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Monday, December 19, 2011

OFF THE WALL ♪ ♫ Michael Jackson ♫ ♪ Tribute Written by Carmen

OFF THE WALL ♪ ♫ Michael Jackson ♫ ♪ Tribute Number One
♪ ♫ A Tribute to showcase Michael’s first Solo Career album ♪ ♫
I share with you all the details plus a little ‘extra’ insight into all 10 songs from the album, taken from five different books. I also include a ‘you tube’ for each song for your viewing and listening pleasure .
This album is one of the many beautiful Gifts that Michael gave to us. May you treasure it too, and all of his music… forever keeping his Legacy ALIVE. 1958 - Forever..!!
♥ L.O.V.E. you Michael ♥ Thankx for ALL you’ve given us.
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USA August 1979
Don’t stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Rock With You
Working Day and Night
Get On The Floor
Off The Wall
She’s Out Of My Life
I Can’t Help It
It’s The Falling In Love
Burn This Disco Out
‘Off The Wall’ (LP) is released August 1979, mixing Pop R & B and Jazz. This album breaks new ground vocally for Michael, with his most adventurous and mature vocals to date. It delivered jazzy disco-funk tunes with irresistibly clever pop hooks. It breaks music industry records by being the first album ever to spawn four Top Ten singles in the US, two of which become number 1 hits and are certified Gold. In Britain, for the first time in music history, a record five hit singles are released for one album, ‘Girlfriend’, written by Paul McCartney, being one of them.

The album exceeds all expectations and is hugely successful on both the Pop and Black album charts, eventually selling over 20 million copies worldwide. Some of the early copies of ‘Off The Wall’ feature a free 7” picture disc of ‘You can Win’.
Michael’s singing throughout the album is daring, personal, and unique - full of vocal ticks, squeals, and yelps that would become his trademark.
Off The Wall is an ecstatic, exhilarating pop soul album - considered by many to be one of the greatest albums ever released.
Produced by Quincy Jones; three songs co-produced by Michael, which he also wrote: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Working Day and Night and Get on the Floor. Michael having worked with him on the Wiz, approached Quincy for advice, when he’d decided he wanted to do a solo album but didn’t know any great producers. ‘I’ll tell you what,’ said Quincy, ‘why don’t you let me do it?’
Heatwave’s Rod Temperton also penned three songs for the album, and in so doing he tried to find out about Michael’s character. ‘I knew he loved Charlie Chaplin,’ he said, ‘and I thought Off The Wall was a nice thing for Michael…Rock With You was a rhythm section idea I’d had - I thought I’d go with this one, too, because he’s good at handling very melodic things.’

Mike Salisbury, the man behind the concept of the sleeve design, has revealed before he was brought in, ‘they had him (Michael) seated on a bale of straw, wearing cowboy clothes’. Salisbury wasn’t convinced this would work, so he ‘designed a person and created an identity for him…it’s a metaphor. He’s just a kid out from under his Dad, so I think the album cover should make a statement that his solo debut is as big as Sinatra coming on stage in Vegas.’
Album cover photo shoot took place at the Griffith Observatory at the Hollywood Planetarium. Michael liked Salisbury’s idea of a tuxedo (found in Yves St. Laurent), but insisted he wanted to wear white socks (custom made for him by top Hollywood designer Bob Mackie) and glove. But… the socks didn’t work, until Salisbury remembered Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Cary Grant, ‘They put their hands in their pockets to raise the trousers so you could see the socks,’ said Salisbury. ‘Michael! Put your hands in your pockets. Raise your thumbs and raise your trousers!’ And so a memorable album sleeve was created.
‘Off The Wall’ enters both the Black and Pop albums charts peaking at numbers 1 and 3 respectively and remains on the Pop charts for a mammoth 84 weeks. It holds its position at number 1 on the Black charts for a lengthy 16 weeks during a 61 week residence.
Michael becomes the first solo artist in America to chart Top 10 singles from one album.
August 29th Michael is 21 years old today and celebrates his birthday at Studio 54 in New York City.
Michael’s contract with his father Joe Jackson expires and he now takes control of his own career.
Michael worked to renegotiate his solo recording deal with Epic. In the process, he secured the highest royalty rate for any artist in the music industry.

