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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Off The Wall

Michael Jackson

1979

Off The Wall

Album Summary

Off the Wall is the fifth solo studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on August 10, 1979, by Epic Records. It was Jackson's first album released through Epic Records, the label he recorded under until his death in 2009, and the first produced by Quincy Jones, whom he met while working on the 1978 film The Wiz. Several critics observed that Off the Wall was crafted from disco, pop, funk, R&B, soft rock and Broadway ballads. Its lyrical themes include escapism, liberation, loneliness, hedonism and romance. The album features songwriting contributions from Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Rod Temperton, Tom Bahler, and David Foster, alongside three tracks penned by Jackson himself. Between 1972 and 1975, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown as part of The Jackson 5 franchise: Got to Be There (1972), Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973) and Forever, Michael (1975). Before recording his next album, which came to be Off the Wall, Jackson desired to create a record not sounding like a Jacksons record, but rather showcasing creative freedom and individualism. Off the Wall peaked at number three on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart and number one on the Top Black Albums chart, staying at number one on the latter for 16 weeks, and was an enormous critical success. Five singles were released from the album. Jackson wrote three songs, including the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", his first solo number-one single in the United States since "Ben" seven years prior. The second single, "Rock with You", also topped the chart. With following singles "Off the Wall" and "She's Out of My Life" also reaching the US top 10, Jackson became the first solo artist to have four singles from the same album reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Off the Wall was a significant departure from Jackson's previous work for Motown and was hailed as a major breakthrough for him. In retrospect, writers have hailed it a landmark release of the disco era and one of the greatest albums of all time. Critics often debate whether it or Thriller is Jackson's best album. Off the Wall has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. On February 2, 2021, it was certified 9× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the US. At the 1980 Grammy Awards, it was nominated for two Grammy Awards, with Jackson winning Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". In 2008, Off the Wall was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.81

Votes

5972

Genres

  • Pop
  • Soul
Reviews
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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Funky funk funk funk. This is a disco masterpiece, obviously. It’s got R&B, Disco, Pop, a whole bunch of stuff. The bass playing and production is what really stood out to me. I don’t think I can really state the impact that this album made on popular music going forward. Favorite song: Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough Least favorite song: Girlfriend

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

When I was a kid Michael Jackson was ubiquitous. Just an absolute cultural juggernaut. I had a cassette tape of "thriller" and remember checking out books from the library about michael jackson and the jackson 5. I definitely can't separate his music from nostalgic childhood feelings. This album is where he truly established himself as an independent solo artist and where he found the perfect producer in Quincy Jones. I feel like this album and Thriller set a new template for pop music that is still being used to this day. Man this album starts so strong! The production is so clean and balanced. So busy and layered but not cluttered or overwhelming. Flows so smoothly. Got some of the best session musicians of the era on this album which I am acquainted with to an odd degree because of their association with yacht rock, (which this album has some crossover with). I can definitely appreciate some immaculate pop production, particularly from this era. Side 1 is a fucking ripper but I feel like the album loses a bit of steam on side 2 around the wings cover "girlfriend" and the ballad "She's out if my life" but I do like the Stevie Wonder penned "I can't help it" very much and "it's the falling in love" is yacht rock gem. More of a fan of "thriller" but this is still a very impressive album with some incredible songs.

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Sat Jun 11 2022
1

I accept that Thriller had to be part of the 1001. I get it. But this bad boy? C'mon. Give your head a shake.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

How many times have I listened to this album in my life? Too many to count. I love this album, and I am convinced that this is the greatest disco/funk album ever made. How can something sound so 70's but at the same time be so timeless? Everyone who listens to this, no matter who, when or where will be grooving to this album, it's energy is infectious. The synths, the bass, the vocal delivery of MJ and lyrical composition is top notch. The songs are all the perfect length that don't overstay their welcome, which is something that disco and funk usually have a problem with. Every song on this album is iconic, along with the album art. This album feels like its at the crossroads between MJ's child career and future adult career that we all know and love, blending the best of each. This is my personal favorite Michael Jackson album, it may not have the more iconic hits that people think of when they think of MJ, but it makes me happy, its such a pure joy to listen to. Favorite track: Rock With You Least Favorite Track: She's Out of My Life

