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  1. #1

    Classic soul album spotlight: Off the wall by michael jackson

    Hi everyone! Here is a link to my article spotlighting Michael Jackson's classic Off The Wall album. Hope you enjoy.

    http://soultrain.com/2012/06/04/clas...-off-the-wall/

  2. #2
    Sweet! It's still the best MJ album, IMO. It's just a shame it's always overlooked or ignored in favor if it's inferior followup.

    For those interested in a more in-depth article about the making of the album:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov0...es/swedien.htm

  3. #3
    Thanks for the info Soulster!

  4. #4
    Funkyone71...

    Great informative article on a trail blazing album.
    I truly enjoyed the content and the writing style.

    My Best To You
    Abraham Smooth Wilson

  5. #5
    Beautiful write-up, funkyone! That album, released at the beginning of my senior year in high school, is more than a pleasant reminder of my glory days I'm probably the biggest Rod Temperton fan on these boards and his collaborations with Q were fantastic. And Michael Jackson just took his songs to another level. There's probably never been a better supporting cast of musicians on any soloist's album in history, and if anyone doesn't agree, I'd like to compare notes with him/her.

    I hesitate to say that it was far superior to "Thriller" for the fact that Jackson and Jones became much more polished by the time the latter album dropped and although it's slicker, it stands up well to its more raw, more remarkable, and funner predecessor. You can almost hear Jackson's joy singing the records on "OTW" whereas it seems like he contained that aspect of his performance on "Thriller". With that being said, one of my favorite songs by anyone is "I Can't Help It". It may be the most unique song that he did and it still holds my attention when I listen to it. Fantastic album and an excellent review.

  6. #6
    smark21 Guest
    Interesting that of his major solo albums, Off the Wall took the least time to record and release. Perhaps one can overthink a project as Off the Wall is an outstanding work.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    Beautiful write-up, funkyone! That album, released at the beginning of my senior year in high school, is more than a pleasant reminder of my glory days I'm probably the biggest Rod Temperton fan on these boards and his collaborations with Q were fantastic. And Michael Jackson just took his songs to another level. There's probably never been a better supporting cast of musicians on any soloist's album in history, and if anyone doesn't agree, I'd like to compare notes with him/her.
    Heh! I was also a high school senior when that album dropped! I first heard "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough" on a DJ check tape my niece's uncle made that July. I was really knocked out to hear what MJ had cooked up, and bought that album the minute it hit the streets.

    Does no one have anything to say about the Sound on Sound article I linked?

  8. #8
    I just read it, Soulster. Learning about the technical aspects of recording is amazing to me. There's so much that is done for even a small effect (placing the drums off the floors to kill reverb, having someone sing through a tube, the manner of singing into the mike before backing away for the second vocal on "Rock With You"). Swedien is a perfectionist and that's a good thing. Speaking of music from when we were young(er), do you remember liner notes proudly proclaiming "recorded at XXXXXX Studios using a state of the art 24 track mixer"? Billboard used to have ads from studios all over the country that had the latest in technology 24 track analog recorders; these would be laughed at today.

    I would like to read about how Swedien uses the limitless effects and recording features of modern digitized recording systems. Is he more or less creative with more tools?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    Speaking of music from when we were young(er), do you remember liner notes proudly proclaiming "recorded at XXXXXX Studios using a state of the art 24 track mixer"? Billboard used to have ads from studios all over the country that had the latest in technology 24 track analog recorders; these would be laughed at today.
    Not exactly. I do remember back in the late 70s when the liner notes would proudly state which kind of console was used in the recording or mixing and what mics were used. I started seeing this around 1978. The first time I noticed it was on A Taste of Honey's first album, where they showed a picture of a Neve console and stated that it mixed with automation, which was new technology at the time. Linda Ronstadt albums would state that they were mixed with the Aphex Aural Exciter, while Eagles albums stated they did not use it, but said a particular MCI console was used in recording. the thing is that all of this gear had signature sound qualities. By the late 70s, 24-track was pretty standard, and digital recording was in it's infancy, although there were major recording artists like Stevie Wonder and Fleetwood Mac were already using it.

    The unique thing about Bruce Swedien's Accusonic Recording Process (TM) is that he used two 24-track consoles, one for the primary tracking, and one to record the ambient sound. For this, he would place mics in various corners and other strategic spots around the studio. Then, during mixing, he would blend in the aural tracks with the primary tracks to get the sound he did on all recordings starting in 1978.

    I would like to read about how Swedien uses the limitless effects and recording features of modern digitized recording systems. Is he more or less creative with more tools?
    I think he still goes about things the same way in digital, but I have read where he didn't like the sound he got on Michael Jackson's voice during the recording of the "Bad" album. I believe that was the first album he recorded digitally. You can always ask him. You may find him on the gearslutz message board.

  10. #10
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    I TOTALLY agree Soulster. My favorite MJ recording. Every track on this recording was radio worthy

    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Sweet! It's still the best MJ album, IMO. It's just a shame it's always overlooked or ignored in favor if it's inferior followup.




    For those interested in a more in-depth article about the making of the album:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov0...es/swedien.htm

  11. #11
    Jerry,

    If you're interested in learning more about Bruce's pioneering work with MJ and others, check out this book

    http://www.amazon.com/In-Studio-Mich...8905121&sr=1-3

    by Swedien himself. It's very informative and goes over some of the technical issues of putting together Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous. Try it, you'll like it.

  12. #12
    Thanks! I didn't know that book existed!

  13. #13
    Nicely Done Funky1....I learned a lot.

    Thx Soulster and Chi for the tech info on Bruce.....found myself backtracking while reading to fully grasp the material.

    My best memories of of Off the Wall are of Michael performing those songs while touring with the Jacksons. One of the greatest concert experiences in my life. Never saw an audience reaction to any other artists.....especially Michael's interlude.

    Yet in the end, like Michael O....I like the exuberance of OTW....but song for song.....I've gotta go with Thriller....and for me, it's not even close.

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