RETROSPACE: Revisiting a classic album.
The “special edition” of Off The Wall was released in 2001, on the 22nd anniversary of its initial release. When Michael Jackson released this album in 1979, he was a mere 21-year-old, but he was in the business more than a decade. This is an incredibly strong and innovative album that sets the platform for the greatness to come. The special edition includes a booklet with four new photos (one featuring Paul McCartney), a brick design on the CD itself, and 18 minutes of bonus material including, interviews with the producers and, the best treat, two demo recordings. Michael sounds really HAPPY on this album. He sings with reckless abandonment and is on top of his game vocally.
Pick of the lot
The album has 10 great tracks. The album is best remembered for the following songs:
“She's Out of My Life” — One of MJ's famous concert songs, it is sweet and heart wrenching. Many people who understand a break-up, or even if you have never gone through one should feel the emotion of this song's tune and lyrics. Many artists who are more on to dance-based pop/R&B fail miserably at ballads. MJ embraced them and sang them as well or better than his more dance-based numbers. “She's Out Of My Life” is one of the most beautiful, touching, and sincere songs ever written. I came to know that the entire team in the studio burst into tears once they heard the final version of the song.
I especially like “Girlfriend” which is somewhat bubblegum and a very catchy one. Paul McCartney wrote it specifically for Michael and he renders it flawlessly.
“Rock with You” — A lovely ballad that is one of Jackson's best slow-dance songs. The song is sweet, tender, and has an undeniable great beat
Though Off The Wall is overshadowed by the success and the sheer power of other Michael Albums like “Thriller”, “Bad” and “Dangerous”, it still remains a clean winner after all these years from one of the most gifted artists of all times.