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>Another Great One has left us. Yes, Michael Jackson shocked the world when he died this past Thursday. The great thing is that radio and video stations have been playing his classic music non stop since the news spread. And if you look on iTunes, his videos singles and albums are dominating the chart. Which is definitley a great thing because after about 2 decades of him being the “Weird” pop star with more legal battles than charting singles, the younger generation didn’t really know how talented he was and how deserving of the “King of Pop” title he actually was.

Now the younger generation will get a chance to appreciate his music without being inundated with stories of the negative aspects of Jackson’s life, and I just wanted to recommend to any kids reading this my personal favourite MJ album. That would be without a doubt “Off The Wall” his 1979 Disco/R&B opus that really re-introduced him to the world as a full grown Star, this was his first success as an adult without Jackson 5.
This is without a doubt one of his best (and possibly the best of all time) party albums ever recorded. Produced by Michael and his mentor Quincy Jones, this album is a great time capsule, mixing the popular sounds of the time with major Disco influence coupled with Funk and classic R&B. This album includes some of his most familiar hits including the laid back dance groove of “Rock With You” and the more uptempo funked up Disco of “Dont Stop Til You Get Enough“. And those start the album off, it continues with more Disco/Funk songs that rival those hits. “Workin Day and Night”, the title track (which Mariah Carey sampled a bit from on her recent album), “Burn this Disco Out” (although this sounds like a bit of filler on this album, it would probably surpass plenty of the more popular Disco hits). Possibly my favourite song from the album is “Get on the Floor“.
Not only did Jones do a knockout job on the production end, mixing all these styles masterfully into a perfect Pop and R&B hybrid, but it shouldn’t go without saying that Vocally Michael was in a very confident zone during the recording. He sounds amazing on the aforementioned songs, and when the album is slowed down temporarily his emotions are felt through his voice on somber tracks like “She’s Out of my Life” and “I Can’t Help It“. “Girlfriend” (written by Beatle Paul McCartney) is a midtempo track that’s a perfect example of his skills, matching the smooth nature of the production with a very confident smooth vocal styling.

His follow up 3 years later would make him the Star he was in the 80’s, and justify his King of Pop title. And while “Thriller” is another excellent album in his catalogue, “Off the Wall” I think is a perfect Starter album for anyone wanting to know more about Michael’s history. And this album is probably the Most R&B he had ever been in his career. Excellent album. Just a Perfect start to what would be a rollercoaster of a career.