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The Sound of Crossover: Micro-rhythm and Sonic Pleasure in Michael Jackson's “Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough”

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Michael Jackson's album Off the Wall consummated a trend toward the success of black dance music in late-1970s crossover markets. This article investigates the musical qualities of the album's lead single, “Don't Stop ’Til You Get Enough.” Through the combination of a compelling micro-rhythmic design derived from previous black dance music styles with a pop song format and production techniques that were mainstream friendly and not marked by race, Jackson and his producer, Quincy Jones, achieved a critical balance that transcended the segregation of the music market, neutralizing the cultural background and historical baggage of what otherwise would have been deemed “black” music.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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