Off the Wall (Michael Jackson song)

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"Off the Wall"
Off the Wall by Michael Jackson A-side US vinyl single.jpg
Side A of the US vinyl single
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Off the Wall
B-side"Get on the Floor"
Released
  • November 17, 1979 (UK release)[1]
  • February 2, 1980 (US release)[2]
RecordedDecember 1978 – April 1979
Genre
Length
  • 4:05 (album version)
  • 3:46 (single version)
Label
Songwriter(s)Rod Temperton
Producer(s)Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Rock with You"
(1979)
"Off the Wall"
(1979)
"She's Out of My Life"
(1980)
Alternative release(s)
Artwork for German and Dutch vinyl releases
Artwork for German and Dutch vinyl releases

"Off the Wall" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson, from his fifth album of the same name (1979). It was written by English songwriter Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, and released by Epic Records as the album's third single in November 17, 1979 in the UK[1] and on February 2, 1980 in the U.S.[3] The song was first offered to Karen Carpenter, while she was working on her first solo album, but she turned it down.[4] Lyrically, the song is about getting over troubles.

The song was well received by music critics, and became Jackson's third top 10 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.[5] The song became Jackson's third top 10 single from Off the Wall. It peaked at number ten on the Pop Singles Chart and at number five on the Billboard Soul Singles Chart.

Cash Box called it "another killer" after "Rock With You" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," saying that "a fluid, sashaying dance beat rocks the cut."[6]

Other versions[edit]

Live performances[edit]

Jackson performed the song on The Jacksons' Destiny Tour's (1979) second leg, as well as the Triumph Tour (1981) and the Victory Tour (1984). He performed the song only on the first leg of his Bad Tour (1987), his first solo tour. During the HIStory World Tour (1996), the song was included on the Off the Wall medley (also featuring the songs "Rock With You" and "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough") on some concert playlists. 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, during 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.[7]

Vaporwave producer Saint Pepsi sampled "Off The Wall" in the song "Enjoy Yourself," a line featured in the original song's chorus. The music video featured scenes from a McDonald's commercial with the character Mac Tonight.[8]

PinkPantheress sampled "Off the Wall" in her 2021 single "Just a Waste".

Track listing[edit]

European 7" single (EPC 8045)
No.TitleLength
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)
No.TitleLength
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 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.

Personnel[edit]

  • Sound effects by George Duke

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[29] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Epic advertisement" (PDF). Music Week: 2. 1979-11-17. 'Off The Wall' Michael Jackson's new single off the album. (Special re-mix).; see also ibid., p. 40, EPC 8045 is listed in the new releases section for that week.
  2. ^ Lecocq, Richard; Allard, François (2018). "Bad". Michael Jackson All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. London, England: Cassell. ISBN 9781788400572.
  3. ^ Billboard.com - Search Results - Off the Wall (Singles chart) Archived 2009-06-30 at the Wayback Machine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved on 2008-08-15.
  4. ^ "Behind The Music: Karen Carpenter (Solo)". 21 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Off the Wall - Michael Jackson - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  6. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. February 16, 1980. p. 18. Retrieved 2022-01-01.
  7. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (April 11, 2008). "Mariah Carey Leads A Track-By-Track Tour Of E=MC2, Which She Calls '100 Percent Of Me'". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  8. ^ Minor, Jordan (May 19, 2016). "McDonald's Mac Tonight should make a comeback as the lead in a fast food cinematic universe". Geek. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0173a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Off the Wall". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 3, 1980" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". VG-lista. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  17. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1965 – 1989 Acts J". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Michael Jackson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. for Michael Jackson. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  21. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending APRIL 19, 1980". Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link). Cash Box magazine.
  22. ^ "Michael Jackson".
  23. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard Digital Songs. for Michael Jackson. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  26. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0272." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1980". longboredsurfer.com. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  28. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1980". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link). Cash Box magazine.
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 8, 2021.

External links[edit]