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.
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. Regarding his re-branded image for the Off the Wall era, Jackson's manager stated, "The tuxedo was the overall plan for the Off the Wall project and package. The tuxedo was our idea, the socks were Michael's".
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. It was an enormous critical success and was ranked third in the Billboard Year-End Albums of 1980. 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. It is also often debated by critics between itself and Thriller as Jackson's best album. The album 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". The album also won three American Music Awards, and Jackson won the Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist award twice. In 2008, Off the Wall was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Label: Epic 190758664118
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Picture Disc, Reissue
Genre: Funk / Soul, Pop
Style: Disco, Soul, Funk, Ballad
A1 Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
A2 Rock With You
A3 Working Day And Night
A4 Get On The Floor
B1 Off The Wall
B3 She's Out Of My Life
B4 I Can't Help It
B5 It's The Falling In Love
B6 Burn This Disco Out