Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough

Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
A smiling adult African American male with a black afro, wearing a black tuxedo, white shirt, and a black bow tie. Both of his thumbs are hooked into his pants pockets with his palms and fingers facing forward and splayed out. The sides of his jacket are tucked behind his hands as he leans back slightly, giving a playful, casual touch to his formal look. Behind him there is a brown brick wall and to the side of his head there is a blue, square sign with "Michael Jackson" in white writing on two black borders and "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" in black writing.
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Off the Wall
B-side "I Can't Help It"
Released July 28, 1979
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 19781979
Genre Disco
Length 6:04 (album version)
5:53 (12" edit)
4:11 (video edit)
3:55 (7" edit)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Producer Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson (co-producer)
Certification Platinum (USA and New Zealand)
Silver (United Kingdom)
Gold (Australia)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"A Brand New Day"
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
"Rock with You"
Off the Wall track listing
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
"Rock with You"
HIStory Begins track listing
"Remember the Time"
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"

"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is a single by American recording artist Michael Jackson. Released under Epic Records on July 28, 1979, the song is the first single from Jackson's fifth studio album, entitled Off the Wall. Written by Jackson, it is in the key of B major and in common time signature, the song was the first solo recording over which Jackson had creative control. Jackson said that the song's lyrics were not a reference to sex, but could be about whatever people wanted them to be about.

"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was Jackson's first single to peak at number one on the United States Billboards Hot 100 chart in seven years, and his first number one song on the soul singles chart.[1] The song charted within the top ten on worldwide charts. Within a few months of release, the song was certified gold, and eventually certified platinum.

"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was generally well-received by contemporary music critics. An accompanying music video for the song was released in October 1979. The video shows Jackson dancing, as well as being shown in a triplicate, in different color backgrounds. The song also won Jackson his first solo Grammy and American Music Awards. "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" is considered to be the first song to showcase Jackson's talent as a solo artist, both as a singer and songwriter. Since the song's release, it has been covered by numerous musicians.


Background and production

In 1978, Jackson starred as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. After the filming, Jackson, who was still a member of The Jacksons, approached the film's musical director, Quincy Jones, to ask if he knew of any producers to help with Jackson's future solo endeavors.[2] Jones suggested himself, and the two began work on Off the Wall.[2] After listening to hundreds of demos, the two decided upon the ones to record. These included "Workin' Day and Night", "Get on the Floor" and "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough".[3] The song was recorded in Los Angeles recording studios.[4] Jackson claimed that when the melody of "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" came to him, he couldn't shake it off. He found himself humming and singing it while walking through the Jacksons' Encino home. As Michael could not play, he had his brother Randy perform the melody on a piano in the family's recording studio.[3] When Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, a devout Jehovah's Witness, heard the song, she was shocked by the lyrical content, and felt that the title could be misconstrued as pertaining to sexual activity.[5] Jackson reassured her that the song was not a reference to sex, but could mean whatever people wanted it to.[5] Upon playing the recording to Jones, it was agreed that the song would be featured on Off the Wall.[3]


Musically "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is credited as a disco/pop/funk song. The song's full length on Off The Wall is just over 6 minutes. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" introduced Jackson's falsetto voice and vocal hiccups, which would become one of Jackson's signature vocals. Along with Jackson's vocal hiccups, Jackson voice in the song was described as having vocal tics—from the hiccups, a "grunt", and "the 'oho!'".[2] "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" is played in the key of B major and in common time signature. In the song, Jackson's voice range is from G#3 to F#5. Instruments for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" include a piano and guitar. The song's tempo is upbeat and its metronome is 112 beats per minute. "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" begins with Jackson speaking, before singing the songs lyrics'.[6]

