Realizing now that doing 20 posts in 20 days, no matter the short length was never probably realistic. So I’ve decided to just do 20 in as few days as possible. With that decision in mind, I thought a track that implies just why frequent posting is so difficult would be a fun direction to go. Michael Jackson’s ‘Workin’ Both Day and Night’, the funk blast from Off the Wall is just the track to explain the difficulties of personal endeavors amidst the realities of day to day professional life.
Once Off the Wall received a Special Edition release several years ago, the outtake demo for ‘Workin’ Day and Night’ immediately became a prize for anyone interested (see below for that), especially in discussions where bass is concerned. In it, you hear the song deconstructed and rebuilt time and again around the deflated tire sounding bass as parts weave in and out, all the more prominent with the synth track largely absent save a few stylistic flourishes. It’s been said that it’s Jermaine Jackson on bass in the demo (which could maybe explain all the familiar family banter that begins the recording) and not Louis Johnson, the player on the final studio cut.
Either way, it’s a line to remember as it slinks underneath Michael’s pained cries of overwork. It’s a fun track, equal parts serious and playful as the lyric implies a genuine pain from employer overwork for his audience to latch onto, while also clearly stating that it’s about the labor he’s putting in to keep a rather high-maintenance lover fulfilled. But it’s the quick beat (wikipedia tells me it’s 128 BPM making it one of Michael’s most up tempo numbers) and Johnson’s thumb slamming parts that makes it one of Michael Jackson’s most beloved tracks. Generally relegated to his second tier, I’d take it over so many of his quintessential tracks, who needs ‘Thriller’ again, when you can have this rush?