The Wiz (soundtrack)

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The Wiz
Soundtrack album by Diana Ross, Michael Jackson & Various Artists
Released September 18, 1978
Recorded 1977
Genre R&B, soul, pop, disco
Length 1:16:22
Label MCA/Motown
Producer Quincy Jones, Tom Bahler
Singles from The Wiz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Ease on Down the Road"
    Released: September 21, 1978
  2. "You Can't Win"
    Released: January 11, 1979
  3. "A Brand New Day"
    Released: 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

The Wiz is the original motion picture soundtrack album for the 1978 film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Wiz. Although the film was produced for Universal Pictures by Motown Records' film division, the soundtrack album was issued on MCA Records as a two-LP collection (Universal was owned by MCA Inc. at the time). Chiefly produced by Quincy Jones,[2] The Wiz soundtrack features non-sync cast performances by the stars of the film, including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, and Lena Horne.

Like many musicals of the period, the performances in the soundtrack album are not those used directly in the film, but re-recorded by the same artists at an earlier and/or later date. Several differences are noted including Michael Jackson's line and a Nipsey Russell scat section being dropped in "A Brand New Day" among others. The song "Is This What Feeling Gets?" was not used in the film's final cut, though the tune is used throughout the film.

The track selection is made up of both songs from the original 1975 Broadway musical by Charlie Smalls and Luther Vandross, as well as new songs written for the film by Quincy Jones, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, and Anthony Jackson. This soundtrack marks Jones' first collaboration with Jackson; Jones would go on to produce Jackson's hit solo albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.[3]

The album, with its hit single "Ease On Down the Road", was more successful than the film itself, which was a commercial and critical failure. It was certified Gold in the US. It also did well in some European territories like the Netherlands, where "A Brand New Day" was a surprise number 1. When Diana Ross did 2 sold out shows at The Geldredome in 2009 in Arnhem, Netherlands, she ended each concert with a huge finale of "A Brand New Day". The soundtrack also did well in Australia.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Charlie Smalls, unless otherwise noted.

Record one, side one[edit]

  1. "Main Title (Overture, Part One)" (instrumental)
  2. "Overture (Part Two)" (instrumental)
  3. "The Feeling That We Have" - Theresa Merritt and Chorus
  4. "Can I Go On?" (Quincy Jones, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson) - Diana Ross
  5. "Glinda's Theme" (instrumental)
  6. "He's the Wizard" - Thelma Carpenter and Chorus
  7. "Soon as I Get Home"/"Home" - Diana Ross

Record one, side two[edit]

  1. "You Can't Win" - Michael Jackson
  2. "Ease on Down the Road #1" - Diana Ross and Michael Jackson
  3. "What Would I Do If I Could Feel?" - Nipsey Russell
  4. "Slide Some Oil to Me" - Nipsey Russell
  5. "Ease on Down the Road #2" - Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Nipsey Russell
  6. "I'm a Mean Ole Lion" - Ted Ross
  7. "Ease on Down the Road #3" - Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross
  8. "Poppy Girls" (Anthony Jackson) (instrumental)

Record two, side one[edit]

  1. "Be a Lion" - Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross
  2. "End of the Yellow Brick Road" (instrumental)
  3. "Emerald City Sequence" (music: Jones, lyrics: Smalls) - Chorus
  4. "So You Wanted to See the Wizard" - Richard Pryor (spoken dialogue)
  5. "Is This What Feeling Gets? (Dorothy's Theme)" (music: Jones, lyrics: Ashford & Simpson) - Diana Ross

Record two, side two[edit]

  1. "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News" - Mabel King and Chorus
  2. "A Brand New Day" (Luther Vandross) - Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, and Chorus
  3. "Believe in Yourself (Dorothy)" - Diana Ross
  4. "The Good Witch Glinda" (instrumental)
  5. "Believe in Yourself (Reprise)" - Lena Horne
  6. "Home" - Diana Ross



Chart (1978–79) Peak
US Billboard 200[4] 40
US Billboard Black Albums Chart[4] 33


Title Chart (1978–79) Peak
"Ease on Down the Road" US Billboard Hot 100[5] 41
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles[5] 17
"You Can't Win" US Billboard Hot 100 81
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles 42


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Jones, Quincy (2002). Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. Broadway Books. pp. Pages 229, 259. ISBN 0-7679-0510-5. 
  3. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits. Watson-Guptill. pp. Page 107. ISBN 0-8230-7738-1. 
  4. ^ a b "allmusic ((( The Wiz (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  5. ^ a b "allmusic ((( The Wiz (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-03-26.