Category: off the wall

On this day in music history: November 30, 1979 “The Wall”, the eleventh album by Pink Floyd is released (US release date is on December 8, 1979). Produced by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie and Roger Waters, it is recorded at Super Bear Studios, Studio Miraval in La Val, France, CBS 30th Street Studios in New York City, The Village Recorder, Cherokee Studios and The Producers Workshop in Los Angeles, CA from January – November 1979. The follow up to “Animals”, is a concept album exploring themes of abandonment and isolation Waters feels. Never having known his own father, who is an RAF pilot during WWII, is killed before he is born. It also explores the poor treatment Waters received at the hands of school teachers, feeling oppressed by his over protective mother, and the end of his first marriage. The concept for what becomes “The Wall” has its genesis in the 1977 “Animals” tour, with Waters feeling that there is an increasing barrier growing between himself and the bands’ fans. The albums’ minimalist artwork is designed by artist Gerald Scarfe and Roger Waters. When the band play the album for their US label CBS Records, they are initially “unimpressed” and are reluctant to release the ambitious twenty-six track two LP set. Waters eventually prevails in it being released as intended. It is a huge critical and commercial success, becoming the largest selling album of 1980. It spins off three singles including “Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2” (#1 Pop) and “Run Like Hell” (#53 Pop). Pink Floyd launches an equally ambitious tour to reproduce their masterpiece on stage. The show features the band performing in part behind a forty foot tall wall of white cardboard bricks, that is gradually built up during their performance, as well as elaborate lighting and other stage props. Various animated sequences created by Gerald Scarfe are projected on the wall during certain songs. Because of the prohibitively high production costs, it is only performed in four cities (Los Angeles, CA, Uniondale, NY, Dortmund, West Germany and London, UK) on multiple nights, for a total of only thirty one performances. In spite of every show being sold out on the tour, Pink Floyd still loses nearly a million dollars on the venture. Plans to release complete footage have been continually scotched by the band over the years, and only excerpts have been seen by the public. Audio from the London shows at Earls Court are released as “Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81” in March of 2000. Reissued numerous times on CD and vinyl since the 80’s, it is most recently remastered and reissued on 180 gram vinyl in August of 2016. “The Wall” spends fifteen weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 23x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Double Diamond Certification.

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On this day in music history: August 10, 1979 – “Off The Wall”, the fifth solo album by Michael Jackson is released. Produced by Quincy Jones, it is recorded at Allen Zentz Recording, Westlake Audio and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from December 1978 – June 1979. Following their work together on the film and soundtrack for “The Wiz”, Jones and Jackson begin work on his first solo album for Epic Records. From the outset, the ultimate goal they have in mind is to craft an album that move the singer away his past childhood success, and be regarded as a mature, adult performer. The album features musical support from the cream of L.A. studio talent including Larry Carlton, David Williams, Marlo Henderson, Wah Wah Watson, Phil Upchurch (guitars), Louis Johnson, Bobby Watson (bass), John Robinson (drums), Greg Phillinganes, George Duke, David Foster, Michael Boddicker, Steve Porcaro, David “Hawk” Wolinski (keyboards), Paulinho DaCosta (percussion) and The Seawind Horns (brass & woodwinds). Recorded over a period of six and a half months, Jones cuts the basic tracks in Los Angeles, while Jackson is on the road with his brothers, touring in support of “Destiny”. He comes in off the road during breaks in the tour to record his vocals and oversee the sessions in progress. Buoyed by Jones’ flawless production and Jackson’s outstanding and spirited vocals throughout, it is released to universal praise, surprising the public who are taken aback at Michael Jackson’s stunning musical transformation. A huge commercial success as well, it becomes one of the biggest selling albums of the era, during a time when the music industry is experiencing a major downturn in sales. It spins off four top 10 singles including “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (#1 Pop and R&B), “Rock With You” (#1 Pop and R&B), “Off The Wall” (#10 Pop, #3 R&B), and “She’s Out Of My Life” (#10 Pop, #46 R&B). “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” wins Jackson his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1980, with the album being inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008. The first CD release includes earlier mixes of “Rock With You” and “Get On The Floor” featured on the first pressing of the album, using the LP gatefold artwork with Jackson’s full body shown. It is remastered and reissued in 2001, featuring interview excerpts with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton, and the demos of “Don’t Stop” and “Working”. The reissue features amended cover art showing only the lower half of the gatefold with the singers legs and feet. It is remastered and reissued again in 2016 on CD and vinyl, restoring the original artwork, with the CD being released with a DVD or Blu-ray disc with the Spike Lee directed documentary on the making of the album. “Off The Wall” spends sixteen weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number three on the Top 200, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Michael Jackson photographed by Barry Shultz, 1979.

twixnmix:

Michael Jackson photographed by Jim McCrary, 1979.

By the late 1970s, McCrary was photographing a wider range of younger artists, including ones he was not overly familiar with. One of those was Michael Jackson, whom he was tasked with shooting for the cover of his “Off the Wall” album. As the session was about to start, McCrary changed the channel on a nearby radio, even though the song playing was Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”

“Jim did not know Michael’s music and changed the radio station,” his niece Colleen Pollard, who was tasked with dancing with Jackson to loosen him up, told the LA Times. “I yelled, ‘No, that’s his song.’ The looks on Michael’s face and his manager’s were priceless.”

Jackson did not use any of the images and Pollard noted that this was one of the reasons McCrary left rock photography. “He said he just didn’t feel connected with the bands anymore,” she said.

(Source: Billboard)

twixnmix:

Michael Jackson photographed by Jim McCrary, 1979.

On this day in music history: August 10, 1979 – “Off The Wall”, the fifth solo album by Michael Jackson is released. Produced by Quincy Jones, it is recorded at Allen Zentz Recording, Westlake Audio and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from December 1978 – June 1979. Following their work together on the film and soundtrack for “The Wiz”, Jones and Jackson begin work on his first solo album for Epic Records. From the outset, the ultimate goal they have in mind is to craft an album that move the singer away his past childhood success, and be regarded as a mature, adult performer. The album features musical support from the cream of L.A. studio talent including Larry Carlton, David Williams, Marlo Henderson, Wah Wah Watson, Phil Upchurch (guitars), Louis Johnson, Bobby Watson (bass), John Robinson (drums), Greg Phillinganes, George Duke, David Foster, Michael Boddicker, Steve Porcaro, David “Hawk” Wolinski (keyboards), Paulinho DaCosta (percussion) and The Seawind Horns (brass & woodwinds). Recorded over a period of six and a half months, Jones cuts the basic tracks in Los Angeles, while Jackson is on the road with his brothers, touring in support of “Destiny”. He comes in off the road during breaks in the tour to record his vocals and oversee the sessions in progress. Buoyed by Jones’ flawless production and Jackson’s outstanding and spirited vocals throughout, it is released to universal praise, surprising the public who are taken aback at Michael Jackson’s stunning musical transformation. A huge commercial success as well, it becomes one of the biggest selling albums of the era, during a time when the music industry is experiencing a major downturn in sales. It spins off four top 10 singles including “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (#1 Pop and R&B), “Rock With You” (#1 Pop and R&B), “Off The Wall” (#10 Pop, #3 R&B), and “She’s Out Of My Life” (#10 Pop, #46 R&B). “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” wins Jackson his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1980, with the album being inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008. The first CD release includes earlier mixes of “Rock With You” and “Get On The Floor” featured on the first pressing of the album, using the LP gatefold artwork with Jackson’s full body shown. It is remastered and reissued in 2001, featuring interview excerpts with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton, and the demos of “Don’t Stop” and “Working”. The reissue features amended cover art showing only the lower half of the gatefold with the singers legs and feet. It is remastered and reissued again in 2016 on CD and vinyl, restoring the original artwork, with the CD being released with a DVD or Blu-ray disc with the Spike Lee directed documentary on the making of the album. “Off The Wall” spends sixteen weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number three on the Top 200, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Michael Jackson photographed by Jim McCrary, 1979.

By the late 1970s, McCrary was photographing a wider range of younger artists, including ones he was not overly familiar with. One of those was Michael Jackson, whom he was tasked with shooting for the cover of his “Off the Wall” album. As the session was about to start, McCrary changed the channel on a nearby radio, even though the song playing was Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”

“Jim did not know Michael’s music and changed the radio station,” his niece Colleen Pollard, who was tasked with dancing with Jackson to loosen him up, told the LA Times. “I yelled, ‘No, that’s his song.’ The looks on Michael’s face and his manager’s were priceless.”

Jackson did not use any of the images and Pollard noted that this was one of the reasons McCrary left rock photography. “He said he just didn’t feel connected with the bands anymore,” she said.

(Source: Billboard)