MICHAEL JACKSON - THE ALBUMS 1979 - 1987




"OFF THE WALL"

1979

 
DON'T STOP 'TIL YOU GET ENOUGH - Brilliant single and a thumping Disco Funk that makes you want to get on your feet and boogie. This was the start of the new vocal styles includging "hiccups", "woohoo's" and grunts that would make his later songs his own and a unique sound of his own.
 
 

ROCK WITH YOU -  A much slower tempo, a Disco/Soul ballad with a little Funk.  One of my favourite tracks from MJ.   It was apparently offered to Karen Carpenter but she turned it down, it proved to be one of the defining hits of the Disco era.
 
 

WORKING DAY AND NIGHT -  Another Disco Funk track similar to "Don't Stop.." in composition.  The non stop rhythm, repetitive catchy singalong lines and chorus and funky basslines.  Not a single but one of MJ's most popular songs.

GET ON THE FLOOR - A real funky track, not much lyrically but a throbbing funky bass drives this track and it is a fun fast paced workout.

OFF THE WALL -  The title track was said to be part of a Disco medley sung live in later concert tours.  With similar parts to both the previous singles it was the perfect single to release, keeping up the Disco standard.
 
GIRLFRIEND - Written by Michael's friend Paul McCartney who took the song from the Wings' album "London Town" in 1978.  A Pop and R 'n B track.  A quirky little song that has a nice rhythm and chorus.  The relationship was the starting block for more collaborations between the two in later years.

SHE'S OUT OF MY LIFE -  A much slower tempo, minimal backing and Michael's soulful vocal made this a suprising hit after the dance orientated trilogy of singles prior to it.  Pure Motown soul.

I CAN'T HELP IT -  Possibly the weakest song on the album but that's becuase it has hugh standards.  This is a mediocre soft Pop ballad that meanders along 'til the end.  The chorus is more annoying than catchy.

IT'S THE FALLING IN LOVE -  A typically Motown soft Disco Soul ballad.  Nice chorus and soulful vocals.

BURN THIS DISCO OUT - this track ends the album on a high note.  Similar to "Rock With You" with little snippets of the major tracks on this album, a summary of the album if you like.  Catchy and funky and danceable which what this album is all about.



"BAD"

1987

BAD - The famous title track has a repetitive pumping Electronic dance beat, with a funky Pop influence.  Its slightly edgier sound and denouncing gang wars gave Michael a new army of fans after the straight Disco Funk of "Off The Wall" and Pop Soul Funk of "Thriller".  Michael carries the melodies with various vocals and a catchy chorus with the odd sprinkling of sparkly keyboard moments.  Supposedly a duet with Prince but he turned it down after the line "your butt is mine" and he wanted no part of it!

THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL - A favourite of mine.  Its funky and catchy and has some great Rhythm and Blues melodies that take it to a higher level of Pop song.  Orchestral segements back up the laid back beat and Michael's vocals again stand out.  Great song and a Jackson classic.

 

SPEED DEMON - A very experimental track and confusing, it can't decide if it wants to be an 80s Pop Rock track or an Electronica Synth Pop style.  Instrad it fuses both, not one of the best songs the man has recorded I'm afraid.  Not sure why Wikipedia considered this Funk Rock!!

LIBERIAN GIRL -  Fails to live up to some of Michael's more romantic songs.  It meanders along with a slow tempo and just does not ignite.  Poor for this album's standard and his back catalogue in general.  A run of the mill R n' B track.

JUST GOOD FRIENDS - A quirky, fun song and a duet with fellow Motown superstar Stevie Wonder.  A nice slice of Funk Pop with a Synth backdrop merging in.  As you would expect, from the two involved, it is polished, its cool and where it is not a great track its ok.

ANOTHER PART OF ME - This Funk Pop track is one from the vaults, it is similar to anything on "Off The Wall", the album that catapulted Michael from Motown star to global phenomenon.  Its simple, engaging and you can dance to it.  The orchestral snippets add to the tempo.  Cool throwback song.

MAN IN THE MIRROR - Powerful and emotional anthemic song.  With backing vocals from Siedah Garrett, The Winans and a Gospel choir this was as big as it gets.  Pop Soul in top gear.

I JUST CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU - Again duetting with Siedah Garrett, and again another really nice romantic song.  This is how it is supposed to be done unlike the lacklustre "Liberian Girl|".  Apparently Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand both declined the offer to the duet but Garrett does a great job.

DIRTY DIANA - A Pop Rock track following on from "Beat It" from "Thriller" and featuring a guitar solo from Steve Stevens, usual collaborator of Billy Idol.  Great track and again furthered Michael's audience from the usual Pop and R n' B catalogue.

SMOOTH CRIMINAL - A slick, perfect slice of Pop Dance/Rock crossover with hints of R n' B.  Even the almost annoying repetitive line "Annie, are you okay?" doesn't retract from a great song.  With a hint of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" this oozes class.

 

LEAVE ME ALONE - A humorous video accompanies this song making fun of the tabloid rumours about Michael following the "Thriller" album.  Its Pop, Soul and Funk all rolled into one.  A cool, quirky song to finish a superb album.  






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