The chorus contains one of the most misheard vocals ever. The line is: "Keep up with the force, don't stop. Don't stop 'til you get enough." Jackson may have been inspired by the movie Star Wars, which popularized the concept of "The Force."
To this point, Michael Jackson had recorded four #1 hits with The Jackson 5, and one as a solo artist ("Ben," a 1972 song about a pet rat). But this was the first chart-topper he wrote himself. Quincy Jones, who produced the album, encouraged Jackson to write his own songs, and the young singer quickly developed a talent for composition. Jackson wrote or co-wrote nine more #1 hits in his career, including "We Are The World."
Jackson and Jones first worked together on music for the 1978 film The Wiz (Jackson played the Scarecrow); Off The Wall was the first album Jones produced for him.
Jackson wrote this for an extremely high vocal range. Since his voice could not carry this alone, he was overdubbed a few times to create a harmony and fill out the vocals.
The video was very advanced for its time. It showed Jackson dancing in front of various funky backgrounds, with three images of Michael on the screen for a while. Director Nick Saxton, who was a production assistant on George Lucas's pre-Star Wars film THX-1138, was brought in to helm the clip.
According to Bruce Swedien, who was the engineer on the session, Jackson, his brother Randy and sister Janet tapped soda bottles with drumsticks to form some of the percussion at the beginning of this song. Swedien recorded this part using old ribbon microphones.
Janet told Ryan Seacrest: "He [Michael] had all these ideas and he needed someone to help him out. We were just kids, we were just babies, and so we're up there playing all kinds of percussion to help him create that to give to Quincy so they could put the real thing down."
This was the first Michael Jackson song where he made lots of screams and squeals throughout the vocals. He had tremendous success with the same technique on much of the Thriller album.
Musicians on this track include David Williams and Marlo Henderson on guitars, Louis Johnson on bass and John Robinson on drums. Greg Phillinganes, a keyboard player who worked on most of Jackson's solo albums beginning with Off The Wall, made significant contributions to the track. He's credited for "rhythm arrangement" along with Jackson, but Quincy Jones thinks he deserved a songwriting credit as well. "Greg Phillinganes wrote the C section," Jones said in an interview with Vulture. "Michael should've given him 10 percent of the song. Wouldn't do it."
Chris Tucker sings Karaoke to this song in the movie Rush Hour 2. Tucker and Jackson were good friends, and after he saw the film, Jackson called to let Tucker know he was doing the dance incorrectly: he was kicking with the wrong leg.
Jackson won his first Grammy Award for this song, taking home the trophy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male.
Off The Wall was the first album Jackson recorded for Epic Records. All of his previous solo work was with Motown.
Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song.I saw a friend of mine,Alice Jones,now Zeeman doing Lip Sync in a halloween show in the Oak Center in 198? I was in elementary school then. She did a good job.I love the late Michael Jackson's video,too.
Cassidy from Manitou Springs, CoLOL. I used to think he said, "keep on with the porn stars, dont stop 'til you get enough."
Shauna from Atlatna, GaActually if anyone has a copy of Off The Wall, special addition, his original lyrics was 'Kepp on, with you heart don't stop, don;t stop wil you get enough. And I do think it was about sex.
Jazmine from Brook Park, Mnreally? i always thought that it was keep up when the force stops-don't stop 'til you get enough! to be honest-that makes the most sense-at least, that's my opinion.
Beth from Mims, FlI have always thought the line was: "Keep on when the fun starts. Don't stop 'til you get enough." I've been singing it wrong all these years...sheesh!
Linc from Beaumont, TxJudging by the date on this song - I am wondering if Star Wars had any influence on the Force lyric selection...
Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnA disco delight.
Angelica from Boynton, FlLOL whoa i always thought that it was "keep on and then shout dont stop till you get enough" lol michaels the greatest he let us make our own words to his very best songs
Doug from Los Angeles, CaNo Eric, you're thinking of Al Yankovic's version, Don't Stop Til You Eat Enough.
Eric from Mcallen, TxI always thought Michael was saying "Come on, Eat up the french toast, don't stop 'til you get enough"
Mike from Cairo, NyI believe it's "keep on, when the force starts, don't stop till you get enough".
I used to think it was "keep on with your bad self".
John from Nashville, TnThis song snagged Michael his first Grammy for best r&b male vocal performance.
