Tag: Michael Jackson

Tuesday 9/28/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (1979)

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 himself, including the Billboard Hot 100 number one single “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, which was Jackson’s first solo number-one single since “Ben”, seven years prior. The second single from the album, “Rock with You” also peaked atop the chart. With the title track and “She’s Out of My Life” reaching the top 10 of the chart, Jackson became the first solo artist to have four singles from the same album peak inside 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 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. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In August 2009, it was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 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.

1. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” 6:02
2. “Rock with You” 3:38
3. “Working Day and Night” 5:10
4. “Get on the Floor” 4:42
5. “Off the Wall” 4:11
6. “Girlfriend” 3:08
7. “She’s Out of My Life” 3:41
8. “I Can’t Help It” 4:28
9. “It’s the Falling in Love” 3:52
10. “Burn This Disco Out” 3:39

Friday 9/3/21 12pm ET: Artist Countdown: Michael Jackson Top 30 Hits

American singer Michael Jackson has released 63 of his songs as singles, including eight as a featured artist. He has 13 solo US #1s including 1 with Paul McCartney, and one with USA for Africa “We Are the World” (14 total). His first solo entry on the US Billboard Hot 100 was “Got to Be There” (1971), which peaked at number four. Jackson’s first number-one hit was “Ben” (1972). Jackson continued to release singles through the 1970s. The album Off the Wall spawned five singles, including the chart-topping “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (1979) and “Rock with You” (1979). Both are certified platinum by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) sales in excess of 4 million and 2 million copies respectively. Jackson’s first single to be certified by the RIAA was “The Girl Is Mine” (1982), a collaboration with Paul McCartney. The single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. “Billie Jean”, released as the second single from his sixth studio album Thriller, topped the charts in 13 countries. The single sold more than six million copies in the United States and over 1,440,000 in the United Kingdom. “Beat It”, released a month later, peaked at number one in nine countries and sold more than five million copies in the US. “Thriller” was released in November 1982 and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The single sold seven million copies in the US alone, making it Jackson’s best-selling single.

Jackson’s seventh album Bad (1987) produced nine singles with seven charting in the United States. Five of these singles (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”) reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, a record for most number-one Hot 100 singles from any one album. In 1991, he released his eighth album, Dangerous, co-produced with Teddy Riley. The album produced four top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including one number-one hit “Black or White”, “Remember the Time”, “In the Closet” and “Will You Be There” which produced and performed by Jackson the theme for the film Free Willy. In June 1995, Jackson released his ninth album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, a double album. The first disc, HIStory Begins, is a 15-track greatest hits album. The second disc, HIStory Continues, contains 13 original songs and two cover versions. The album features the hits “Scream”, a duet with Jackson’s youngest sister Janet Jackson, “Earth Song”, “They Don’t Care About Us”, and “You Are Not Alone”. “You Are Not Alone” holds the Guinness World Record for the first song ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Earth Song” was the third single released from HIStory, and it topped the UK Singles Chart for six weeks over Christmas 1995 and it sold a million copies, making it Jackson’s most successful single in the UK. Jackson worked with collaborators including Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins to produce his tenth solo album, Invincible (2001). Invincible spawned three singles, “You Rock My World”, “Cry”, and “Butterflies”.

1Black or White1991
2Billie Jean1983
3Beat It1983
4Bad1987
5Say Say Say (with Paul McCartney)1983
6You Are Not Alone1995
7Scream (with Janet Jackson)1995
8I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (with Siedah Garrett)1987
9Remember the Time1992
10Thriller1984
11Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough1979
12You Rock My World2001
13Dirty Diana1988
14The Way You Make Me Feel1987
15Blood on the Dance Floor1997
16Heal the World1992
17In the Closet1992
18Love Never Felt So Good (solo or with Justin Timberlake)2014
19Jam1992
20Who Is It1992
21Earth Song1995
22They Don’t Care About Us1996
23Smooth Criminal1988
24Another Part of Me1988
25Will You Be There1993
26Man in the Mirror1988
27Rock with You1979
28Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’1983
29Give In to Me1993
30Stranger in Moscow1996

Wednesday 8/18/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Michael Jackson – Dangerous (1991)

Dangerous is the eighth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records on November 26, 1991. Co-produced by Jackson, Bill Bottrell, Teddy Riley, and Bruce Swedien, the album was Jackson’s first since Forever, Michael (1975) to not be produced by longtime collaborator Quincy Jones. Featured appearances include Heavy D, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, Slash and Wreckx-n-Effect. The album incorporates R&B, pop and new jack swing, a new genre in vogue at the time. Elements of industrial, funk, hip hop, electronic, gospel, classical and rock are also featured. Twelve of the album’s fourteen songs were written or co-written by Jackson, discoursing topics like racism, poverty, romance, self-improvement, and the welfare of children and the world.