December 10th ‘Off The Wall’ (LP) is certified Gold and Platinum. The album will go to sell 12 million worldwide.
Hit Singles: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Rock With You, Off The Wall, She’s Out Of My Life, and Girlfriend.
First solo album to produce four Top 10 hits on both side of the Atlantic, and to produce five hits in the UK.
On the album credits was: “I dedicate this to the year of the child and my mother, - Love M.J.”
American Music Awards:
Favorite Male Soul Singer.
Favorite Soul Album.
Favorite Soul Single: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Grammy Award:
Best R & B Vocal Performance, Male : Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.
February 27,1980 At the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Michael is awarded his first Grammy as a solo performer in the category Best R & B Vocal Performance - Male for ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’. Michael boycotts the event in disgust at being pigeon-holed into only R & B soul categories and is disappointed that ‘Off The Wall’ was overlooked for Best Album. He vows his next album won’t be ignored. It is widely accepted that the awards do not do justice to the hugely successful LP.
Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
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1st Song ~ Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough~
Song written and recorded by Michael.
This song is all swirling, symphonic strings and basslines supporting Michael’s falsetto melodies.
‘We had little arguments, nothing very serious, during the first record we made, which was Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,’ said Quincy Jones. ‘Most people at Motown didn’t sing low and I needed him to sing low. I wanted him to do a very sexy kind of sound at the bottom. At first, he was a little reluctant, but that’s okay. It was never contentious, and that’s where the trust comes in.’
Lyrical content shocked his mother, Katherine, who pointed out the title could easily be misinterpreted - Michael asserted it wasn’t a reference to sex, but that it could mean whatever people wanted it to mean.
Lead single from the album - heralded Michael’s arrival as an adult solo performer, and paved the way for a new beginning to his musical career.
Promo short film, directed by Nick Saxton, premiered in October 1979.
A music video released to promote the single features Michael in a tuxedo and showcases his advancing dance steps.
Hit no. 1 on the Hot 100 in the States, giving Michael his first chart topper since Ben, and gave him his first no. 1 on the R & B singles chart. Also no. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Norway and South Africa, and no. 3 in the UK.
Michael’s first solo hit in Germany - it peaked at no. 13.
Official Versions:
Album Version.
Masters At Work Remix.
7” Edit.
7” Edit w/ Intro.
12” Version.
Original Demo Recording.
Roger’s Underground Club Solution.
Live version recorded at a concert at Madison Square Garden in September 1981, featured on the Jacksons album, LIVE, issued in November 1981. This version was included on the 12” single of Michael’s Beat It in the UK.
Impromptu performance by Michael at New York’s Peppermint Lounge on 25th March 1983 when, following a set by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, he took to the stage and surprised everyone by lip-synching to Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough and (10 minutes later) Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.
Introduction re-recorded for Michael’s performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1995.
Michael recorded a version with Chris Tucker for the latter’s movie , Rush Hour 2, in which Tucker was seen singing the song - remains unreleased.
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2nd Song ~ Rock With You ~
Song Michael recorded for his album Off The Wall - written by Rod Temperton.
‘Rock With You was a rhythm section I’d had before,’ said Temperton. ‘I thought I’d go with this one because he’s (Michael’s) good at handling very melodic things.’
Hit no.1 on both American charts, and achieved no.7 in the UK.
RIAA Gold Record (USA million seller).
No.9 best selling single of 1980 in the States.
Promo short film, directed by Bruce Gowers, premiered in November 1979.
Video features Michael dressed in a silver sequined suit with matching boots.
Re-arranged version, slightly jazzed-up (jazzy guitar and added handclaps), dating from early 1980, was included on new pressings of Off The Wall, replacing the original recording. Original version featured on the original CD pressing issued in Japan, and on some later Japanese pressings.
Official Versions:
Album Version.
Single Version.
Frankie’s Favorite Club Mix.
Frankie’s Favorite Club Mix Radio Edit.
Masters At Work Remix.
Performed by Michael on two TV specials in the States in 1980, the charity event Because We Care and diana! - on the latter, he sang the song twice, solo and as a duet with Diana Ross.
Live version, recorded at a concert at Madison Square Garden in September 1981, featured on the Jacksons album, LIVE, issued in November 1981. This version was released on the B-side of Michael’s UK single, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.
Live performance part of a concert screened by Nippon TV in Japan.
Demo version included on the second acetate version of the expanded, special edition of Michael’s Off The Wall album in 2001 - later withdrawn.
Michael does his vocals on my drum platform ~ from Bruce Sweden : When we were recording “Rock With You” for the Off The Wall album, I wanted the drums in this incredible song to have their own unique acoustic space. After thinking about it for some time, the only answer was to have the studio carpenters build me a drum platform, eight feet square, ten inches off the floor. It is very heavily constructed, braced and counter-braced. The surface is natural wood and is unpainted and unvarnished.