Release and reception

"Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was released on July 28, 1979, under Epic Records; Jackson's first solo album away from Motown Records.[3] It was well received by contemporary critics. Stephen Holden, of Rolling Stone, described the song as "one of a handful of recent disco releases that works both as a dance track and as an aural extravaganza comparable to Earth, Wind and Fire's 'Boogie Wonderland'".[7] Within three months of its release, the song was at the top of the charts and had been certified gold.[3][8] Reaching number one on Billboard's Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts in the United States; it was Jackson's first solo number one single since "Ben", seven years prior.[8] Reaching the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Norway and South Africa, the song peaked within the top ten, charting at number three, in the United Kingdom.[5] "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough"s least successful charting countries was in Switzerland, placing at number four.[5] "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" charted within the top ten in all major countries. Following the single being certified gold ten years previously, the song was awarded platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1989.[8]

In 2006, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" reached number seventeen in the United Kingdom, following the Visionary campaign, whereby twenty of Jackson's hit singles were reissued in several European countries.[5] Following Jackson's death in June 2009, his music saw an increase in popularity.[9] "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" peaked at number seven on Billboard's "Hot Digital Songs Chart, peaking at number seven on the charts issue date July 11, 2009.[10] "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" charted within the top ten, placing at number nine, in France,[11] and charted within the top twenty in Portugal and Switzerland, placing at number eighteen and twenty.[12] The song also charted at number twenty-one in Australia, thirty-seven in the United Kingdom,[13] and fifty in Swedish, respectively.[12] "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough"s least successful country was Japan, peaking at number seventy-seven.[12] "Don’t Stop 'til You Get Enough" was certified gold in Australia by Australian Recording Industry Association in 2009 for the shipments of 35,000 units.[14]

Music video

A adult African American male with short black hair. He is pointing forward with his right hand and is making a facial expression and he is wearing a black bow tie with a black and white tuxedo. Behind him, there is a pink background.
Jackson in the music video for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".

The music video for "Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was directed and produced by Nick Saxton and made its world premiere in October 1979.[5] It was Jackson's first music video as a solo artist. The music video features a smiling Jackson floating over a background of abstract geometric figures and performing dance techniques while singing "Don't Stop 'Til You get Enough" in a black and white tuxedo with a black bow tie. At one stage, Jackson is seen dancing in triplicate, which was considered innovative at the time.[3]

The music video was included on the video albums: Video Greatest Hits - HIStory, Number Ones and Michael Jackson's Vision.

Live Performances

Michael Jackson performed this song on The Jacksons' Destiny Tour on the second leg, as well as the Triumph Tour and the Victory Tour but was only performed as a snippet for the song "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)." Michael also performed this song as part of the "Off The Wall" medley on his HIStory World Tour, but only on certain concerts. Jackson was also going to perform it for the This Is It concert series, but the shows were cancelled due to his untimely death.

Michael Jackson: The Experience

The song is featured in the video game Michael Jackson: The Experience as a song to dance to.[citation needed]

Cover versions

"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" has been covered by multiple artists since its release in 1979.

  • In 1985: the song was included in the second album of Dominican Juan Luis Guerra & 440, Mudanza y Acarreo. This version is a merengue based on disco and rock sounds and was titled "Dame" (Give me).
  • In 1999: The song was covered by BB Band in 1999 on their album entitled, The Detroit Sound.[15]
  • Chris Tucker and Adrienne Bailon recorded a new version of the song for the 2001 film Rush Hour 2, which stars also Tucker.
  • In 2005: Westlife performed the song live on their The Number Ones Tour.
  • In 2005: The song was also covered by James Chance on his 2005 album, which included a recorded and live version.[16]
  • In 2005: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was covered by Melissa Forbes on her 2005 album entitled, No More Mondays.[17]
  • In 2007: American pop-rock band Shivaree covered "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" on their 2007 album of cover versions, entitled, Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs.[18]
  • The song was covered by Rod Hanna, on his album of covers entitled, Rod Hanna Live: Discofesta 70's Superhits - Rod Hanna.[19]
  • In 2009: Following Jackson's death in June 2009, the band U2 began their world tour, entitled U2 360° Tour, with renditions of two of Jackson's songs, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Man In The Mirror" (from Jackson's 1987 album Bad) on June 30, 2009.[20][21]
  • Cookin Soul did a remix cover of the track, entitled, "Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough feat. Jay-Z".[22][23] The remixed version was performed during Cookin Souls Shade45 show, and the track was made available as a digital download track.[23] Amos Barshad and Nick Catucci, of, commented that the remix version was a "surprisingly great meeting of music and lyrics, connecting MJ and rap without overstating the shared DNA".[22]
  • Prince covers it in his 2011 "Welcome 2 America" tour.
  • Usher performed the song and a few other mix of songs as a tribute to Jackson on his OMG.


