The Wiz (soundtrack)

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The Wiz
Soundtrack album by
Diana Ross, Michael Jackson & Various Artists
ReleasedSeptember 18, 1978
RecordedNovember 1977 – January 1978[1]
StudioA & R Recording (New York City, New York)[1]
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
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]

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,[3] 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 Jones, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, and Anthony Jackson. This soundtrack marks Jones' first collaboration with Michael Jackson; Jones went on to produce Jackson's hit solo albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.[4]

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. In 2009, Ross ended each of two sold-out performances at the 34,000-seat Geldredome Stadium (in Arnhem, Netherlands) with a finale of "A Brand New Day". The soundtrack also sold well in Australia.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Charlie Smalls, unless otherwise noted.

1."Main Title (Overture, Part One)" Instrumental2:36
2."Overture (Part Two)" Instrumental1:57
3."The Feeling That We Had" Theresa Merritt and Chorus3:26
4."Can I Go On?"Quincy Jones, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie SimpsonDiana Ross1:56
5."Glinda's Theme" Instrumental1:10
6."He's the Wizard" Thelma Carpenter and Chorus4:09
7."Soon As I Get Home / Home" Diana Ross4:04
8."You Can't Win" Michael Jackson3:14
9."Ease on Down the Road #1" Diana Ross and Michael Jackson3:55
10."What Would I Do If I Could Feel?" Nipsey Russell2:18
11."Slide Some Oil to Me" Nipsey Russell2:51
12."Ease on Down the Road #2" Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Nipsey Russell1:31
13."I'm a Mean Ole Lion" Ted Ross2:24
14."Ease on Down the Road #3" Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross1:26
15."Poppy Girls Theme"Anthony JacksonInstrumental3:27
16."Be a Lion" Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross4:04
17."End of the Yellow Brick Road" Instrumental1:01
18."Emerald City Sequence"(music: Jones, lyrics: Smalls)Chorus6:44
19."So You Wanted to See the Wizard" Richard Pryor - (spoken dialogue)2:46
20."Is This What Feeling Gets? (Dorothy's Theme)"(music: Jones, lyrics: Ashford & Simpson)Diana Ross - (vocal version not used in film)3:21
21."Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News" Mabel King and Chorus3:03
22."Everybody Rejoice / A Brand New Day"Luther VandrossDiana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross7:49
23."Believe in Yourself (Dorothy)" Diana Ross2:55
24."The Good Witch Glinda" Instrumental1:09
25."Believe in Yourself (Reprise)" Lena Horne2:15
26."Home (Finale)" Diana Ross4:03
Total length:1:16:22

Original vinyl 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[5] 40
US Billboard Black Albums Chart[5] 33


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[6] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lecocq, Richard; Allard, François (2018). Michael Jackson All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. London, England: Cassell. ISBN 9781788400572.
  2. ^ AllMusic review
  3. ^ Jones, Quincy (2002). Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. Broadway Books. pp. Pages 229, 259. ISBN 0-7679-0510-5.
  4. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits. Watson-Guptill. pp. Page 107. ISBN 0-8230-7738-1.
  5. ^ a b "allmusic ((( The Wiz (Original Soundtrack) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  6. ^ "American album certifications – Diana Ross – The Wiz (soundtrack)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.