Throwback: Michael Jackson-I Can’t Help It

Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall was his fifth solo album and the first produced by Quincy Jones. Their classy execution of disco and pop honored the dance floor and created a lovelorn ballad. Susaye Greene and Stevie Wonder wrote “I Can’t Help It.” Greene had previously sang with Ray Charles’ Raelattes, Stevie Wonder’s Wonderlove and The Supremes before she had the opportunity to write for Jackson. She began to get notieced for her songwriting after contributing to Deniece Williams’ breakthrough hit “Free” in 1975. In a 2021 interview with KMUW, she described the creative process with Wonder as “heaven” like pulling something from the universe. Jackson’s feverish vocals sounded angelic in the midst of Jones’ cosmic production. His interpretation of Greene’s lyrics about an irresistible love was another enchanting moment on the album that made his strongest statement as a solo star to date.   Off The Wall was the beginning of Jackson’s rise into the King Of Pop that would be affirmed after the success of Thriller in 1982. Jackson and Jones made history with Off The Wall which is considered a timeless album that transcends audiences and generations. A special edition of the album was released in 2001 and it was re-released again in 2016 and packaged with Spike Lee’s documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall. De La Soul, Mary J.Blige, Donell Jones, Ginuwine, Blackstreet and more have sampled “I Can’t Help It.” 

 

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