James Montgomery, of MTV, noted that "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", along with Off The Walls other three singles, "showcased (or, more specifically, unleashed) Jackson's talents as a entertainer, a vocalist, a writer and, most importantly, as a leading man."[4] After Jackson's death, AOL's Radio Blog released a list, entitled "10 Best Michael Jackson Songs", which placed "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" at number-ten on the list.[24]

William Ruhlmann, author of The All-Music Guide to Rock, praised "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" as an "irresistible dance track".[25] John Lewis, author of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, noted that the "jittery, frenetic opening track" is the centerpiece of Off the Wall.[25] He concluded that "Jackson's falsetto hollers and frisky yelps serve as an obbligato to the lead line, punctuating Ben Wright's thrilling string arrangement and Jerry Hey's tight horn charts".[25] Jason Elias, a writer for Allmusic, noted that "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" presents a "new Michael Jackson" that was "sexual, [an] adult, and aggressive.[2] Elias commented that "Like the best of Jones' late-'70s, early-'80s work, this [song] wasn't quite disco, couldn't be hardcore funk - it was an amalgam of styles with the all-important pop accessibility."[2]

Jackson's biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli described Jackson's unveiling of a "sexy, playful falsetto" that "no one had ever heard from him before".[3] Nelson George stated that the argument for Jackson's greatness began with the arrangements of "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough". He noted that the percussion and backing vocals were "artfully choreographed" to "create drama and ecstasy on the dance floor". He concluded, "It's one thing to make a dance record-it is another to instill that track with an epic, celebratory quality as Michael does here".[26] James Montgomery, of MTV, noted that Off The Wall contained a "masterful mixture of fiery disco tracks", specifying "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Workin' Day and Night".[4] "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" won Jackson his first American Music Award, the song received the award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single. Jackson also won his first solo Grammy Award, taking home the award for Best Male Vocal Performance in the genre of R&B.[4][27]

Track listing

European 7" single (EPC 7763)[28][29][30][31][32]
  • A. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (7" Edit)" - 3:58
  • B. "I Can't Help It" - 4:29
Netherlands 12" single (EPC 12.7763)[33]
  • A. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (12" Edit)" - 5:53
  • B. "I Can't Help It" - 4:29
"Visionary" DualDisc single (82876725112)[34]
CD side
  1. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" - 3:59
  2. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (Original 12" Edit) - 5:53
DVD side
  1. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (Video) - 4:11


  • Written and composed by Michael Jackson
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Co-Produced by Michael Jackson
  • Michael Jackson: Lead and background vocals
  • Additional background vocals by Jim Gilstrap, Augie Johnson, Mortonette Jenkins, Paulette McWilliams and Zedric Wiliams
  • Louis Johnson: Bass
  • John Robinson: Drums
  • Greg Phillinganes: Electric piano
  • David Williams, Marlo Henderson: Guitars
  • Michael Jackson, Randy Jackson, Richard Heath, Paulinho Da Costa: Percussion
  • Horns arranged by Jerry Hey and performed by The Seawind Horns:
    • Jerry Hey: Trumpet and flugelhorn
    • Larry Williams: Tenor, alto saxophones and flute
    • Kim Hutchcroft: Baritone, tenor saxophones and flute
    • William Reichenbach: Trombone
    • Gary Grant: Trumpet
  • Rhythm arrangement by Greg Phillinganes and Michael Jackson
  • Vocal and percussion arrangements by Michael Jackson
  • String arrangement by Ben Wright
  • Concert master: Gerald Vinci
  • Recording Engineer: Bruce Swedien

