Perhaps as patial response to ‘Working Day and Night’, Jackson offers “Get On The Floor,” a song that celebrates the joyful release of music and dance. An early version of the song was originally penned by Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson for their disco album, Light Up the Night. Johnson, however, ultimately decided to rework the song with Michael Jackson. The result was a dance-inciting extravaganza. “Jackson lets loose over a slap-bass disco riff,” writes music critic David Abravanel, “making an infectiously energetic dance track that nevertheless pulsates with… tension.”
Jackson enjoyed recording the song. ” It was particularly satisfying,” he later wrote, “because (bassist) Louis Johnson gave me a smooth enogh bottom to ride in the verses and let me come back stronger and stronger with each chorus.” Indeed, it is possible that Jackson has never sounded more blissfully joyful and unhibited than on this disco-funk gem. Surounded by effervescent strings, big brass, and a relentless beat, Jackson’s voice soars with infectious energy. “Not a lot of people give ‘Get On the Floor’ any credit,” writes music critic Andre Grindle. “But the fact is it’s one of the toughest slices of hard disco-funk of 1979: the rhythms, the bass, and of course (Jackson’s) hot n’ heavy breathing at the song’s breakdown is just raw sweat, energy, and drive.”
Indeed, after building to the climax with the “Get up, won’t you g’on down” chant (a sort of primal build up Jackson would similarly use in the video to “Smooth Criminal”), Jackson begins to ad-lib as if reveling in his newfound freedom, playfully changing voices, experimenting with inflections, laughing and letting out his now-signature “oooooooh’s” and “heeeee’s.” The song is, quite simply, a celebration of life, music, and dance.
- Man in the Music