An experimental work, Dangerous is considered an artistic change for Jackson, with his music focusing to more socially conscious material, and a broader range of sounds and styles. It features catchy pop hooks and choruses while also introducing underground sounds to a mainstream audience. The album’s tone is noted by critics as gritty and urban, with sounds including synthetic basslines, scratching, and drum machine percussion, as well as unconventional sounds like honking vehicle horns, sliding chains, swinging gates, breaking glass, and clanking metal. Throughout the album Jackson also implements beatboxing, scat singing, and finger snapping.

Dangerous debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 Top Albums chart and in thirteen other countries, selling 5 million of copies worldwide in it first week and was the best-selling album worldwide of 1992. Nine singles premiered between November 1991 and December 1993, including two exclusively released outside the United States. The album produced four singles that reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100: “Remember the Time”, “In the Closet”, “Will You Be There” and the number-one single “Black or White”. The Dangerous World Tour grossed $100 million (equivalent to $177 million in 2019), making it one of the highest-grossing tours of the 1990s.

Dangerous is one of the best-selling albums of all time having sold over 32 million copies worldwide, and was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in August 2018. An influence on contemporary pop and R&B artists, it has been included in several publications’ lists of the greatest albums of all time. At the 1993 Grammy Awards, it received four Grammy Award nominations, winning Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, while Jackson was awarded the Grammy Legend Award. Jackson won three American Music Awards at the 1993 American Music Awards, including the inaugural International Artist Award. Jackson also received Billboard Music Awards for Best Worldwide Album and Best Worldwide Single for “Black or White”.

  1. “Jam” 5:39
  2. “Why You Wanna Trip on Me” 5:24
  3. “In the Closet” 6:32
  4. “She Drives Me Wild” 3:42
  5. “Remember the Time” 4:01
  6. “Can’t Let Her Get Away” 4:59
  7. “Heal the World” 6:25
  8. “Black or White” 4:16
  9. “Who Is It” 6:35
  10. “Give In to Me” 5:30
  11. “Will You Be There” 7:41
  12. “Keep the Faith” 5:57
  13. “Gone Too Soon” 3:22
  14. “Dangerous” 6:57

John Bahler – vocal and choir arrangements (track 7)
The John Bahler Singers – choir (track 7)
Glen Ballard – arrangements (track 12)
John Barnes – keyboards (track 8)
Michael Boddicker – synthesizer (tracks 1, 7, 11–13), sequencer (8), keyboards and programming (9)
Bill Bottrell – producer, engineer, and mixing (tracks 8–10); guitar (8, 10); drums (9, 10); percussion, rap, and intro voice-over (8); synthesizer (9); bass guitar and mellotron (10)
Craig Brock – assistant guitar engineer (track 10)
Brad Buxer – keyboards (tracks 1, 7–9, 11), synthesizer (1, 14), percussion (8), programming (9)
Larry Corbett – cello (track 9)
Andraé Crouch – choir arrangements (tracks 11, 12)

Sandra Crouch – choir arrangements (tracks 11, 12)
The Andraé Crouch Singers – choir (tracks 11, 12)
Heavy D – rap (track 1)
George Del Barrio – string arrangements (track 9)
Matt Forger – engineer and mixing (track 7), engineering and sound design (8 intro)
Kevin Gilbert – speed sequencer (track 8)
Endre Granat – concertmaster (track 9)
Linda Harmon – soprano voice (track 9)
Jerry Hey – arrangements (track 12)
Jean-Marie Horvat – engineer (track 14)
Michael Jackson – producer and lead vocals (all tracks), background vocals (1–12, 14), arrangements (1, 9), vocal arrangements (1, 3–7, 11, 14), rhythm arrangements (7, 11), director (8 intro), soprano voice (9)
Paul Jackson Jr. – guitar (track 2)
Terry Jackson – bass guitar (track 8)
Louis Johnson – bass guitar (track 9)
Abraham Laboriel – bass guitar (track 13)
Christa Larson – ending solo vocal (track 7)
Rhett Lawrence – synthesizer (tracks 1, 11, 12, 14); drums, percussion, and arrangements (12); synthesizer programming (11)

Bryan Loren – drums (track 8, 9), synthesizer (8)
Johnny Mandel – orchestral arrangements and conductor (track 11)
Jasun Martz – keyboards (track 8)
Andres McKenzie – intro voice-over (track 8)
Jim Mitchell – guitar engineer (track 10)
René Moore – arrangements and keyboards (track 1)
David Paich – keyboards (tracks 7, 9, 13), synthesizer (7, 13), keyboard arrangements and programming (9), rhythm arrangements (13)
Marty Paich – orchestral arrangements and conductor (tracks 7, 13)
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards (track 11)
Tim Pierce – heavy metal guitar (track 8)
Jeff Porcaro – drums (track 7)
Steve Porcaro – synthesizer (tracks 7, 13), keyboards and programming (9)
Teddy Riley – producer, engineer, mixing, and synthesizers (tracks 1–6, 14); keyboards (1–6); guitar (1, 2); rhythm arrangements (2–6, 14); synthesizer arrangements (3–6, 14); drums and arrangements (1)
Thom Russo – engineer (track 14)
Slash – special guitar performance (track 8 intro, track 10)
Bruce Swedien – producer (tracks 1), co-producer (tracks 7, 11–13), engineer and mixing (1–7, 11–14), arrangements and keyboards (1), drums (1, 11, 12), percussion (11, 12)
Jai Winding – keyboards and programming (track 9), piano and bass guitar (12)
Mystery Girl (Princess Stéphanie of Monaco) – vocals (track 3)

Tuesday 6/22/21 2pm ET: Sounds of The 80’s

1980-1989 Today we feature music from and not in this order: Prince, Huey Lewis & The News, Blondie, Michael Jackson, Peter Wolf, Tina Turner, Men At Work, Donna Summer, Van Halen, Elton John, Toto and more . . .