In fact, not long after we recorded the drums on “Rock With You,” I put Michael on my drum platform to record his vocals. I’ve been using it for his vocals ever since! When Michael does his vocals he dances all through his vocal performances .
I use the unpainted plywood surface, of the drum platform to reflect Michael’s voice, or whatever sound source I’m recording, back to the microphone. In Michael’s case, this also preserves the rhythmic effect of him dancing happily away while he sings, as part of his sonic image.
I love to have Michael’s dancing sounds as part of the vocal sound. Keeping the platform unpainted maintains a surface as porous as possible, to keep some reflective surface in the sound-field.
Even when we do backgrounds, Michael does little vocal sounds, and snaps his fingers and taps his foot. I keep those sounds as part of the recording. I absolutely love those little sounds as a part of Michael’s sonic character. First of all, his time and his rhythm are flawless. I think those little dancing sounds are very important.
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3rd Song ~ Working Day and Night ~
Written by Michael, issued in 1979 - said by Michael to be very autobiographical in some ways, however, he wrote the song from a married man’s viewpoint.
This song has a deeply funky groove with complex, layered percussion and sharp brass.
Michael’s original demo recording featured as a bonus track on the expanded, special edition of Off The Wall, released in 2001.
B-side of Rock With You in the USA.
B-side of Off The Wall in the UK.
Live version, recorded at a concert at Madison Square Garden in September 1981, featured on the Jacksons album, LIVE, issued in November 1981.
Live performance by Michael, at his Dangerous Tour concert in Bucharest, Romania, on the 1st October 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection, issued in November 2004.
Different live performance screened on Nippon TV in Japan.
2008 Remix featured of the P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) mini CD single, part of the Thriller 25.
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4th Song ~ Get On The Floor ~
Song written by Michael with Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson.
Developed from a song the Brothers Johnson were working on, for their Light Up The Night album. Michael heard the incomplete song, put a melody to it, and recorded it himself.
Re-arranged by Michael in early 1980 - this newer version - with a more prominent guitar sound - was included on the pressing of Off The Wall, in the place of the original recording.
Original version appeared on the CD single, Liberian Girl, and a variety of Japanese pressings of Off The Wall, including the original CD pressing.
Newer version featured as the B-side of Rock With You in the UK and Off The Wall in the States.
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5th Song ~ Off The Wall ~
Title track of Michael’s first solo album released in August 1979.
Written by Rod Temperton in 1978, who submitted three songs for the album. ‘The one I thought would be their choice was Off The Wall,’ he said. ‘I tried to find out about Michael’s character. I knew he liked Charlie Chaplin, and I thought Off The Wall would be a nice thing for Michael.’
Charted at no.5 on the R &B singles chart and no.10 on the Hot 100 in the States, and no.7 in the UK.
Official Versions:
Album Version.
7” Remix.
Junior Vasquez Mix.
Live concert performance screened by Nippon TV Japan.
Live version, recorded at a concert at Madison Square Garden in September 1981, featured on the Jacksons album, LIVE, issued in November 1981.
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6th Song ~ Girlfriend ~
Written by Paul McCartney, and mentioned to Michael at a Hollywood party in 1978, as a song he might like to record. Nothing happened, so Paul recorded the song himself, for the Wings album, London Town.
Brought to Michael’s attention again by producer Quincy Jones, when they were looking for songs for Michael’s first solo album as an adult. This time Michael did record the song, and included it on Off The Wall, released in August 1979.
Fifth single from the album in the UK (but not USA), where it gave Michael a then record fifth hit from one album, peaking at no.41.
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7th Song ~ She’s Out of My Life ~
Song Michael recorded for his solo album, Off The Wall.
Written by Tom Bahler - originally in E Flat, whereas Michael sang the song in E. Bahler couldn’t play the song in E, ‘so, Quincy recorded me playing it in my key and we made a tape for the pianist who was going to record it for the album. He took it home and studied it, in order to grasp whatever magic there was in my performance. When I listen to the record, I think - God, it sounds just like me!’
Inspired by Karen Carpenter, who broke up with Bahler, after she discovered he had fathered a child with another woman.
‘How Michael could do such a sincere interpretation of the lyric has always puzzled me, because I know it was an experience he had never even thought about,’ said Bruce Swedien. ‘It’s a very mature emotion, and Michael was only nineteen years old at the time… When we were recording Michael’s vocal, he broke down and cried at the end of every take. We recorded about six or seven takes. At the end of each take Michael was sobbing, actually crying. I know he was sincere, because when we finished the last take, Michael was too embarrassed to come in the control room. He just tippy-toed out the back door of the studio, got in his car, and left the studio building. Quincy said to me, “Hey - that’s supposed to be, leave it on there, leave it there”.’
It was the day that we were to record the music track for “She’s Out of My Life.” It was about 1:00 p.m. We were all in Studio Three at Cherokee Recording Studio. The musicians were slated to arrive at 5:00 p.m. We were rehearsing in the studio. Greg Phillinganes was there playing the Rhodes (perfectly, as usual). Quincy was busy, at the piano making arrangement notes for the song. I was in the studio setting up my mics and all.