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Bona fide classic, and the first album we've reviewed that I have on vinyl! [insert joke here about me saying "I have that on vinyl"] Technically not a debut album, but in a way it kind of is. He started in the Jackson 5 and released a few solo albums in the early '70s, which mostly sounded like the Jackson 1. On "Forever, Michael" in 1975, his voice suddenly dropped to the range we recognize as Michael Jackson, but that album still sounds like a Jackson 1 project. With help from Quincy Jones, MJ pivoted to funky, disco pop, setting the stage for his growth into the most dominant force in pop music. The album's terrific--it opens with probably my favorite song he's ever made (first heard via Chris Tucker in Rush Hour 2 - "Ch'mon, Lee!"), and it's great all the way through. Also: there's a deluxe release with a couple demos, and the original demo for "Workin' Day and Night" is awesome. I like it better than the album version and think it's one of MJ's best tracks period. Check it out! Favorite tracks: Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Workin' Day and Night, Rock With You. Album art: Iconic. Totally looks like a debut. Painfully '70s, in a good way. Michael doesn't look comfortable at all, like he's worried people with think he's a poser. At that time I guess he was a poser, going from Motown soul to groovy disco overnight, but it's like a guy at party who gets up "off the wall" to storm the dance floor and show everyone up. This is my favorite cover of all MJ albums. 5/5

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

The first half of this album is very good but the last 4-5 songs weren't doing much for me. He's just so damn talented. Clearly not his best album but still a great listen.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
4

Various ballads and dance numbers addressed to anonymous women, but the real love affair is between Jackson and Quincy Jones. The comingling of their vocabulary of sighs, squeals, squeaks, grunts, groans, classical strings, fairydust synths and, of course, mesmeric drums is as essential to the music of the last 40 years as James Brown. Most ironic title: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough. There is no 'enough'.

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Fri Oct 30 2020
5

un 9,2

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Sat Dec 19 2020
5

Classic grooves, all time great album

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

Perfection

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

Fuck dude, how do you rank an album like this? It's so hard to isolate this album from everything that came out afterwards about Michael Jackson. There's no question that Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson were an absolute force when recording together. The first song is incredible; the album starts out at a sprint. The second song is a classic as well. From there it has a very consistent feel without being repetitive. A classic party album. It feels weird giving a known pedophile 5 stars, but here we are 5/5

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Mon May 17 2021
5

Phenomenal mix of funk, soul, disco and pop from the greatest performer of all time.

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Sat May 01 2021
5

Video show

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Michael Jackson Goodness. Bop after Bop

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Tue May 18 2021
5

Just a great album front to back. Always have loved the song “Off The Wall”

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Pretty damn good

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Love love love this album

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Absolutely stellar, what a boppin album. Besides Girlfriend, you got ya head bumping along with every track, and it's all memorable as hell. What more to say? This is THE way to breakout into stardom (as a solo act, I guess).

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Michael Jackson’s best album, the funk, the groove, is truly incredible. Set the tone for music going forward.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

I e joyed this album and would play it again!

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

Young king of pop, fun album, gets you in a good mood

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Awesome. It does sound like all of 80s smooth jazz ripped this sound off, though.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

The King Don't stop til you get enough, Rock with you, It's the falling in love, Burn this disco out

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

Bangers

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Fri Apr 23 2021
5

This is one of my favorite albums of ALL TIME. I'd rank it higher than Thriller. But I had to give them both 5s.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

love it

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

Excellent early Michael before he really hit his stride. 9/10.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Solid Michael Blackson produced by Quincy Jones. Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough will always be a song to grove to. Don’t sleep on the song Get On The Floor, the bass line is amazing. I even find myself enjoying the cheesier songs lime Girlfriend.

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

Masterpiece.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Highlights - Don't Stop..., Rock With You, Off The Wall, Burn This Disco Out I've always appreciated the sonic clarity of Michael Jackson's work, his ability to craft truly toe-tapping melodies, his incredible vocal range...His foray into his solo act truly got off the ground when he partnered with Quincy Jones for Off The Wall. Don't Stop.. and Rock With You require no explanation, these are assured classics. It's worth noting that this album was made for record playback in mind, as such, the eponymous Off The Wall kicks off the B-side with unsettling laughter and transitions into a solid banger with a feel-good chorus. Burning This Disco Out closes out the second side with a funk-filled send off that'll have you dancing and flipping back to Track 1 over and over.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Notes.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Hell yeah

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Disco-y! Interesting to see some early thriller influences too

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

Pues gran ritmo, canciones que hasta la fecha suenan de vez en cuando en dodne menos las esperas. A parte del famoso single don't stop till you get enough, me gustaron off the wall y sobre todo la ondita r&b de it's the falling in love.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
5

Awesome album. Thoroughly enjoyable songs and from when before things all went wrong.