Wednesday 6/9/21 3pm ET: Sounds of The ’90s

This week we feature music from Alannah Myles, Collective Soul, Sheryl Crow, Cher, Amy Grant, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, UB40, Janet Jackson, Tears For Fears, Roxette and more. . . 3 – 6pm ET

Thursday 6/3/21 2pm ET: Sounds of 2000

Featuring music from 2000 – 2009. This week music from Fantasia, Disturbed, Cher, Elton John, Santana, Bo Bice, Michael Jackson, Black Eyed Peas and more . . .

Thursday 1/7/2021 12am ET: Feature LP: Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (1979 / 2001)

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 himself, including the Billboard Hot 100 number one single “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, which was Jackson’s first solo number-one single since “Ben”, seven years prior. The second single from the album, “Rock with You” also peaked atop the chart. With the title track and “She’s Out of My Life” reaching the top 10 of the chart, Jackson became the first solo artist to have four singles from the same album peak inside 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 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. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In August 2009, it was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 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.

1. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” 6:02
2. “Rock with You” 3:38
3. “Working Day and Night” 5:10
4. “Get on the Floor” 4:42
5. “Off the Wall” 4:11
6. “Girlfriend” 3:08
7. “She’s Out of My Life” 3:41
8. “I Can’t Help It” 4:28
9. “It’s the Falling in Love” 3:52
10. “Burn This Disco Out” 3:39
11. “Quincy Jones Interview #1” 0:37
12. “Introduction to Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough Demo” 0:13
13. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (Original Demo from 1978) 4:48
14. “Quincy Jones Interview #2” 0:30
15. “Introduction to Workin’ Day and Night Demo” 0:10
16. “Working Day and Night” (Original Demo from 1978) 4:19
17. “Quincy Jones Interview #3” 0:48
18. “Rod Temperton Interview” 4:57
19. “Quincy Jones Interview #4” 1:32

Monday Labor Day Special 6 LPs (6): Michael Jackson – Thriller (1983)

Thriller is the sixth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records. Reunited with Off the Wall producer Quincy Jones, Jackson was inspired to create an album where “every song was a killer”. With the ongoing backlash against disco, Jackson moved in a new musical direction, incorporating pop, post-disco, rock and funk. Thriller foreshadows the contradictory themes of Jackson’s personal life, as he began using a motif of paranoia and darker themes. The album features a single guest appearance, with Paul McCartney becoming the first artist to be featured on Jackson’s albums. Recording took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000.

Thriller became Jackson’s first number one album on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart, where it spent a record 37 weeks at number one, from February 26, 1983 to April 14, 1984. Producing the singles: “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ”, “Human Nature”, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, and “Thriller”, all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, setting the record for the most top 10 singles from an album, with “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” reaching number one. Following Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” in Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, where he debuted his signature moonwalk dance, the sales of the album significantly increased, selling one million copies worldwide per week. The “Thriller” music video was premiered to great anticipation in December 1983 and played regularly on MTV, which also increased the sales of the album.

With 32 million copies sold worldwide by the end of 1983, Thriller became the best-selling album of all time. It was the best-selling album worldwide of 1983, and was also the first album to become the best-selling in the United States for two years, in 1983 and 1984. The album broke racial barriers in popular music, enabling Jackson’s appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. It was among the first to use music videos as promotional tools; the videos for “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and “Thriller” are credited for transforming music videos into a serious art form. The album’s success set the standard for the music industry with its songs, music videos and promotion strategies influencing artists, record labels, producers, marketers and choreographers.

Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with sales of 66 million copies worldwide. It is the second-best-selling album in the United States and was certified 33× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2017. It won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards at the 1984 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, while “Beat It” won Record of the Year. Jackson also won a record-breaking eight American Music Awards at the 1984 American Music Awards. Viewed by critics and publications as one of the greatest albums of all time, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant recordings”, and the “Thriller” music video was inducted into the National Film Preservation Board’s National Film Registry of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films”.

1. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” 6:02
2. “Baby Be Mine” 4:20
3. “The Girl Is Mine” (with Paul McCartney) 3:41
4. “Thriller” 5:57
5. “Beat It” 4:18
6. “Billie Jean” 4:54
7. “Human Nature” 4:07
8. “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” 3:58
9. “The Lady in My Life” 4:59
10. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” 4:17 Single Edit
11. “Thriller” 4:01 Single Edit
12. “Billie Jean” 6:55 Extended