Off the Wall

Off the Wall

by 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/17/1990
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074643574549
catalogNumber: 35745

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Jackson   Primary Artist,Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
Patti Austin   Vocals
Larry Carlton   Guitar
George Duke   Keyboards
Phil Upchurch   Guitar
David Foster   Synthesizer
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Jim Gilstrap   Vocals,Background Vocals
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Richard Heath   Percussion
Marlo Henderson   Guitar
Jerry Hey   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Kim Hutchcroft   Flute,Horn,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Randy Jackson   Percussion
Mortonette Jenkins   Vocals,Background Vocals
Augie Johnson   Vocals,Background Vocals
Louis Johnson   Bass
Paulette McWilliams   Vocals,Background Vocals
Johnny Mandel   Strings
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Clavinet
Steve Porcaro   Synthesizer
John "J.R." Robinson   Drums
Seawind Horns   Ensemble
Gerald Vinci   Concert Master
Wah Wah Watson   Guitar
David Williams   Guitar
Zedric Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
David "Hawk" Wolinski   Piano,Keyboards
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Trombone
Bobby Watson   Bass
Michael Boddrick   Synthesizer
Larry Williams   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Wind

Technical Credits

Michael Jackson   Producer,Vocal Arrangements,rhythm arrangement,Percussion Arrangement
Quincy Jones   Producer,rhythm arrangement
Jerry Hey   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Louis Johnson   rhythm arrangement
Greg Phillinganes   rhythm arrangement
Bruce Swedien   Engineer
Rod Temperton   Vocal Arrangements,rhythm arrangement
Benjamin F. Wright   Arranger,String Arrangements

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