Monday, November 28, 2016

200 MOST RECOMMENDED ALBUMS: #14. Continues tomorrow.
Some are the best selling, while others may be obscure, but the albums listed here are all worthy of a listen. No compilation/ best of sets. Only exceptional live albums included. This is a personal listing of the albums I enjoy the most to this day.
 A smiling adult African American male with a black afro, wearing a black tuxedo, white shirt, and a black bow tie. Both of his thumbs are hooked into his pants pockets with his palms and fingers facing forward and splayed out. The sides of his jacket are tucked behind his hands as he leans back slightly, giving a playful, casual touch to his formal look. Behind him there is a brown brick wall and to the side of his head are "MICHAEL JACKSON" in yellow chalk writing and "OFF THE WALL" in white chalk writing. "JACKSON" and "WALL" are separately underlined.
Michael Jackson first wowed the public as a teen member of The Jackson 5. He easily outshone his brothers in his vocal quality and energetic moves while delivering hits as timeless as "I Want You Back", "I'll Be There" and "Never Can Say Goodbye". Young Michael was soon Motown's most promising talent and the label swiftly capitalized. By 1972, the 14 year old was balancing 2 simultaneous careers: with his siblings in the Jackson 5 and as a soloist. That year saw him score his 1st #1 single in his own right, "Ben". By the mid-70s however, the brothers' momentum had slowed down and the Jacksons decided to quit the label. Michael juggled recording with acting. While portraying the Scarecrow in the panned 1978 film 'The Wiz', he worked with producer Quincy Jones. A year later, Michael recruited him to helm his next recording project: the solo album 'Off The Wall'. This release would catapult Michael to even greater heights as a pop star. Suddenly, he was the coolest African-American on the planet. It must be said that the album is inconsistent in places, let down by lesser songs such as "Girlfriend" and "It's The Falling In Love". These 2 tracks fall short of the superior content that includes the #1 hits "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You". The former is as good as any album opener gets while the latter is a stunning soul classic. Jackson is finally allowed to shine, liberated from Motown and the restrictions of his childhood. The title track is an often overlooked gem. The party vibe is maintained via the songs "Get On The Floor", "Burn This Disco Out" and "Working Day And Night". Jackson displays a new maturity in voice and interpretation on the ballad "She's Out Of My Life". None of the ensuing uccess of 'Thriller' would have been possible without this album release.
Highlight tracks:
* Off The Wall
* Rock With You
* Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
* Get On The Floor 

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