on October 20, 2001
Michael Jackson's first solo album as an adult tops many peoples list as his best yet. It's an incredibly strong and innovative album that set the mold for the greatness to come. This special edition reveals the album as it's never been heard before.
The clarity of sound presented here is astounding! Especially when you go back and listen to the original release. From the swirling cackles in the title track, to the bass on Burn This Disco Out, to the layered voices in Don't Stop, the sound enveopes you in it's crispness and rishness. It's pure aural candy!
The special edition includes a booklet with 4 new photos (one featuring Paul McCartney), a brick design on the cd itself, and 18 minutes of bonus material including, interviews with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton and, the best treat, two demo recordings.
Both demo's run about 4:30 and feature Randy and Janet on rhythm and sound efects. There is a hillarious spat between Randy and Janet at the begenning of the Don't Stop demo that had me roaring in laughter. These demos really give a sense of the Jackson family as a whole, fun, musically inventive, talented and wanting to help each other out. They also showcase Michael's strong song writing skills. The rhythms and arrangements are completely fleshed out but the lyrics are barely there. What you can hear of lyrics is very different from the final recordings and seems like MJ made it up as he went along in the song (Is he really singing 'Keep on with you hot dog' in Don't Stop Til You Get Enough?). The demo's highlight his talent as a rhythm arragner and song builder rather than a lyricist.
On the down side, the interviews aren't that enlightening and I can't imagine wanting to listen to them more than once or twice. Also nowhere in the booklet or on the jewel case is the bonus material given track numbers. There are a total of 19 tracks here with an announcer, interviews and demos. A track listing would''ve made it alot easier to find the demo's later. One final nitpick, I would've liked to have seen a picture underneath the cd's clear tray in the jewel case. Instead all we get is black. Oh well, it hardly detracts from all the great things about this sepcial edition.
If you're a MJ fan or have an older copy of Off The Wall, then you have to have this for the incredible restoration done, it's historical value and the insightful demo recordings. For the rest of you, don't miss out on this strong, innovative, fun and moving album. The sepcial edition is the one to have!
on May 9, 2001
This is the only Michael Jackson solo LP that I'm writing a review for since it best encapsulates my favorite genre of music: Pop/R&B. Instead of just talking about how good the music is (just read the rest of the reviews for that), I'll attempt to provide some insight on just what makes 'Off The Wall' so special. Read on:
First of all, MJ wrote three of the songs on this album; two of them are among his greatest, and that says a lot about the sheer talent emerging from the 'Gloved One' at that point in time. They are: "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", "Working Day and Night", and "Get On The Floor".
Secondly, Rod Temperton wrote two of the other amazing tracks on this album; they are: "Rock With You" and the title track, "Off The Wall". Temperton also wrote the closing track, "Burn This Disco Out" ; but please allow me to give a little background info on this underappreciated songwriter/producer.
Rod Temperton was part of a band called the Heatwave in the late 1970s, and they're best known for the hits "Grooveline" and "Always and Forever". What's more, Rod Temperton also wrote "Thriller", "Baby Be Mine" and the ultimate Michael Jackson quiet storm ballad, "Lady In My Life". Folks, I'm sorry, but this cat Rod Temperton is BAD...and it's about time someone gave him credit where credit was due. Thank you Rod, for blessing this album with your R&B sensibility, and songwriting ability - you're awesome!
Thirdly, this was the first time Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson ever worked together on a full-length album - and at first Quincy didn't even want to do produce it! That's right, Q.J. had apprehensions about producing a "pop" record; but it worked. The pairing of then former child-star Michael Jackson with an accomplished composer like Quincy Jones was an odd one that proved to be the most amazing musical collaboration yet to take place: 1979's 'Off The Wall', 1982's 'Thriller', and 1987's 'Bad'.
