Michael Jackson - Off The Wall (Vinyl)

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Off the Wall is the fifth solo studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on August 10, 1979, by Epic Records. It was Jackson's first album released through Epic Records, the label he recorded under until his death in 2009, and the first produced by Quincy Jones, whom he met while working on the 1978 film The Wiz. Several critics observed that Off the Wall was crafted from disco, pop, funk, R&B, soft rock and Broadway ballads. Its lyrical themes include escapism, liberation, loneliness, hedonism and romance. The album features songwriting contributions from Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Rod Temperton, Tom Bahler, and David Foster, alongside three tracks penned by Jackson himself.

Off the Wall was a significant departure from Jackson's previous work for Motown and was hailed as a major breakthrough for him. In retrospect, writers have hailed it a landmark of the disco era and one of the greatest albums of all time. Critics often debate whether it or Thriller is Jackson's best album. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.


This album is where many Michael Jackson collections start. Off the Wall features a grown-up MJ saturated in the seventies disco-pop scene. One can easily hear the disco and funk themes throughout this album, especially in the bass lines. Casual listeners will point to the first two tracks as the albums main highlights, but the rest of the album should not be discounted. Michael does a fantastic job with song selection; selecting a wide variety of tracks within the disco-pop genre. The majority of the tracks here are the foot-tapping, dance tracks one expects from the pop king. His voice is absolutely perfect for music and it is showcased on throughout this album in a variety of ways. His upper range is used often and with ease. Combined with the addictive melodies, Off the Wall is shadowed only by Thriller as Jackson’s greatest album.

Off the Wall is surprisingly good considering the disco influence. There are not many songs I tolerate where the vocals are almost all falsetto and fewer still I consider good, but “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” pulls it off. I point out that Michael wrote three of the tracks on this album including the popular this popular track. Many assume he was only a pop singer and performer, but he also had very good songwriting abilities that can also be seen on his later albums. “Workin’ Day and Night” is another Jackson composition. Although a bit busy, it is also catchy and addictive. I also enjoy “Girlfriend,” written by Paul McCartney. Although, super fluffy like most of McCartney’s solo stuff, Michael does a nice job converting the ‘cute’ vocals into a track that is enjoyable. “It’s the Falling in Love” and the invigorating “Burn This Disco Down” conclude this wonderful album.

Off the Wall is not of Thriller caliber, but is still incredibly good. If you like Michael’s later music, this is certainly a great addition. Do not let the disco label turn you away. I more or less uniformly dislike disco, but love this album. Sure, the craziness surrounding Michael just increased throughout the eighties and nineties, but he did produce some of the best pop music out there – starting with Off the Wall.

By: Rocky Sullivan

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough 6:02
Rock With You 3:38
Working Day And Night 5:12
Get On The Floor 4:44
Off The Wall 4:04
Girlfriend 3:04
She's Out Of My Life 3:36
I Can't Help It 4:27
It's The Falling In Love 3:46
Burn This Disco Out 3:38

Recorded and mixed using the Acusonic Recording Process
Rhythm tracks and Vocals recorded at Allen Zentz Recording
Horns recorded at Westlake Audio
Strings recorded at Cherokee Studios
Mixed at Westlake Audio
Mastered at A&M Recording Studio, L.A.

Record Label: Epic / Sony