Charts and certifications


Chart (1979) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1[5]
Belgian Singles Chart 1[5]
Danish Singles Chart 1[5]
Holland Singles Chart 2[5]
Spanish Singles Chart 2
Swedish Singles Chart 2[5]
Swiss Singles Chart 4[35]
Norwegian Singles Chart 1[5]
UK Singles Chart 3[5]
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1[5]
Chart (2009) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 21[12]
French Singles Chart 9[11]
Japan Singles Top 100 Chart 77[12]
Portugal Singles Top 50 Chart 18[12]
Swedish Singles Chart 50[12]
Swiss Singles Chart 20[35]
UK Singles Chart 37[13]
U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs Chart 9[10]


Country Provider Certification Sales/shipments
United States RIAA Platinum[8] 1,000,000+
Australia ARIA Gold[14] 35,000+

Preceded by
"Sad Eyes" by Robert John
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 13, 1979
Succeeded by
"Rise" by Herb Alpert
Preceded by
"Good Times" by Chic
Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single
September 8 - October 13, 1979
Succeeded by
"(Not Just) Knee Deep" by Funkadelic


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 284. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Jason Elias. "Song Review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Taraborrelli, pp. 183–187
  4. ^ a b c d James Montgomery (2009-07-06). "Michael Jackson's Life & Legacy: Don't Stop (1979-81)". Viacom. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Halstead, pp. 92–93
  6. ^ "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (1979-11-01). "Off the Wall album review - Rolling Stone". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2010-01-28. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d George, p. 37–43
  9. ^ Ed Christman, Antony Bruno, (2009-07-02). "Michael Jackson Music Sales Surge Could Last For Months". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  10. ^ a b "Billboard Hot Digital Songs: Week of July 11, 2009". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-01-28. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Week Of July 11, 2009". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough". ACharts,us. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  13. ^ a b "Top 40 Downloads Archive:: Week: 05/07/2009 - 11/07/2009". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-01-28. [dead link]
  14. ^ a b "2009 Single Accreditatios". Australian Recording Industry Association. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  15. ^ "The Detroit Sound - BB Band". AOL Inc. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  16. ^ "James White & The Blacks / James Chance & The Contortions / James White (2) - The Chance / White Box Set". Discogs. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  17. ^ "No More Mondays - Melissa Forbes". AOL Inc. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  18. ^ "Tainted Love: Mating Calls And Fight Songs". Limited. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  19. ^ "Rod Hanna Live: Discofesta 70's Superhits - Rod Hanna". AOL Inc. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  20. ^ "U2 cover Michael Jackson as they kick off world tour - video". IPC Media. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  21. ^ Zabby Currie (2009-07-01). "U2 Pay Homage to Michael Jackson + More". AOL Inc. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  22. ^ a b Amos Barshad, Nick Catucci (2009-07-10). "Song of the Summer: Michael Jackson Rarities, Remixes, Covers and More!". New York Media LLC. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  23. ^ a b "Cookin’ Soul Presents Michael Jackson (Tribute to the King of Pop)". Complex Media Network. 2009-06-27. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  24. ^ AOL Radio Staff (2009-06-26). "10 Best Michael Jackson Songs". AOL Inc. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  25. ^ a b c "Off the Wall album reviews". Super Seventies. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  26. ^ George, p. 23
  27. ^ "Grammy Awards 1980". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  28. ^ "Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough / I Can't Help It (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  29. ^ "Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  30. ^ "Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  31. ^ "Michael Jackson - Don´t Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  32. ^ "Michael Jackson - No Pares Hasta Que Tengas Suficiente (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  33. ^ "Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  34. ^ "Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Hybrid)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  35. ^ a b "Swiss Singles Chart Archives". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 

Further reading

  • George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection booklet. Sony BMG.
  • Halstead, Craig (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors OnLine. ISBN 978-0-7552026-7-6. 
  • Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2004). The Magic and the Madness. Terra Alta, WV: Headline. ISBN 0-330-42005-4. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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