Off the Wall is the sexiest album of all time

In the last 20 years I’ve had more exposure to Michael Jackson as a cultural punchline than as a musician. What some people seem to forget is that before he was a mega star, before he was a smooth criminal, before he was a controversial figure, and before he became a joke, he was simply an amazing musician. My pick for sexiest album of all time looks past all that controversy — even past Thriller. My pick for the sexiest album of all time is Michael Jackson’s 1979 release, Off the Wall.

All things considered, this album is great simply due to its sheer production value and talent. Not only did Jackson have a solid team of musicians backing him on it, he also had none other than famed producer Quincy Jones manning the board. The resulting album is a combination of disco, funk, R&B, soft rock, and jazz that just grooves. Aside from excellent production and musicianship, the songs are well crafted. Jackson sings a selection of numbers written by himself, Stevie Wonder, Rod Temperton, and Paul McCartney.

One standout track is “Girlfriend,” a Paul McCartney-penned slow jam propelled by a bouncy bass and some classic analog synth work from before the days of MIDI. The song is nowhere near as good as any of McCartney’s other post-Beatles work, either as a solo artist or with Wings, but as one of the more mellow tracks, it stands out here.

“It’s the Falling in Love” is probably the hottest “filler” track on the album that didn’t become a hit. This is classic disco, except the song is actually good. No disrespect to Diana Ross, but disco doesn’t have the greatest longevity — I suggest you enjoy it in small doses of well-written pop songs.

Finally, the real work of art here is the album’s sexiest song: “Rock with You.” This track was a massive hit for Michael Jackson, and it stands out as one of the best cuts on the album, rivaled only by “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” “Rock with You” regularly appears on the Michael Jackson greatest hits and compilation albums that continue to be released posthumously. I won’t argue that this song is better than “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Beat It,” or any of the other hits that Jackson has enjoyed throughout his career, but this may be one of his best-crafted songs: solid groove, great hook, sexy all around.

The sexiness of this album might not be apparent upon first listen, but the combination of disco and R&B provides the perfect amount of groove for any kind of loving. This is the kind of music that demands you move as you listen.

For bonus points, play this record on vinyl, or better yet eight-track tape, for some really sophisticated romancing. Remember to stretch properly before and after, and always hydrate regularly.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I agree that Off The Wall has some of the best grooves known to humankind. However, it’s high time for opinion pieces about Michael Jackson to leave off the apologist-style opening paragraph along the lines of “gee, he was strange and controversial, but…”

    No “buts” necessary: the planet can take you frankly acknowledging that he is the superlative artist in the history of American popular music. His talent is unmatched in depth and breadth. He furthermore happened to be deeply beloved worldwide. That extraordinary mourning upon his death was real. It’s high time to celebrate Michael Jackson without hanging onto ridiculous caveats.

  2. Yes Off the Wall is an amazing album but he was never a criminal
    smooth or otherwise and he was never a joke and it says a lot about the
    Anglo-American “culture” when it’s not Janet Arvizo and her puppets who
    are roundly ridiculed despite their absurd claims, obvious lies and history of erratic, parasitic
    behavior but the man whom they credited helping to save Gavin’s life.

    The Chandlers who demanded 20 million from MJ and because he refused to pay they accused him and sued him for 30 million whose story was clearly invented by a mentally ill father, a pedo propagandist lunatic (Victor Gutierez) and
    and SOB layer (Barry Rothman) are not called criminals but MJ whose innocence was proven beyond any doubt when the autopsy report confirmed that he was not circumcised he is still called a criminal to this day.

    Who cares about facts when the myth is more fun?

    It seems that someone who tells a grand jury that she saw the white tongue
    of the devil and tells the jury that she was afraid MJ would abduct her
    kids in a hot air balloon is perfectly fine while a man who let’s a
    cancer stricken child sleep in his bed after said child literally begs him to let
    him stay there is a “controversial figure”. Indeed MJ should have kicked his a.. right then and there.
    Why didn’t he want to hurt his feelings? What a freak!

    If you want to see the true crazy ones look no further than the people who were MJ’s
    worst enemies: Victor Gutierez, Tom Sneddon, Ron Zonen, Diane Dimond, Maureen Orth,
    Evan Chandler, Janet Arvizo, Blanca Francia, Ralph Cachon, Adrian
    McManus, Stacy Brown, Larry Feldman, Bill Drovin, Sgt. Roberl, Det.
    Zelis, Martin Bashir. Look at this zoo!
    Tabloid wh.res, serial false
    accusers, zealots, racists, a bipolar loser, a schizo serial perjurer, a
    sleazebag lawyer, thieves and pedophile propagandist. What a
    collection of “normal” people indeed!
    And they are all connected, coincidentally I suppose.

    They all were responsible
    for ruining an innocent man. That they could do what they did and get
    away with it is the real insanity.

    That MJ was sued more than 1000 times in his life is the real insanity.
    That people could lie about him left and right and no matter how much evidence showed they were liars still believed by the general public is the real insanity.