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Album: Off The WallReleased: 1979Charted:
This was written by Rod Temperton, a British musician who was the primary songwriter and keyboard player in the band Heatwave. Quincy Jones was impressed with the Heatwave song "Boogie Nights
," so he had Temperton write some songs for Jackson. Temperton came through with "Rock With You
" and "Off The Wall" for the future King of Pop. On Jackson's next album, Temperton contributed "Thriller
," once again providing the title track.
The Off The Wall
album sold over 10 million copies and make Michael Jackson the first solo artist with four US Top 10 hits from the same album. In addition to the title track, "Rock With You
" (#1), "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
" (#1), and "She's Out Of My Life" (#10) also made the Top 10.
Jackson's appearance started to change shortly after the album was released, as he started his run of plastic surgery. By the time Off The Wall
was reissued in 2001, Jackson looked nothing like his former self, and the cover used just the image of his feet. Here's a before and after look at Jackson against the wall
Can you even count the honors this album received? Rolling Stone's "500 greatest albums of all time," #68. NARM's "definitive 200 albums of all time," #80. Inducted into the Grammy hall of fame, 2008. Won three American Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award, and as mentioned, one Grammy. Rave reviews sang its praises, then and now. Multi-platinum seller in Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and the US.
In the lyrics, "9 to 5" represents the canonical office work hours. Already a popular expression in the '70s and '80s, it was often used in songs to delineate the workday slog from the fun and excitement the evening offered (see: "Lady Marmalade
"). The working-class comedy film 9 to 5
, released in 1980, made it even more popular. These days, flexible schedules and overtime have made the hours far less typical.
MJ trivia time: Can you name all of Michael Jackson's siblings? They are (in birth order) Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy, and Janet - Janet being the only one junior to Michael. Here's a mnemonic for those names: "Red jam tastes just like my raspberry jelly jam." OK, that's silly, but you'd remember it now, right?