It really takes time to have a name in a certain field that someone wishes to be known of. Either you have done something remarkable or something really improper. For some, it make take years or at unfortunately, it remains only to be a dream that seems to be impossible to be reached.
It differs with every person but as a young frontman of Motown’s Jackson 5 is how Michael Jackson (MJ) made a name in the early ’70s. But after some time, in 1975, Jacksons finally left Motown and released total of three album of their own, under Epic Records, one of which is “Destiny,” that peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 in 1978.
Amidst the Jackson’s album success, MJ decided to launch his career as a solo artist and recorded his first solo album for Epic, which is “Off the Wall.”
During that time, if you were a black artist, you will be placed in a black music division meaning your music will be presented to black market only. But his promoters, composed of his manager Freddy DeMann and co-manager Ron Weisner, thought it the other way around. They highlighted that what they do is to make music for the masses and part of the big picture was to get the record company to turn around and market and promote to a mass market. Let the public decide, they brought it to the broadest audience possible.
Building up the artist at urban radio first and then go to pop is a risky move but they never failed.
According to West Coast regional urban promotion manager, Maurice Warfield, they were confident that they had a major hit on their hands and from then on, they took the unprecedented step of promoting singles to R&B and pop radio at the same time. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” the album’s opening track and lead single.
“Don’t Stop” debuted July 28, 1979, and became Jackson’s first No. 1 R&B and pop single as a solo artist since his 1972 hit “Ben.” That was followed in November by a second No. 1 R&B and pop single, “Rock With You,” then the album’s title track and “She’s Out of My Life.”
Remarkably, “Off the Wall” really opened up something at radio that was never closed again.
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