SoulBounce’s Top 50 Michael Jackson Songs: #2 ‘Off The Wall’

Life aint so bad at all
If you live it off the wall


The first time I heard Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall," I didn't like it. Matter of fact, with its spooky intro and maniacal laughter, it scared me half to death. Hey, I was seven. Since that time I've grown, however, and so has my appreciation and love for this song, which I count as my favorite MJ song from my favorite MJ album, Off the Wall.

It took some living and learning on my end to get what Michael was saying in this song. And he said a lot over the thumping groove underscored by a killer bassline and punctuated by an equally deadly horn section. Musically, there is so much going on in this song and it came together in a fine package, well suited for dancing the night--and all your problems--away at the disco. 

In "Off the Wall," Jackson gave us something that could not only make us move, but that we could feel in our souls in the Rod Temperton-penned, Quincy Jones-produced composition. Mike made it clear that no matter what madness life brings your way, all you need is music to get you through. Sure, life isn't that simple, but in four minutes of funk Michael made everything seem just that easy and carefree and made believers out of us all. 

Oddly enough, the song that scared me as a child has become my mantra and theme music as an adult. "Off the Wall" is about breaking the rules, shaking things up and getting busy living. Even with all its bumps and bruises, life really aint so bad at all. Especially with Michael Jackson's music taking me through this journey. Thank you, Michael. Thank you.

Michael Jackson: "Off the Wall"

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12 Responses

  1. And thank you, Soul Bounce, thank you - for this precious walk down memory lane....
    This song - this song has taken me through some pretty rough times even before MJ's passing, it has a real special place in my heart. I never get tired of it.
    This is an emotional weekend, thanks for the company...

  2. This has been a fascinating list. This is my number 2 (behind Human Nature, of course). Excellent work.

  3. This song was always my 2nd favorite of the album.
    I have to say the weekend MJ passed, this was playing at an old skool party I attended and it's like the lyrics hit home for everyone.
    We just put all our grief and other personal stresses on the shelf and enjoyed ourselves. They played his music for over an hour and it was the best set of the entire night!
    When I need a little pick me up, I always put this on.

  4. If someone put a gun to my head and told me to name my favorite Michael Jackson song or else they would pull the trigger..........This might be the song that I start I could never name just one song as my absolute favorite MJ song but this song is way up there.
    This a classic song on so many levels.
    -The melody is so beatiful and very infectious.
    -The vocal performance is outstanding.....Its one of his songs where you hear his entire range (for the most part). He belts, he goes falsetto, he does inflections like only he can do.......Plus his runs are to die for.
    -The message of the song is like therapy.....If I'm angry or upset, and I hear this song, I immediately start feeling better....because like he said, "Life ain't so bad at all"......(plus someone always has it worse).
    -And the instrumentation is frickin' AWESOME.....of course!
    Lastly, "Off The Wall" is an all-purpose song. If you wanna dance, if you wanna hear great vocals, if you're in a bad mood, or if you wanna show some clueless airhead why Michael Joseph Jackson is the Greatest! can put this song on and your

  5. WOW.
    This has always been my favorite Michael Jackson song, but for some reason I never thought the preference was shared. This is simply lovely. Thanks a lot Soulbounce!

  6. I have been quietly following this list, but man a smile came to my face when I saw "off the wall" make the list. This has to be one of my all time favorite MJ songs from any of his albums. Between Rock with you and this one it is a toss up for me. I think of this song as one of those time to begin the weekend joint but heck you can play it anytime. MJ is and always will be the greatest. Peace.

  7. Other than his ballads, of which he could never do wrong, this is my favorite MJ vocal performance. I miss you Mike!

  8. My favorite Michael tune.

  9. Top 5? yes. Number 2? hell naw'll.................................

  10. Everytime i here this song, it reminds me of the making of "Thriller", but as i've grown older, it holds all sorts of other importance for me. I love the list and it reminds me of how varied and amazing of a career he has had.

  11. Nice to see someone else appreciate theis gem, it's one of my favorite MJ songs. I love when he perfoms this live.

  12. I am so proud of ya'll this is my favorite mj just gets me hype......its my number one...but i suppose rock with you is a lil more popular!