The Wiz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Michael Jackson


Summary

The Wiz is the original motion picture soundtrack album for the 1978 film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Wiz. Although the film was produced for Universal Pictures by Motown Records' film division, the soundtrack album was issued on MCA Records as a two-LP collection (Universal was owned by MCA Inc. at the time). Chiefly produced by Quincy Jones, The Wiz soundtrack features non-sync cast performances by the stars of the film, including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, and Lena Horne.

Like many musicals of the period, the performances in the soundtrack album are not those used directly in the film, but re-recorded by the same artists at an earlier and/or later date. Several differences are noted including Michael Jackson's line and a Nipsey Russell scat section being dropped in "A Brand New Day" among others.

The track selection is made up of both songs from the original 1975 Broadway musical by Charlie Smalls and Luther Vandross, as well as new songs written for the film by Quincy Jones, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, and Anthony Jackson. This soundtrack marks Jones' first collaboration with Jackson; Jones would go on to produce Jackson's hit solo albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.

The album, with its hit single "Ease On Down the Road", was more successful than the film itself, which was a commercial and critical failure. It was certified Gold in the US. It also did well in some European territories like the Netherlands, where "A Brand New Day" was a surprise number 1. When Diana Ross did 2 sold out shows at The Geldredome in 2009 in Arnhem, Netherlands, she ended each concert with a huge finale of "A Brand New Day". The soundtrack also did well in Australia.