BEFORE HE WAS KING | Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ set the stage
It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Michael Jackson’s landmark “Thriller,” which is far and away the best-selling album of all time, was released. But three years before that album helped turn the Gloved One into the self-proclaimed King of Pop – and certainly long before he became the official king of weird – Jackson’s “Off the Wall” reigned as a career-changing piece of work.
Recorded in 1979, “Off the Wall” was Jackson’s fifth solo album, coming a long four years after the lackluster “Forever, Michael” album made when Jackson was just 16. Produced by Quincy Jones, it reached #3 on Billboard’s album charter and eventually sold more than 20 million copies.
Some say it’s Jackson’s best work. He was said to have been disappointed that “Off the Wall” didn’t get more critical recognition, winning “only” one Grammy. That changed with 1982’s “Thriller,” which has sold, based on various accounts, somewhere between 45 and 105 million copies, earning eight Grammy awards and staying on the charts for nearly two full years.
At any rate, “Off the Wall” included four top-100 hits. “Off the Wall” was one I particularly liked.
Song: OFF THE WALL
Artist: Michael Jackson
Where I heard it: XM Radio’s Channel 7
In the lyrics:
So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
and just enjoy yourself
groove, let the madness in the music get to you
life ain’t so bad at all
if you live it off the wall