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

It's Michael Jackson. All bangers with enough nostalgia to combat the occasional cheesy lyrics

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

Just bangers

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Wünderbar 5*

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

So much energy, his voice is unreal and brings with it incredible passion, and literally every song on the album maintains a high level of energy and positive emotion. Not just the voice but the production is near flawless.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Primeira musica eh a musica do Globo Reporter!

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

This is it. This is the one. Post-disco, the beginning (and best) of the legendary team of Michael and Quincy. Every song is great. Every hook is memorable and natural. MJ slides between endearing, exciting, and fun like no other. While he is certainly indebted to the likes of James Brown and Diana Ross, there's no debate about his being a through-and-through platinum performer. Even viewing this record with his later works in frame, Off the Wall has that mojo that never quite returned -- not that it needed to. Something that is ubiquitous tends to lose its flair, and in this case, the untouchability of OTW just adds to its legendary status. Don't stop til you get enough, Michael I'll never get enough so I'm not stopping.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Ace

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

It certainly makes sense how this album accelerated Michael Jackson to the stars as a solo artist. Its complex sound and catchy rhythms and baselines pair excellently with the incredible range of vocals from Jackson. I frequently listen to a lot of these songs from this album.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

99% of the songs on this album are total bops and make me wanna dance anytime I hear them. Amazing bass playing on both bass guitar and bass synth. I love everything about this record and only wish I was around when it initially came out to experience it. Amazing.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Good one

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Wed Jun 09 2021
5

Bin mir ziemlich sicher, dass das hier mein Lieblings MJ album ist.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
5

Already heard it.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

Its a classic, what else would it be?

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Tue May 18 2021
5

I was wondering when good old MJ was gonna show up here. Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough-Oh, so thats what this song is called! I've heard it before, that familiar melody string, did not know it came from MJ tho. Rock With You-I liked the main tagline, (title of the song) Workin' Day and Night-Hyperactive kinda song. Snazzy jazzy is how I'd describe this. Get On the Floor-Funky Disco vibin. Got the foot tapping beat to it. Really feeling the disco funk genre this album's got. Off the Wall-Title track. I can definitely hear the mix of disco, funk, pop and touches of R&B in there. Cool disco? Head bopping type beat. She's Out of My Life-wait, apparently this is the actual title track. Huh. what a drastic departure from the disco pop funk tunes the past few songs have been. Feeling the Blues part of R&B real strong here. I liked it. It was different, melancholy but sweetish sad. Girlfriend-Lot more upbeat than the last one. More rhythm than blues now. It's the Falling in Love-Feeling the love (heh) for this one. It has like touches of all the genres in there with a light, poppy beat. Burn this Disco Out-I like that backing...bass? Funky fresh. Good shit. would listen to it again.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Fun! Surprised I had never listened thru before.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

King. Of. Pop.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

in 1979, this was THE album. in 1980 it was STILL 'THE' Album. Everyone thought he would never top it. Well, he did. But, this is still a classic. Solid FIVE stars.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

5/5

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Wed Aug 04 2021
5

Front to back, an absolute banger of an album. I will be spinning this for many days to come!

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

Va quedar injustament desplaçat pel seu següent disc, pero ell mai va sonar tan fresc, optimista i radiant com aquí. Segurament el millor disc r&b dels '70, ni un sol tema a oblidar; clares influències disco, soul, pop... Tot un clàssic

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

Klassiker, verdient schon 5, weil es einfach auch toll durchzuhören ist!

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Sat Aug 28 2021
5

Brilliant dance pop.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
5

<3 Michael

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

Well I'm not sure I've ever listened to a MJ album start to finish, so many bangers on this. I'm assuming MJ is now cancelled, but I do believe in separating the art from the artist and this album was very very good.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

I'm into soul these days and I should've dug deeper into Michael's discography.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

One of the greats!

