Sources: Soul Train – By Stephen McMillian (Published June 4, 2012)| All Things Michael
Before Thriller, there was Off The Wall.
While at Motown Records, Michael Jackson recorded four solo albums: Got To Be There, Ben, Music & Me, and Forever, Michael. The former two did extremely well; the latter two, however, sold poorly at a time when the Jackson 5’s record sales as a whole were declining. In 1975, the group signed with Epic Records and in 1976 released their first album on the label titled The Jacksons, spawning the hits “Enjoy Yourself” and “Show You The Way to Go.” The following year they released their second Epic album Goin’ Places. Although the LP was a stronger album than their previous one, it did not do well. Both albums were produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who had mega success with artists like The O’Jays and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.
However, the Jacksons felt it was time to take charge of producing their own work. Though they wrote and produced four cuts on their first two Epic albums, they wanted to take control of the entire project of their next album. The result was 1978’s Destiny, an absolute smash yielding the hits “Blame It On the Boogie” and the platinum-seller “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground.”
It could’ve been destiny at work when Michael Jackson was in New York City during the late months of 1977 filming the motion picture The Wiz. During a rehearsal of the scene in which his character, the Scarecrow, is berated by a bunch of crows, he had mispronounced the name Socrates. Legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who scored The Wiz and was on the set during rehearsal, corrected Michael and told him the proper pronunciation of Socrates. From that moment on, magic (one of Jackson’s favorite terms) was created…… Read the entire article here