Lastly, there's the music that really speaks for itself. Stevie Wonder's contribution, "I Can't Help It" is splendid, and for me it induces visions of a nighttime magic carpet ride through a large city under a full moon. I actually liked "Girlfriend" written by Paul McCartney; it's playful, and I think it could easily be covered by today's pop/R&B stars. The lone ballad on this album, "She's Out Of My Life" was decently covered by current R&B singer Ginuwine in 1999, but the original is, well...better. Minimal filler tracks - if any, on 'Off The Wall'.
Thanks for reading...
on December 1, 2005
This has to be one of Michael Jackson's top 3 all-time greatest albums. Before Michael became strange this album captures what the "King of Pop" is best at: Pop/R&B. Carefully chosen tracks from proven songwriters (Carole Bayer Sager, Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney)and a few tracks of his own added to a brilliant producer are all the ingredients of a great album.
Now, this disc has also been remastered par excellence! I have never heard such a great sounding remastering job in my life and believe me I've heard too many pretenders and alleged remastering jobs that even sound worse than the pre-remastered version.
The best tracks are the title track, "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", and my favourite "Rock With You" but the other tracks, written by great hall-of-fame songwriters are great too and make the whole package cohesive and overall just a great album.
For the diehard fan, there are even bonus outtakes and interviews with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton although personally I feel they should have either left this out or put it on a separate disc but I guess I can always stop the disc after "Burn This Disco Out."
This is probably the best version of this album that's out there and is highly recommended for all MJ fans out there.
When Michael Jackson released Off The Wall in 1979, he was a mere 21 years old, but he had been in the business for a decade. He had released several solo albums and singles (even topping the charts with "Ben" in 1972), but they were under the control of Motown. Off The Wall was his first real solo release as he was in charge. Mr. Jackson was always thought of as an unique talent, but he blew away everyone's expectations with the album. The album has a definite dance vibe, but although disco was at its height of popularity, the album doesn't fall in the disco category. The songs have fat grooves that make you want to dance, but the core of the songs belong to Mr. Jackson and not the production as is the case with most disco songs. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is the album's first track and single. It is a brilliant track with soaring strings and popping rhythms that has a spoken word intro that moves into a high falsetto. Mr. Jackson sings the song in the falsetto, but he interjects spoken word into verses that provide an echo to the lead. The song was a justifiable number one hit. "Rock With You" was the second single and is much slower in its beat, but you can still groove to it. It also topped the charts. "Working Day & Night" is a musical workout that sounds like a forerunner of "Wanna Be Startin' Something" from Thriller. "Get On The Floor" is a fiery call to arms that in which he doesn't ask that you get up and dance, but demands it. The title track has a funky vibe to it and "Girlfriend" is a Paul McCartney song that is pumped up a bit from its slight original, but is still the weakest track on the album. "She's Out Of My Life" is a straight ballad that is sung with heartbreaking sincerity. In fact Mr. Jackson literally broke down while singing it and you can hear the sobbing on the song. "Burn The Disco Out" closes the album in apocalyptic fashion and is a perfect capper to the album. Off The Wall was a major success that spawned four top ten hits, sold over 10 million copies but surprising never hit number one on the album charts, topping out at number three. The remastered version contains demo versions of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" & "Working Day & Night" as well as interviews with Quincy Jones & Rod Temperton.
on September 30, 2004
People talk all the time about how great an album "Thriller" was. Yet, they seem to either neglect or forget that album was marketed to death. This is, without a doubt, Michael Jackson's best album. One of the few albums you could listen to from beginning to end, it was his first solo album, and of course, a timeless classic.
1. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" - 10/10. One of the most widely known Michael Jackson hits. Quincy Jones did a great job in producing this beauty, one which still gets plenty of play today.
2. "Rock With You" - 10/10. Another classic. Disco with a touch of love mixed in.
3. "Workin Day And Night" - 7/10. Very fast, upbeat track. One that's sure to get your feet going.
4. "Get On The Floor" - 8/10. Pure disco feel that almost has that "Saturday Night Fever" feel to it.