Michael was seated at the drums, singing his heart out! Every time we came to the third verse, and the line “Damned indecision and cursed pride,” Michael couldn’t say the word “damned”. He just couldn’t bring himself to do it! He would stop singing and, with his foot, hit the bass drum foot pedal as loud as possible! He just couldn’t curse! When the rehearsal ended, Quincy quietly told Michael that he would absolutely have to sing the word “damned” for the recording. Michael nodded and said to Q, “I know.” He did.
Promo short film directed by Bruce Gowers - a simple affair with Michael sitting on a stool and singing, ended in tears as well.
Fourth single from the album - charted at no.3 in the UK, and no.10 on the Hot 100 and no.42 on the R&B singles chart in the States, making Off The Wall the first solo album to produce four top 10 singles on both sides of the Atlantic.
RIAA Gold Record (USA million seller)
Performed by Michael during his Bad World Tour - at each concert, one lucky girl was allowed up on stage, to dance with Michael as he sang the song to her.
Live version, recorded at a concert at Madison Square Garden in September 1981, featured on the Jacksons album, LIVE, issued in November 1981.

Live performance by Michael, at his Dangerous Tour concert in Bucharest Romania, on 1st October 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection issued in November 2004.
Different live performance screened as part of a concert televised by Nippon TV in Japan.
Planned performance, with Mariah Carey, at Michael’s ‘What More Can I Give?’ concert in Seoul, South Korea on 25th June 1999, cancelled as Mariah arrived too late.
Performed by Marc Anthony during the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years concerts, staged at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 7th and 10th September 2001.
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8th Song ~ I Can’t Help It ~
Song written by Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene , recorded by Michael for his album Off The Wall issued in 1979.
B-side of the album’s lead single, Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.
Performed as a tribute to Michael by Beyonce’ at a concert during her ‘I Am Tour’, staged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 26th June 2009. On the opening day of the Essence Musical Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 3rd July 2009, Beyonce’ changed the lyrics to her hit, Halo, to pay further tribute to Michael (‘Michael, I can see your halo…’)
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9th Song ~ It’s the Falling In Love ~
Song Michael recorded for his Off The Wall album. Featured guest vocals by Patti Austin.
B-side of Billie Jean in the UK.
Reportedly, performed by Michael when he made a cameo appearance at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, CA, during the nine hour Budweiser Superfest on 1st August 1982 - unconfirmed.
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10th Song ~ Burn This Disco Out ~
One of three song’s Heatwave’s Rod Temperton wrote for Michael, around the same time as Rock With You, for his first solo album, Off The Wall.
Initially, Temperton was invited to deliver just one song, and was surprised when all three of his songs made the final selection. Michael recorded vocals for all three songs in one weekend, having already mastered the lyrics - professionalism that impressed Temperton.
B-side of Michael’s single Beat It in the UK (but not USA).
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In Closing ~
Michael Jackson, March 1980
“I love the whole world of dance, because dancing is really the emotions through bodily movement. And however you feel, you just bring out that inner feeling through your mood. A lot of people don’t think about the importance of it, but there’s a whole psychological thing to just letting everything loose.
Dancing is important, like laughing, to back off tension. Escapism…it’s great.
I really believe that each person has a destiny from the day he’s born, and certain people have a thing that they’re meant to do. There’s a reason why the Japanese are better at technology, and a reason why the Negro race are more into music - you go back to Africa and the tribes and the beating of the drums…
I love Studio 54 in New York, it’s so theatrical and dramatic. People come there as characters, and it’s like going to a play. You make yourself up to be this thing and just go crazy with the lights and the music, and you’re in another world. It’s very escapist…
Escapism and wonder is influence. It makes you feel good, and that allows you to do things. You just keep on moving ahead, and you say, ‘God, is this wonderful - do I appreciate it.’”
Michael Jackson
March 1980
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NOTE ~ be sure and check out all the replies in this thread too cause that's where I've added Photos, Interviews and more videos of Michael. They are all so gorgeous, dreamy and sooo Off The Wallicious...!!
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