Sony Legacy Recordings isn’t taking another Michael Jackson album off the shelf. They are taking it “off the wall,” with the help of “Brooklyn Loves MJ” organizer and Bad 25 director Spike Lee.
Since 1979, fans honed in on the stylings of Off the Wall, requesting “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”,” “Rock With You,” and of course, “Off the Wall” to local radio stations. The precursor to Thriller contributed heavily to Jackson’s fame as a solo artist and would later inspire future musicians and the pop music itself. With the album, Jackson earned his first Grammy award, his first number one single as a solo artist, and the first artist with four songs from one album in the top 10 of the Billboard 100. Simultaneously, the success of the then-20-year-old from Gary, Ind., broke through the racial tensions of the time and added a sense of hope among black Americans. The history maker and icon prompted Legacy Recordings to re-release CD/DVD and CD/Blu-Ray editions of the original Off the Wall album in conjuction with Black History Month (Feb. 26).
The reissue will include a copy of Lee’s documentary on the King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall. Three years ago, Lee directed a documnetary in celebration of Bad’s 25th anniversary. His latest film uncovers footage and audio of the late pop star during an underrated time in Jackson’s career. He juxtaposes clips with words from family members and modern talent who have been influenced by the artist. The myriad of interviews includes: Berry Gordy, Lee Daniels, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, Misty Copeland, Kobe Bryant, Mark Ronson, John Legend, Questlove, Stevie Wonder, Katherine Jackson, Joe Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackie, and L.A. Reid.
Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall debuts at the Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 24) and will be televised on Shotime (Feb. 5) at 9 p.m. EST with additional viewing available on demand and online. Later in February, the documentary will be available to international audiences.