Off the Wall (song)

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"Off the Wall"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Off the Wall
B-side "Working Day and Night"
"Get on the Floor" (USA)
Released January, 1980
Format 7" single
Genre
Length 4:05
Label Epic
Writer(s) Rod Temperton
Producer(s) Quincy Jones
Certification Gold (USA)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Rock with You"
(1979)
"Off the Wall"
(1980)
"She's Out of My Life"
(1980)
Off the Wall track listing
"Get on the Floor"
(4)
"Off the Wall"
(5)
"Girlfriend"
(6)

"Off the Wall" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson, from his fifth album of the same name (1979). It was written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, and released as the album's third single on February 2, 1980 by Epic Records.[1] Lyrically the song is about getting over troubles. It was well received by music critics, and became Jackson's third top ten single from Off the Wall, which eventually spawned four top 10 singles; Jackson was the first person to accomplish this. It was performed by Jackson in five of his concert tours.

Reception[edit]

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine highlighted the song on its studio album.[2] Robert Christgau wrote acclaim: "the title tune suggests that maybe what makes Stevie Wonder (who contributes a good ballad) such an oddball isn't his genius or even his blindness so much as the fact that since childhood his main contact with the real world has been on stage and in bed."[3]

The song became Jackson's third top ten single from Off the Wall, which eventually spawned four top 10 singles; Jackson was the first person to accomplish this. The song peaked at number ten on the Pop Singles Chart and at number five on the Billboard Soul Singles Chart.

Live performances[edit]

Jackson performed the song on the Jacksons' Destiny Tour's second leg, as well as the Triumph Tour, Victory Tour. He performed the song on his first solo tour the Bad World Tour. He also performed it during the HIStory World Tour, but only a part of the Off the Wall medley on certain concerts. A live performance of the song can be seen in One Night in Japan, a bootleg live album and DVD release of Jackson's 1987 concert in Yokohama, Japan as part of the Bad tour.

Sample[edit]

Mariah Carey sampled "Off the Wall" on her song "I'm That Chick", which is included in her 2008 album E=MC².

Track listing[edit]

European 7" single (EPC 8045)[4][5][6]
No. Title Length
1. "Off the Wall (Remix) - No version description listed on the actual single."   4:01
2. "Workin' Day and Night"   5:10
Total length:
9:10
U.S. 7" single (9-50838)[7]
No. Title Length
1. "Off the Wall (7" Remix) – No version description listed on the actual single"   3:47
2. "Get on the Floor"   4:38
Total length:
8:26

Official versions[edit]

  1. Album Version – 4:05
  2. Remix – 4:01
  3. 7" Remix – 3:47
  4. Edit – 3:46 – Featured on the Essential Collection is an early fade of the album version.
  5. Junior Vasquez Mix – 5:13 – Featured on the Stranger in Moscow single.
  6. Live – 4:00 – Featured on the The Jacksons Live!.

US and Japanese singles feature the remix running 3:47, while the UK and the rest of the world got the other remix running 4:01.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 7
US Billboard Hot 100 10
US Hot R&B Singles 5
Chart (2009) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 73
U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs 51[8]

Personnel[edit]

  • Written and composed by Rod Temperton
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Michael Jackson: Lead and background vocals
  • Louis Johnson: Bass
  • John Robinson: Drums
  • David Williams, Marlo Henderson: Guitars
  • Greg Phillinganes: Electric piano, synthesizer
  • Michael Boddicker: Synthesizer programming
  • George Duke: Synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Paulinho Da Costa: Percussion
  • Horns arranged by Jerry Hey and performed by The Seawind Horns:
    • Jerry Hey: Trumpet and flugelhorn
    • Larry Williams: Tenor, alto saxophones and flute
    • Kim Hutchcroft: Baritone, tenor saxophones and flute
    • William Reichenbach: Trombone
    • Gary Grant: Trumpet
  • Rhythm and vocal arrangements by Rod Temperton

References[edit]