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Probably my favorite Michael Jackson album. You can feel that he loved making these songs.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Such a treat. I truly love this album.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Me gusta mucho y me recuerda a mi juventud

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

The first album randomized that I listened to more than once! The king of pop, crushing it as usual.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

👍👍👍👍

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

Phenomenal

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

A near perfect pop dunk disco album. Forever changed R&B. A timeless classic that sounds both old and modern at the same time. Has aged really really well. A super fun listen.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
5

Genre: Disco 5/5 I mean, good grief. Imagine 1979: a DJ slaps the new MJ record on, and spins it in its entirety for a packed dance floor. The people must’ve lost their fucking minds. MJ and Quincy Jones team up to make the blueprint for a Disco/Pop record, and a blueprint that Michael would take from himself later to make Thriller, a better album than this if you could imagine. From top to bottom, this thing is loaded with BIG hits, smooth production, tremendous playing, and amazing singing from Michael. He floats on top of everything he performs on, and this is the first major leap in his solo career that showed the listening public that he was here to stay. He may not have been The King of Pop yet, but this is damn close to anything else he made in the future. A top tier album. An essential listen.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Almost a perfect album. Great music, great vocals

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

incrível, a cara dos anos 80

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Entusiasmante! Dá vontade de lavar louça e mudar o mundo ao mesmo tempo. Já conhecia algumas músicas, mas ouvir novamente é como ouvir pela primeira vez.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
5

An amazing record that really shows why Michael Jackson is one of the most popular artists of all time. The level of detail put in the production of each song is quite incredible, everything sounds so clear, its beautiful.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Stone cold classic!

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

Love disco!!!

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

Hard to listen to don’t stop ‘til you get enough without thinking about his past

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

King of Pop starts here!

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

Amazing album on the heels of disco. People thought he would never match the success of this album.

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Don't stop till you get enough already started playing in my head when I saw the album cover. Really love this album, really good energy.

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Sat Mar 26 2022
5

First two tracks (Don’t stop ‘til you get enough and Rock with you) are amazing and whole album great to listen to, classic!

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

King of Pop - a well earned title

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Classic.

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Tue May 10 2022
5

7th May 2022 Listened in the morning. Worked from home and chilled in the evening doing moving emails. Average day. Difficult to divorce the music from the person with this one. Undoubtedly disco classic but complicated. I’m going to focus on the music with the rating.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

insane gott

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Excellent album. Whatever you think of Jackson the man in his later years, this album and Thriller are fantastic pop records.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Q-era MJ is the best MJ.

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Fri Jun 03 2022
5

5.0 + Classic! Young Michael was undeniable. The voice, the funk, the sparkle - he gives it all generously.

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Sat Jun 04 2022
5

Phenomenal album. You can’t not move to these tracks.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

As polarizing as Michael Jackson may be at the moment (when is he not be such?), you cannot deny that his music has become part of our DNA. The very idea of popular culture is centered around the then-living King of Pop and three albums support that theory very much. Off the Wall is the first of those albums. Made during the height of the disco era, Off the Wall finds Michael honing and refining his skills after years of maturing under the spotlight. This album is all killer, no filler from beginning to end and it is a effective teaser for what was to come later on. If we only knew...

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

amazing

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Fri Jun 24 2022
5

One of the first albums I remember hearing as a child and it never gets old. Fantastic 'pop' music, although the album spans a number of genres without missing a beat. The title track has been on pretty much every playlist I've made!

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

enjoyed it so much, legendary artist, legendary music, my favorite song has to be I can't help it

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Quincy Jones production. Absolutely stacked with hits. I have to give it top marks even if it is a disco record.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

Absolute classic

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

For my money, the best Michael Jackson album. Smooth, nonstop dance party in front; lush and smooth jams in the back… from a simpler time.

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

The first album I ever bought. Still great.

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

I have loved this album since I was a child when I had it on 8-track. It still holds up for me!

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Tue Aug 16 2022
5

I have been a fan of this music since it was new. Listening again, I enjoyed every song.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Just can’t go wrong

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

i dont think i’d ever listened to a full michael jackson album before this, but wow. the hits are the best, but every single song has something great about it.

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