Song of the Day #4,979: ‘Burn This Disco Out’ – Michael Jackson

To help appreciate the astounding popularity of Michael Jackson, consider that 1979’s Off the Wall sold more than 20 million copies worldwide… and it’s his fifth best-selling album.

What’s nuts is that the four albums Jackson released before this one, all between 1972 and 1975 on Motown Records, barely made a dent. Those records, recorded by a teenaged Jackson in a style very much like his work with the Jackson 5, showed few hints of the R&B/disco juggernaut to come.

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Song of the Day #3,900: ‘She’s Out of My Life’ – Michael Jackson

My second Michael Jackson post in a little over a week, this one comes from Jackson’s classic 1979 album Off the Wall, arguably his overall best release.

Written by Tom Bahler, ‘She’s Out of My Life’ became the fourth top ten single from Off the Wall. Producer Quincy Jones originally intended to give the song to Frank Sinatra but he wanted to see what Jackson could do with a mature ballad. Jackson famously couldn’t help but tear up during the song’s final lines, and you can hear his voice cracking on the final version.

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Song of the Day #3,247: ‘Off the Wall’ – Michael Jackson vs. Belle & Sebastian

Here’s a Montauk Madness first round matchup that has me hoping my blog audience skews more toward my sensibility than popular consensus. I assume R&B and pop legend Michael Jackson would take down Scottish indie act Belle & Sebastian in a poll of any significant size, by way of name recognition if nothing else.

But as much as I love the King of Pop, especially in his Off the Wall and Thriller days, I can’t give him the nod over one of my very favorite bands.

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Song of the Day #2,953: ‘Get On the Floor’ – Michael Jackson

off-the-wallMichael Jackson’s Off the Wall just missed my list of 1980 albums, having been released with a few months left in 1979.

I never got to know this album very well, unlike its 1982 follow-up, Thriller. Thriller is an album that, even at 10 years old, I knew by heart. But Off the Wall might be an even better record start to finish.

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Song of the Day #591: ‘Rock With You’ – Michael Jackson

I was listening to Off the Wall the other day, and especially digging this song. The album isn’t quite the equal of Thriller but it’s a terrific funk/pop record.

Started wondering what ever happened to Michael Jackson. He just sort of disappeared after Dangerous.

Turns out he died last year. How did I miss that? Must have been drowned out by all the coverage of Farrah Fawcett’s passing.

I salute you, Jacko! You will be missed.

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