The impact that Off the Wall made is immeasurable but before I get into all of that, I want to get into the details of the album. The album was released on August 10th, 1979 and it had four top ten hits, two were number one:
"Don't Stop Til You Get Enough":
"Rock With You":
"She's Out of My Life":
"Off the Wall":
The album went to number three at the Pop charts and number one on the R&B/Soul charts and stayed on the Billboard Top 20 for 48 weeks. The album eventually sold 20 million copies worldwide and won countless awards.
I stated on one of the entries when discussing these Spike Lee films on Michael, that The Roots Drummer, Questlove must be in every one of these documentaries. The man knows his music and knows what he is talking about. He gives the viewer an understanding of being a fan and what he was doing when Off The Wall was released. There were a few celebrities in the film like director and creator of the show Empire, Lee Daniels, actress Rosie Perez and actor/comedian John Leguizmo who witnessed the time and can tell the viewer, some who was not born at that time, what it was like and what people were doing at the time.
I do not understand why "singer" John Legend was any where near this documentary. I do not know who decided that he can be in this film after the horrible things that he stated about Michael after he died. He stated the following,
"I wonder what young black kids are thinking now as we glorify MJ who went through such lengths to change his complexion and have white kids interesting to think about in the context of the comments about the complexion of the kids at the pool."
For some reason, John Branca and Spike Lee thought it was important and reasonable to bring that ignorant fool who thinks he know what he was talking about to tell people about a man that he had no respect for. When John "Legend" stated this mess, Michael was not even dead for a whole month. Out of all of the people that Branca and Lee can get to talk about Michael like Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild, they decided to bring in that terrible man. Unacceptable.
"My father managed Michael and worked with him for 15 years and was directly involved with Off the Wall. I am interested to see who they interview for the doc. They did not interview my father."
Why was her father not interviewed for this documentary but John Branca, who Michael fired many times, was? How can you do a documentary about an album as groundbreaking as Off The Wall and not interview Freddie DeMann? Spike Lee is not doing thorough research on Michael and his career.
Speaking of that, there was a part in the documentary where Katherine was talking about Michael and a picture was shown of her holding a baby. That was made to indicate that Katherine was holding a newborn Michael. That picture was taken in the 1970s and it was of Katherine holding one of her grandchildren. I have never seen a picture of Katherine holding Michael when he was a newborn. Once again, Mr. Lee is not taking the time to check out these things and instead he allows this to be on an documentary that is focus on giving the viewer factual and correct information about Michael.
The film was cut short from 120 minutes to 90 minutes and that was unnecessary.
I stated it on here that I am not a fan of now Dr. Joseph Vogel because of an issue that I had with him and the various things that he stated about Michael's legacy. Recently, he made a blog post talking about the Michael album and those three songs that did not have Michael's vocals. You can read what he stated here -
I do not want to dwell on what he stated because at the end of the day, if he had any credibility, he would have never discredited Michael's nephews and daughter who stated otherwise. Remember when Dr. Vogel made a comment comparing one of the fake vocals to the Off The Wall album?
"the exceptionally ominous strings in the intro, its "Off the Wall"-esque chorus, or its signature Jackson indictment of a media"
In the documentary, it was mentioned that Michael was with a few women like Diana Ross, Stephanie Mills, Tatum O'Neal and Brooke Shields but they did not state that Michael actually dated these women. They did not even state that Stephanie Mills confirmed that she and Michael were a couple but of course, as anything dealing with this side of Michael's, these people who run his Estate will never allow the people to know this side of Michael.
You cannot do a documentary about this album without mentioning Quincy Jones, who was the executive producer of the album. At first, I wanted Quincy to be a part of this because his input is very important to how Michael worked in the studio, video shoots and in the recording sessions. In the documentary, old interviews that Quincy did were included and there might be people thinking, "why isn't Quincy in this documentary?" Honestly, I would rather see old interviews of him speaking about the album than him being in the documentary. After Michael died, Quincy did an interview with the magazine Details that was later posted in a vox.com article weeks ago, in which he stated,
"It’s ridiculous man! Chemical peels and all of it," he said. "And I don’t understand it. But he obviously didn’t want to be black."
Why should anyone that cares about Michael Jackson and his legacy would remotely allow that old, bitter bastard even be in the documentary? I cannot even begin to tell you how relieved I was, regardless how I feel about the documentary, that Quincy's old ass is not in this film. Sadly, the apple does not fall further from the tree because his daughter, Rashida Jones, told Late Show host James Corden that Michael's beloved monkey, Bubbles, bit her as a child.
It seems like the Jones family, who all at one point, accepted and loved Michael like family, have a sick and twisted way of showing their "love" for him.
Overall, I would recommend people to watch the documentary because even with the many mistakes that was made, the information, most of it, is correct. However, I do feel that after Spike Lee does the Thriller documentary that he should stop doing Michael Jackson documentaries. I know that, based on the history so far with Mr. Lee's work on Michael, the Thriller documentary will have mistakes and will not get into all of the important details. Heck, I know it would not. I am not sure if Freddie DeMann will be on there, if Theresa Gonsalves will participate considering her claim that Michael wrote "Billie Jean" because of her issues with the father of one of her children. If Mr. Lee would interview Michael's other family members like his nieces and nephews or if the family of the late Frank DiLeo who was Michael's manager during that time. Will Mr. Lee talk to the directors of the short films for the Thriller album? Will Spike Lee utilized social media to contact fans to participate in the documentary? Only time will tell because I know that when the Thriller documentary is completed and ready to be seen, I will be expecting to see various mistakes. Let's hope that is not the case but I would not put my money or time on it.
"John Legend Brings Up The MJ White Skin & White Kids Issue", rnbdirt.com, July 9th, 2009. http://rnbdirt.com/john-legend-brings-up-the-mj-white-skin-white-kids-issue/14694/
"Regarding the Casico's Tracks", Vogel, Joe. http://www.joevogel.net/articles/regarding-the-cascio-tracks
"Exclusive: The Inside Story Behind Michael Jackson's Controversial New Song and Album",Vogel, Joe. Huffingtonpost.com, Nov. 10, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-vogel/exclusive-the-inside-stor_b_781364.html
"The Whitewashing of Michael Jackson, Explained."Massie, Victoria, M. Vox.com, Feb. 2, 2016. http://www.vox.com/2016/2/2/10889998/michael-jackson-whitewashing-fiennes
The music videos of Michael's legendary songs from Off The Wall from the official youtube account of Michael Jackson.
Rashida Jones' interview discussing Michael's pet monkey Bubble biting her on the Late Show with James Corden from the official youtube account of the Late Show.
The gifs of clips from the Triumph tour from the documentary came from King of Music tumblr account.
The gifs of clips from the documentary when Michael talks about working with Quincy Jones from King of Music
The pictures came from my personal harddrive and a google.com search.
Freddie DeMann's daughter, Pilar DeMann commenting on her father not being in the Off the Wall documentary. Janurary 12, 2016, http://deadline.com/2016/01/michael-jacksons-journey-spike-lee-documentary-showtime-1201681590/