Ruby from New Orleans, LaNo, he is saying "keep up with the force". Michael Jackson wrote this after seeing Stars Wars and he was a big fan of George Lucas... I'm not joking. His use of the word force is derived from the film.
Kayvee from Chicago, IlIt sounds to me like "Keep on, dig a post hole, don't stop till you get enough". Maybe that's a dance move or a suggestion either playful or naughty.
Lisa from Manchester, CtI never understood the lyrics and, after having read them, don't believe the lyrics posted are correct. It just doesn't fit.
Though I often hear lyrics differently than they are sung, to me it sounded like "Keep up with the four straws, don't stop 'til you get enough."
Michaela from Brooklyn, NyWhen I heard the song to me it was;"Keep on with the(something something)Don't sop 'til you get enough"...I didn't know what the heck he said!:D My brother and mu two sisters didn't even know what he said!=D
Kara from Cadillac, MiI never really cared for this song because the lyrics were difficult to understand - now that I can read what they are, I realize that I still don't care for it. I do think that Michael Jackson is a phenomenal performer though, and I have liked much of what he's done over his career. He has earned superstardom and he has my respect.
Kara from Cadillac, MiPs. I read somewhere a long time ago that it was "keep on with the bus stop" (meaning the dance) "don't stop til you get enough." Matters not to me now, if I listen to Michael, that wouldn't be the song I'd choose anyway. Just found myself curious about the lyrics. BTW I do think that pop music and sensationalism go hand in hand. Don't believe everything you read.
Ron from Pensacola, FlI always thought it was "Keep it up, baby don't stop. Don't stop till you get enough.
Nora from N/a, FlNO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IN HIS LIFE ...NO MATTER WHAT HE IS/WAS ACCUSED OF..HE WILL ALWAYS BE THE ULTIMATE KING OF POP !!!!! HE IS SO TALENTED AND HIS MUSIC WILL GO ON FOR YEARS TO COME !!!!
Lala from Anywhere, Mtwhen i frist heard the song i thought it was "keep on with the fun stuff dont stop til YOU GET IT UP!" lol thats just wrong
Sam from Bright, InActually, I thought he was saying, "Keep on when the fun starts"
Jonothan from Adelaide, AustraliaI don't know what the words are, and I don't care! Just a great song to listen to with your brain in neutral.
AnonymousI thought he was singing: "Keep on with the four stroke" keep that in mind next time you hear it.You can almost hear it.
Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ilwhen i first heard this song i had no idea what the words were and i looked at the words and i still cant get the words right and i dont look at the book let so i just sing what ever i can remember!!!!
Sarah from Ottawa, CanadaI actually thought he said "keep on with the boys and go, don't stop til you get enough." :) Sounds kind of funny when I see what the words really were.
Zoe from Mount Gambier, AustraliaI thought the line was.... Come on, you're a porn star! LOL How wrong I was!
Rachel from Portland, OrI always sing the lyric "Come on! To the post drop!" I know it's wrong but I can never remember the real line ("Keep up with the force, don't stop.") -rachel, portland, OR
Dawson from Draper, UtMy favorite MJ song, and Michael is my favorite of all time! 5 outta 5! Man, it rocks!
Eloise from London, EnglandActually, a friend of mine says it's "Keep On, Do the 4-Star Stomp"!!
Eloise from London, EnglandPaul from Malibu, I'm with you. It's gotta be "Keep ON with the Force".
Matt from Millbrae, CaMichale could lay it down in the 80's...but what happened in that instant when 1990 first came around will remain a mystery.
Joshua from Niagara Falls, CanadaAsh leave michael the hell alone!!!!! P.S: This song is my favorite 70's song!!!
Ash from Charleston, WvHmmmm. Perhaps it's about someone's insatiable appetite for inappropriate acts with pre-pubescent children.
Jam Kemal from Lindua, South Africa" He was encouraged to come up with his own songs by Quincy Jones, who produced the album "
Actually Jackson wrote songs before the Off The Wall album for The Jacksons albums. The song is produced by Jackson and Jones
Paul from Malibu, Caisn't it : "keep ON with the force ?
Tara from Chicago, IlMichael's Mom hated this song at first because she thought Michael was singing about sex. When asked about it, Michael said people can interpet the song to mean whatever they want it too.