Off the Wall (song)

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"Off the Wall"
Side-A label of U.S. vinyl single
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Off the Wall
B-side "Get on the Floor"
"Working Day and Night"
Released February 2, 1980
Format 7" single
Recorded December 1978 – April 1979
Genre
Length 4:05
Label
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)
Alternative release(s)
Artwork for German vinyl release

"Off the Wall" is a song by American singer 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 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.[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 10 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 and the Victory Tour. He performed the song only on the first leg of 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.[4]

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 the McDonald's character, Mac Tonight.[5]

Track listing[edit]

European 7" single (EPC 8045)[6][7][8]
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)[9]
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.

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[29] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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]

  1. ^ Billboard.com - Search Results - Off the Wall (Singles chart). Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved on 2008-08-15.
  2. ^ "Off the Wall - Michael Jackson - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau: Album: Michael Jackson: Off the Wall". 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Minor, Jordan (May 19, 2016). "McDonald's Mac Tonight should make a comeback as the lead in a fast food cinematic universe". Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  7. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Archive Chart: 1979-12-15" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0173a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Off the Wall". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 3, 1980" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". VG-lista. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  18. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1965 – 1989 Acts J". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard Hot 100. for Michael Jackson. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  21. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. for Michael Jackson. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending APRIL 19, 1980". Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2016.  . Cash Box magazine.
  23. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Archive Chart: 2009-07-11" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard Digital Songs. for Michael Jackson. 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 11, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2014.  . Cash Box magazine.
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Michael Jackson – Off the Wall". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 21 June 2016.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH