A few years ago a work friend asked me for my opinion of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” – two remarkable things about this are…
1/ He assumed I had an opinion
2/ I didn’t have an opinion
Both of which go to show that while I liked to pretend I was musically mature, and possibly even gave that impression, there were some areas that I was oblivious to.
The problem of course was that 1979, when Off The Wall was released, was also the year that I became musically independent, and that independence took the form of being vehemently anti the pop establishment, and Michael Jackson was a part of the establishment. BBC4 is showing Top of the Pops from 1979 now and I suspect as the year progresses the high-placing chart hits will start to stir up confused feelings of resentment mixed with the nostalgia.
Of course the album is quite astounding, it is remarkable that even the songs I don’t know that well, make me feel like I do. It’s not an album I can go back to often, because it’s still from that other world – the one where people dance – but I’m pleased that I can now appreciate it for the beautifully crafted and highly polished piece of art that it is.