Rock with You

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"Rock with You"
Rock with You by Michael Jackson Side A US vinyl.jpg
Side-A label of US 7" vinyl single
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Off the Wall
B-side"Working Day and Night"
ReleasedNovember 3, 1979
RecordedDecember 1978 – June 1979
Length3:38 (album version)
3:20 (single/video version)
Songwriter(s)Rod Temperton
Producer(s)Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
"Rock with You"
"Off the Wall"
Music video
"Rock With You" on YouTube

"Rock with You" is a song recorded by American singer Michael Jackson. It was written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones. It was first offered to Karen Carpenter, while she was working on her first solo album, but she turned it down.[1] It was released on November 3, 1979, by Epic Records as the second single from Jackson's fifth solo studio album Off the Wall (1979). It was also the third number-one hit of the 1980s,[2] a decade in which the pop singles chart would quickly be dominated by Jackson.

It reached number one on both the US pop (Jackson's third number-one on this chart) and R&B charts (Jackson's second number one on that chart). It spent a total of four weeks at the top position on the former chart from January 19 to February 9, 1980, and six weeks (from January 5 to February 9, 1980) on the latter chart. According to Billboard, the song was the fourth biggest single of 1980.[3] It is also considered one of the last hits of the disco era.[4]

It was re-released as a single on February 27, 2006, as part of the Visionary: The Video Singles box set. In 2021, Rolling Stone placed it at number 354 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time·[5]


"Rock with You" is a Disco and funk song,[6] that was written in the key of E minor.[7] Meter is 4/4 at 114 bpm.[7] Jackson's vocal range is F3 to G5.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

The track received generally positive reviews from music critics. J. Edward Keyes of Rolling Stone said "What's remarkable about 'Rock With You' is how unobtrusive it is: a silky string section and barely-there twitch of guitar — Michael doesn't even hit the word 'Rock' all that hard — he just glides over it, preferring to charm with a wink and a smile rather than with aggression or ferocity."[8] Steven Hyden called it his "favorite song", and noted the line "Girrrrrrl, when you dance, there's a magic that must be love" as being "the most purely joyful moment [Hyden] has ever heard in a pop song".[9] AllMusic highlighted the song on the album itself.[10] Robert Christgau called it a "smooth ballad".[11] Cash Box praised the production, calling the song a "soft, classy number" with "multi-tracked harmonies," "a modified dance beat," "shimmering flute tones and jazzy guitar work."[12]

Music video[edit]

A music video was released for the song, using the shorter single version. It features Michael in a sparkly sequined suit singing the song with a bright laser behind him. The video was directed by Bruce Gowers[13] and filmed in 1979 at the 800 Stage in Los Angeles, California.[14]

The music video was included on the video albums: Video Greatest Hits - HIStory,[15] Number Ones[16] and Michael Jackson's Vision.[17]

Live performances[edit]

Michael Jackson first performed the song on the Jacksons' Destiny World Tour on the second leg. He performed the song on the Jacksons' Triumph Tour and Victory Tour. He performed the song on his solo tour the Bad World Tour. He also performed the song during the HIStory World Tour, as a part of the Off the Wall medley (also featuring "Off the Wall" and "Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough") in certain concerts. "Rock with You" was rehearsed for the Dangerous World Tour, but was not performed. Jackson also would have performed it for the This Is It concert series, but the shows were canceled, due to his sudden death.


  • Original LP version – 3:39
    • This "classic" version was only released on initial runs of the LP record and cassette, as well as certain CD pressings manufactured in Japan, up to and including a Japanese-market version released in 1991. It was replaced by the full version of the 7" remix on later LP pressings and all other CD editions. The original version was later remastered and released on the "French Fans' Selection" deluxe box set edition of King of Pop.
  • 7" remix video edit – 3:23
    • The "remix" was used for the single and to underscore the video. The remix re-pans the guitar, and adds more strings, horns, and hand claps in the chorus. An edit was made to the middle musical bridge by adding fingersnaps and shortening it from two parts to just one.
  • 7" version – 3:39
    • This is the same as the 7" remix, but with the musical bridge left intact. This version appears on later pressings of the album.
  • Extended version – 4:57
    • Available only on the Japanese 12" promo, "Rock with You / Robin Hood". The latter song was recorded by Fox and the Promes.
  • Masters at Work Remix – 5:29
  • Frankie's Favorite Club Mix – 7:49
  • Frankie Knuckles Radio Mix – 3:50
    • The Masters at Work Remix and Frankie Knuckles remixes all contain previously unheard vocals and ad-libs not heard on the original album version. This is because the remixers were given access to the master tapes of the song to produce their remix. The master tapes contained additional vocals and cuts that didn't make it onto the original album version.
  • Live 1981 (3:55)
    • The live version, taken from the 1981 album The Jacksons Live!, was included on the UK 12" "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" single in 1983.
  • Live 1988 (4:05)