5. "Off The Wall" - 6/10. Another decent track. One that would seem somewhat out of style if it wasn;t so good.
6. "Girlfriend" - 10/10. Awesome track. One of the better songs he's made.
7. "She's Out Of My Life" - 10/10. A gem. Michael sings about a girl that he lost due to his being cavalier. You can hear his pain in the lyrics.
8. "I Can't Help It" - 10/10. My favorite Michael Jackson song of all time. One listen and you will notice how smooth it is. When I first heard this, it put me in a trance. A definite must-hear.
on June 26, 2009
Michael will continue being a great artist, many grew up listening to his music, the influence of many artists and many people in several ways, idol of many generations, victim of its own and the media too, my respects to one of the most talented and amazing artists of all time, R.I.P, is so sad but someone also decided, God maybe, well GOODBYE MICHAEL, you always be one of the greatest.
In this simple and humble personal tribute to Michael, I want to express my deepest feelings.
My favorite Michael Jackson's album is and always will be "OFF THE WALL", an impeccable production by Quincy Jones, wonderful musical arrangements, full of energy and emotion, This album opened the door to Michael Jackson in his solo career, the construction of this album is incredible, musically speaking, Horns, strings, electric guitar, and real drums are among the various instruments forming the sonic template for nearly the entire album, As good as the music is, it's Michael's performance that truly elevates the pop here from good to excellent. There's an irresistible charm that Jackson exudes almost every second that he's singing, and a bare minimum of one great hook to be found in each song.
1.Don't Stop Till You Get Enough... dance until you fall to the floor
2.Rock With You... always will be my preferred song of Michael, many beautiful memories come to my mind with this song
3.Working Day And Night... excellent keep dancing
4.Get On The Floor... GREAT DISCO SONG!!!!!
5.Off The Wall... Wow another one of my favorite tracks is simply beautiful and delightful to dance and think
6.Girlfriend... simple and elegant
7.She's Out Of My Life... delicious
8.I Can't Help It... adorable
9.It's The Falling In Love... great song!
10.Burn This Disco Out... Thanks MICHAEL!!!
No matter where you are sure there will be a great party and many will be dancing and singing with you, say hello to Barry White (RIP) sure there will be one of the biggest PARTIES where you are.
"...When the world is on your shoulder
Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down
If you can't hang with the feeling
Then there aint no room for you this part of town
cause were the party people night and day
Livin crazy that's the only way...
So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
"And just enjoy yourself"
C'mon and Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life aint so bad at all
If you live it off the wall
Life aint so bad at all (live life off the wall)
Live your life off the wall (live it off the wall)..."
GOODBYE MICHAEL... FOREREVER... ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED
MICHAEL JACKSON 1958 - 2009
on February 4, 2006
Wow, I can remember where I was the first time I heard
this album because it was that pivotal, not only in
his history, but in the collective pop
lexicon as well! In the late summer of 1979,
"Off The Wall", MJ's first adult solo effort hit
the world like a tsunami!
Every track on here is and was bangin'
and we were dancing our butts off to
"Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough", "Rock With You",
"Working Day & Night", "Get On The Floor",
the title track and "Burn This Disco Out" like
there was no tomorrow in sight!
We also were grooving on smooth
tracks like "Girlfreind", "I Can't Help It",
"It's The Falling In Love" and crying our eyes out
to "She's Out Of My Life"...
TRANSLATION: MJ had the world at his feet during this time!
I love this album even more than its follow-up
"Thriller", which was incredible in it's own right,
but "Off The Wall" was MJ before
all the weirdness, plastic surgery, scandals, etc.
and he was ours!
**06/26/09** Well, as the world knows now, yesterday,
June 25th, 2009..MJ--Michael Joeseph Jackson--aka THE KING OF POP,
passed away suddenly at the age of 50 as he was preparing for
a string of final performances in London.
