Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough

First Hit #1: October 13, 1979

Michael Jackson has had hits before, whether with his brothers or on his own. But that was as a kid, and it’s probably not too far off the mark to say they weren’t giving a 10 year old major control of the artistic direction. This is where the Michael Jackson became a musical force, a blast of funk and falsetto that is a statement of purpose. It’s a landmark track, because it announces something different on the charts. It does owe a debt to funk music from earlier in the decade, but while disco is doing its thing, Jackson and producer Quincy Jones make a track that’s incredibly complicated but never distracting in its construction, a wall of layered vocals, funk instrumentation, and sheer whimsy that heralds something new in dance music. It follows on from disco in spirit, but what it accomplishes is strictly its own thing.

It’s not quite the debut of Michael Jackson, the multi-media artist – he is just dancing in front of the animated backgrounds of an old jewelry advertisement – but it does establish him as an artist that can hold his own.

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This entry was posted in 1979, A good song and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough

  1. RBerman says:

    Jackson appropriates a Star Wars term for mating purposes. “The Force, it’s got a lot of power. It makes me feel like, OOOOH!” The chorus is actually “Keep on with The Force. Don’t stop til’ you get enough.” But it’s a good thing the word “don’t” is in the title of the song, because I can’t actually hear it sung in the chorus; it sounds like he skips right by it. The disco funk instrumentation hits all the right notes to complement his falsetto, so much more listenable than that of Prince, though not as powerful as Philip Bailey’s.

    Notice the white socks in the video, a fashion faux pas carefully chosen to draw attention to his feet, just as he would later use a single sequined glove and, bizarrely, a short arm splint.

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