Track listing and formats[edit]



Weekly charts[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[49] Gold 35,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[50] Gold 45,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] Gold 400,000[51]
United States (RIAA)[53] 5× Platinum 5,000,000double-dagger

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Karen Carpenter Avenue: Behind The Music: Karen Carpenter (Solo)". April 21, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "Billboard" (PDF). 1980. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  3. ^ [1] Archived May 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "50 Best Michael Jackson Songs". Rolling Stone. June 23, 2014. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014.
  5. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 15, 2021.
  6. ^ Gail Mitchell, Melinda Newman (July 6, 2009). "How Michael Jackson's "Thriller" changed music business". Reuters. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Rock with You – Michael Jackson Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. August 25, 1999. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  8. ^ J. Edward Keyes (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson: The Essential Playlist". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  9. ^ Steven Hyden (March 13, 2009). "Favorite songs". The A. V. Club. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Off the Wall - Michael Jackson | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  11. ^ "Michael Jackson". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  12. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. October 20, 1979. p. 20. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  13. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R. (June 24, 2009). "Rolling Stone". Michael Jackson's 20 Greatest Videos: The Stories Behind the Vision. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  14. ^ Lecocq, Richard; Allard, François (2018). "Off the Wall". Michael Jackson All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. London, England: Cassell. ISBN 9781788400572.
  15. ^ "". Michael Jackson Video Greatest Hits HIStory | The Official Michael Jackson Site. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  16. ^ "All Music". Number Ones [DVD] - Michael Jackson. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  17. ^ "". Michael Jackson's Vision | The Official Michael Jackson Site. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  18. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9461a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  20. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Michael Jackson". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 113. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  21. ^ a b "Michael Jackson – Rock With You" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  22. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Rock With You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Michael Jackson – Rock With You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Music: Top 100 - Billboard Hot 100", Billboard, retrieved January 11, 2018
  26. ^ "Michael Jackson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  27. ^ "Michael Jackson Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending JANUARY 12, 1980". Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2016.. Cash Box magazine.
  29. ^ "Michael Jackson". Archived from the original on January 12, 2012.
  30. ^ a b "Michael Jackson – Rock With You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  31. ^ "Michael Jackson – Rock With You". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved May 29, 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Michael Jackson".
  33. ^ a b "Michael Jackson – Rock With You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  34. ^ a b "Michael Jackson – Rock With You" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  35. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  36. ^ [2][dead link]
  37. ^ "Michael Jackson – Rock With You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Canadian Hot 100. for Michael Jackson. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  39. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Japan Hot 100. for Michael Jackson. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  40. ^ "Michael Jackson – Rock With You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  41. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  42. ^ "Michael Jackson - Chart History". Billboard Digital Songs. for Michael Jackson. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  43. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  44. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0272." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  45. ^ "Official New Zealand Music Chart - End of Year Charts 1980". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  46. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1980". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  47. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1980". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2013.. Cash Box magazine.
  48. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  49. ^ "Australians Metal for Jackson" (PDF). Cash Box. December 19, 1987. p. 31. Retrieved December 8, 2021 – via World Radio History.
  50. ^ "Danish single certifications – Michael Jackson – Rock with You". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  51. ^ Copsey, Rob (August 27, 2018). "Michael Jackson Top 60 songs on the official chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  52. ^ "British single certifications – Michael Jackson – Rock with You". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  53. ^ "American single certifications – Michael Jackson – Rock with You". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 19, 2022.

External links[edit]