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Susaye Greene-Brown, Composer - Susaye Greene-Brown, Lyricist - Steve Conger, Assistant Engineer - John Robinson, Drums - Rick Ash, Assistant Engineer - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Ed Cherney, Assistant Engineer - Erik Zober, Assistant Engineer - Johnny Mandel, Arranger - Jim Fitzpatrick, Assistant Engineer - Louis Johnson, Bass - Mitch Gibson, Assistant Engineer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

9
It's the Falling in Love (Album Version)
00:03:47

Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Quincy Jones, Producer - Quincy Jones, Vocal Arranger - Carole Bayer Sager, Composer - Carole Bayer Sager, Lyricist - David Foster, Composer - David Foster, Lyricist - David Foster, Synthesizer - Patti Austin, Background Vocal - Patti Austin, Vocal - Steve Conger, Assistant Engineer - Rick Ash, Assistant Engineer - Ed Cherney, Assistant Engineer - Erik Zobler, Assistant Engineer - "Wah Wah" Watson, Guitar - Jim Fitzpatrick, Assistant Engineer - Marlo Henderson, Guitar - Tom Bahler, Vocal Arranger - Mitch Gibson, Assistant Engineer - John Robinson, Drums - Frank D'Amico, Assistant Engineer - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Louis Johnson, Bass - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

10
Burn This Disco Out (Album Version)
00:03:40

Michael Jackson, Background Vocal - Michael Jackson, Performer - Michael Jackson, Vocal - Quincy Jones, Producer - Rod Temperton, Composer - Rod Temperton, Lyricist - David Williams, Guitar - Marlo Henderson, Guitar - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - John Robinson, Drums - Greg Phillinganes, Piano - Louis Johnson, Bass - Larry Williams, Alto Saxophone - Larry Williams, Flute - Larry Williams, Tenor Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Alto Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Baritone Saxophone - Kim Hutchcroft, Flute - The Seawind Horns, Horn - Jerry Hey, Fluegelhorn - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Gary Grant, Trumpet - William Reichenbach, Trombone

(P) 1979 MJJ Productions Inc.

Album Description

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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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