Off The Wall

Album: Off The Wall (1979)
Charted: 7 10


  • 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?

Comments: 22

  • Goodwill Masike from South Africa MJ trivia on Michael Jackson's siblings; Randy Jackson came after Michael, then Janet. So it's not correct to say Janet comes after Michael.
  • Crystal from Nc, United StatesWho sang background on off the wall song
  • Tc from TexasLove this site. Keep up the great work and may all this great music remain in our hearts. Michael Jackson is still today, my favorite artist since childhood. Correction on Trivia: Randy is also younger than Michael. With Janet being the youngest as stated earlier in trivia.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 10th 1980, "Off The Wall" by Michael Jackson entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #53; eight weeks later on April 6th it would peak at #10 {for 2 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 17 weeks...
    His two preceding releases both peaked at #1, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You"; and his next release was "She's Out of My Life", and like "Off The Wall" it would reach #10.
  • Randy from Springfield, MoMichael's first nasal operation happened in 1979 during a rehearsal for a concert tour, and it wasn't cosmetic. His first few were necessary because the surgeon botched the first and the second had complications related to lupus. His vitiligo started when he was a child and grew more noticeable around Off the Wall, hence the makeup. The biggest change though was the photographer's lighting and the shorter haircut that Michael got during this time, namely, he lost the Afro.
  • Tinita from Detroit, MiThis is my favorite MJ song, so much in fact from the very first time I heard the song as young teen I decided to live my life off the wall. This song gave my life a whole new meaning and to this day I don't care what people say nor think about me. I do as I please because only GOD can judge me now. Thank you Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer of all time for being the first Black family I saw on TV, for being the first Black to have your video on MTV, and for showing me the importance of "Livin' life off the wall."
  • Camille from Toronto, OhOkay, so I just crawled out from under a rock and realized even though I always thought this song was titled something like "9 to 5" (not to be confused with Dolly Parton's song), I am just know learning the name of it is "Off the Wall". WOW. Anyway, what a song! I agree with Tamitra of Des Moines, IA and a few others who say this song inspires! Even tho I never knew the correct name of it, the song always lifted my spirits!
  • Samantha from Clinton, MdRod Temperton said on the Special Edition release of Off The Wall that he'd written the song for Michael as well as Rock With You and Burn This Disco Out.
  • David from Birmingham, AlSongwriter Rod Temperton first pitched this song to Karen Carpenter, who rejected it (along with "Rock With You.")
  • Dean from Miami , FlThis is one of Michael Jackson's best songs.. Mike you are greatly missed; Wish you were still here making great music.

    So Tonight Gotta Leave That Nine To Five Upon The Shelf
    And Just Enjoy Yourself
    Groove, Let The Madness In The Music Get To You
    Life Ain't So Bad At All
    If You Live It Off The Wall
    Life Ain't So Bad At All (Live Life Off The Wall)
    Live Your Life Off The Wall (Live It Off The Wall)

  • Muse from Alkmaar, NetherlandsListening to Off the Wall, brings sweet memories of good old times. I practically grew up with Michael´s music. My mom liked him as a child-artist; I adored him while being in my late teens. Off the Wall was Michael´s break-through as an adult artist; it was my companion on the road to my own adulthood. Off the Wall will always be that special album, a reminder of a very special, sweet time in my life.
  • Kevin from Mobile, AlI love this song. It reminds me of my childhood. I was born in 1978. I remember being in elementary school and this Album and Thriller got equal radio play.
  • Ross from Dunn, NcThe song also hit #5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
  • Angelica from Boynton, Fltime to leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf... and just enjoy yourself. 9 to 5 refers to a job and enjoy yourself is a song by the jacksons... i love this song
  • Tricia from Rockville Centre, NyBy far probably the BEST song he ever sang! I will remember this song coming off the bus in kindergarden....and my mom and I were dancing in the car....I am so sad and sorry to see Michael is gone. This song will definetly be added in more routines in my dance lessons! God Bless Michael!
  • Otoko86 from Chicago, IlThis is one of my favorite MJ songs! The meaning of the song is leaving your troubles behind and enjoying yourself by living your life "off the wall" - "Tonight, gotta leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf and just enjoy yourself." It has a nice groove and sounds similar to the rhythms in "Boogie Nights," but it's different.
  • Tamitra from Des Moines, IaThere's a much deeper meaning to this song than just "discotheque time." Every time I listen to "Off The Wall" I can't help but feel inspired, motivated to do something positive (including dancing to this funky jam). The message I get Live your life the way you want to live it. Stop procrastinating!! Make the Best of the Life you've got; don't waste it on constant negative thoughts and actions. That's my brief understanding of the Song.
  • Arik from BrusselsRod Temperton made a copy/paste of the rythmic line from his previous hit with Heatwave "Boogie Nights". Believe me, it's worth comparing - almost unheard in rock history!
  • Dan from Kent, EnglandThis is the one MJ song i don't like - I think it's the chorus it just disagrees with me. I dont think it fits the song so much. And the cackling at the beginning is odd too. But MJ rocks quite a few socks, so i'll let him off!!
  • Amandass from Buckley, WaJackson ruled back in the day
  • Jaime from Honolulu, HiI don't think this is truly about towns, Sarah. I think its just about going out and having a good time and enjoying yourself. That's what Rod liked to do on his spare time, going to discos.
  • Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ilwell this is about towns and if you want to be in this town you have to boogie down. if you cant then you are not good enough in this town. then there is parties. oh and you have to be cool enough.
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