Tuesday, December 10, 2013

68 Off The Wall (1979) Michael Jackson

1. Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
2. Rock with You
3. Workin' Day and Night
4. Get on the Floor
5. Off the Wall
6. Girlfriend
7. She's Out of My Life
8. I Can't Help It
9. It's the Falling in Love
10. Burn This Disco Out

I find the cult of Jackson to be somewhat... disturbing. I've nothing against the guy personally but his fans are verging on the creepy and at times are just downright fanatics.

I discuss music on the internet in a range of places and an encounter with a Jackson fan is always memorable for their intense level of devotion, their fanatic defence of their hero's strange lifestyle and also, it has to be said, an ignorance of the man's career which is really baffling. I've spoken to Elvis fans whose knowledge of Presley's music is just incredible. I've met Neil Young fans who can pretty much recite every song the great man ever wrote in his five decades of music making, I've spoken with Velvet Underground fans who are just absurd in their level of detailed knowledge. But many Jackson fans know less about him than I do, and I don't even like him that much.

I've spoken to several people who have claimed Jackson wrote and produced all his own work and played several instruments as well. They've elevated him to the status of musical genius who single handed crafted his own albums and guided his career.

The truth is that this is just not the case. Jackson only wrote two songs on Off The Wall and co-wrote another. The album was almost entirely produced by Quincy Jones and Jackson's only musical contribution other than vocals was percussion.

I'm not for a second claiming Jackson was just a musical puppet with Jones pulling the strings but anyone claiming Michael was running the show and driving the whole thing is fooling themselves. He might be a great dancer and showman, but he's not Curtis Mayfield.

Off The Wall is a disco album with Jackson lending his voice to some disco tracks produced and arranged by Jones and played by session musicians. If you love disco, it's a great album but if you don't then there's really not much here for you. Jackson's voice isn't in stellar form on Off The Wall which finds him stranded between his youthful innocence and mid-era aggression. The strange transitional phase doesn't really do anything except lend itself to ballads which are too syrupy here to transcend this album's disco feel.

Off The Wall's position here is kind of mystifying. It's nobody's favourite Michael Jackson album and who other than his fans like his stuff?

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "They tried to destroy you Michael, because you dared to speak out against the racism you observed in the World & in the Music Industry perpetrated by both Jews & Anglos & their Black puppets, but they were unsuccessful. "

-See that's a true Jackson fan right there. Jackson vs a Jewish conspiracy. Seriously?

So is this off the wall or are you on the fence about its appeal? Let me know below.

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