The world is in mourning right now and the media, who was both
his conduit as well as his chief nemesis in the last 17 years
of his life, is now paying mad homage to this genius, this icon,
whose unprecedented career spanned 40 yrs and went across racial,
socio-economic, language and geographic barriers!
I have been listening to Michael's music for the last 48 hrs
and reminiscing over the fact that he has been a star since
I was 5 yrs old!--I remember the J5's debut on the Ed Sullivan Show
in 1969, I bought, sang and danced to all the hits down through
the years, especially loved this particular album, "Off The Wall",
because it was so good and so far ahead of the it's time!
Then, in 1982-83-and 84, "THRILLER", set new standards & broke
all kinds of records!--Then "Bad", "Dangerous" and "History"...
WOW!!--History is an understatement!!
Well, all I can say is THANK YOU MICHAEL!!
Thank you for the memories, thank you for sharing your god-given
talents with the world, thank you for leaving us with such an
amazing musical & cultural legacy!
May You Rest In Peace, Finally!
Michael Joeseph Jackson
August 29th, 1958 - June 25th, 2009
on May 8, 2002
In my honest opinion, Off the Wall is the best Michael Jackson album. When I recently bought the Off the Wall Special Edition CD, I was blown away. I fell in love with this album all over again. I had the cassette tape of this album when I was a kid, so when I listened to it again for the first time in a very long time, it sounded better the second time around. I knew this Special Edition CD was special when I pulled out the CD from its sleeve, and saw two rare, gorgeous pictures of a very young Michael Jackson posing in his then-trademark tuxedo in front of the brick wall. It reminded me of just how good looking Michael was when he was only twenty-one years old, before all the work he had done on his nose and his face. It made me wish he had frozen in time at about the release of this album. I then wished that after listening to such classic songs as "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Rock With You," "I Can't Help It," "Off the Wall," and "She's Out of My Life," that he sang with the same amount of enthusiasm on the albums after Off the Wall. It was pure bliss listening to this album again. Even though it was orignally released in August of 1979, it stands up to the test of time, and doesn't sound totally dated. I definitely reccomend this album to anyone who is a fan of Michael's or not. Put aside any reservations you have about Michael Jackson, and get this CD. You won't be disappointed. I guarentee it.
on October 12, 2002
When Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones teamed up to record the 1979 album "Off the Wall," I doubt they knew what kind of beast they were about to create. Spawning four Top Ten singles including two Number Ones, "Off the Wall" blasted into the Top Ten and gave Jackson his biggest solo success at the time. But chart domination aside, the album is a classic collection of funk and disco-laced soul that holds up amazing well today. His magical voice breathed life into infectious hits like "Don't Stop til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You." He also cruises effortlessly through the hyperactive "Working Day and Night" and the blazing title track. But Jackson, I think, triumphs best on "She's Out of My Life." If tossed into the hands of a lesser singer, this song would have been a disastrous sapfest of maple syrup sentiment, but it's Jackson's delivery that makes this song a genuine "she-just-dumped-me" ballad. Three years later, he would return to the scene with a little album called "Thriller" which sold, oh, maybe a few million copies worldwide. But "Off the Wall" should be credited as the album that put Michael on the map as an adult solo star, and it holds up as a verified classic.
on April 4, 2003
With all the headlines about plastic surgeries, melting faces, questionable parenting practices and voodoo contracts on entertainment moguls, it's easy to forget just how talented Michael Jackson was (is?)
I found this in my CD collection and popped it in. As a result, I remembered why I had a crush on Michael all thru my childhood and teenage years. Listening to tracks such as Off the Wall, Don't Stop Til You Get Enuf and Rock With You shows the true scope of a gifted performer who apparently got too caught up in his own publicity.
I've always considered Off the Wall a far superior work to Thriller and all subsequent Michael Jackson productions. The combination of Jackson, Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton provided the 80s with the best R&B. To those who only became aware of Jackson during his Thriller fame, I suggest you buy this CD as well as some Motown Jackson 5 compiliations. It will answer questions of why he became famous in the first place.