Michael Jackson ~ Rock With You 1979 Disco Purrfection Version
Late in 1979, there was a subtle shift in the clubs toward music that was a little slower but very funky and danceable. For example, who remembers Rufus & Chaka "Do You Love What You Feel", or Shalamar's "The Second Time Around" or Kool & The Gang's "Ladies Night"? Michael Jackson burst on to the scene with "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" with its surprisingly tension ridden spoken intro over a sparse rhythm track and a bassline that snaked its way into your psyche. It went straight to #1 pop and R&B, but stalled at #2 on the disco chart. The double A sided disco release had "Rock With You" paired with it, and while "Rock With You" repeated the feat of topping the pop and R&B charts, still was not able to reach the peak of the disco charts. Oh well, both of those songs are club classics now. I've been searching for a different remix of "Rock With You" that was true to the original version, but had more breaks so that I could do the version I had in my head. After some fast and furious footwork, I got my copy of the Japanese pressing timing out at 5:17 that is the basis for this new version. I have edited out the count in and the outro which was studio chatter to come up with my specially extended version. "Rock With You" cemented Michael's reputation as a bona fide superstar by spending four weeks at #1 pop and six weeks R&B. Quincy Jones related to the BBC that he was not that interested in working with Jackson, as he felt that Michael was too bubblegummy. Jones accepted Jackson's request to produce "Off The Wall" and he set about "bringing him out of adolescence" by having Michael sing in a lower register and selecting songs that would showcase the new Michael. Micheal went on tour with his brothers for the "Destiny" tour and Jones approached Rod Temperton to tap him for some new songs for Michael. The music tracks got laid down without Michael's knowledge. After the tour ended, Micheal listened to the new tracks and decided that it was exactly what he wanted. Temperton was new to Michael at that time and Michael stated that "Rock With You" was written with "a more relentless get down arrangement in mind" and that Quincy "softened the attack and slipped in the synthesizer track that sounded like the inside of conch shell". Listening to it today, the flute sound kinda reminds me of the pattern used in Van McCoy's "The Hustle"... Quincy Jones was so hot at the time that "Do You Love What You Feel" by Rufus was the last R&B #1 of the 70's and Jackson's "Rock With You" was the first R&B of the 80's arresting the peak of the R&B chart for a total of nine weeks.
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