Rock With You – Challenge #191

Michal Jackson included this song on his fifth solo album Off The Wall which was released in 1979 and it reached #1 in the US and charted #7 in the UK.  Quincy Jones produced this album and he met Michael when he starred as the Scarecrow in the failed Broadway musical production of The Whiz in 1978.  Quincy Jones arranged the musical scores for The Wiz and he was impressed by Michael’s dedication.  Rod Temperton wrote this song, and he was the keyboard player and primary songwriter in the UK funk-disco group Heatwave who had a hit in 1977 with ‘Boogie Nights’.  The Heatwave debut album Too Hot to Handle included the song ‘Turn Out the Lamplight’ which appeared on George Benson’s album Give me the Night, and this was written by Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones.  Quincy Jones enlisted Temperton to write some songs for Jackson and the arrangement worked out with this being the first song he wrote.  Temperton later wrote the title track to the album ‘Off The Wall’ and he contributed the title song to Jackson’s next album Thriller.  Rod Temperton also did the rhythm and vocal arrangements on ‘Rock With You’.

This song is ostensibly about dancing, but the sexual subtext is clear.  Jackson wants his girl to relax and let the music take over her body, dance into the sunlight, feel that heat, ride the boogie, share that beat of love, which probably won’t happen on the dance floor.  This song used “rock” as a verb to describe dancing while implying something more.  This is a Disco song that came just before the decline of Disco in the United States in 1980, which by 1982 had lost most of its mainstream popularity in the states.  It is often said that Disco officially died on July 12, 1979 when the Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl got mad, and he took out his frustration by destroying disco records on the air.  Instead of destroying Disco this only led to the creation of house music.  ‘Rock With You’ was ranked #82 on Rolling Stone and MTV’s list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs in 2000.

This was Michael Jackson’s third #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with his first two being ‘Ben’ and ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’.  Michael Jackson said that after Thriller his skin started to change color because of a condition known as vitiligo.  Michael didn’t start wearing that glove on his left hand for another 4 years yet, and a year after that he had that horrible accident where his hair caught on fire and this was long before any child sexual abuse accusations surfaced.  Michael Jackson ranks #7 on the RIAA’s list of top-selling artists of all time with more than 75 million albums sold in the United States and he is known as the King of Pop.

Girl, close your eyes
Let that rhythm get into you
Don’t try to fight it
There ain’t nothing that you can do
Relax your mind
Lay back and groove with mine

You gotta feel that heat
And we can ride the boogie
Share that beat of love

I wanna rock with you (all night)
Dance you into day (sunlight)
I wanna rock with you (all night)
We’re gonna rock the night away (rock, right)

Out on the floor
There ain’t nobody there but us
Girl, when you dance
There’s a magic that must be love
Just take it slow
‘Cause we got so far to go

When you feel that heat
And we’re gonna ride the boogie
Share that beat of love

I wanna rock with you (all night)
Dance you into day (sunlight)
I wanna rock with you (all night)
We gon’ rock the night away (rock, right)

And when the groove is dead and gone (yeah)
You know that love survives
So we can rock forever, on

I wanna rock with you
I wanna groove with you

Wanna rock (all night)
With you, girl (sunlight)
Rock with you, rock with you, yeah (all night)
Dance the night away (rock, right)

I wanna rock with you, yeah (all night)
Rock you into day (sunlight)
I wanna rock with you (all night)
Rock the night away (rock, right)

Feel the heat, feel the beat (all night)
Rock you into day (sunlight)
I wanna rock (all night)
Rock the night away (rock, right)


The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as you could write about another Michael Jackson song.  You could also write about a night where you rocked it away.  You could write about how much you enjoy dancing to music and what type of dancing you like best.  If you would like to write about how it feels when you close your eyes and get into the rhythm of the music, that would make a nice post.  You could write about sharing the beat of love all night long and then going out for breakfast after.  You could write about how you feel about Disco or House Music.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about Michael Jackson doing the Moon walk or wearing that glove.  You could write a post about your thoughts on a grown man having sleepovers with young boys.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday on September 24 Dylan Hughes will be here with her First Line Friday.  I will be back on Friday, October 1 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Oh! My Soul’.  You can either create a ping back to this post, or place your link in the comments section below.


  1. Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 and he dreamed of playing the role of Spiderman so much that he once tried to purchase Marvel Comics when it filed for bankruptcy just so he could cast himself as the character. On June 25, 2009, the day that Jackson died, Wikipedia, AOL, and Twitter all crashed at the same time at 3:15 pm. Despite boasting assets of $1 billion at the time of his death, Jackson also allegedly owed $500 million in unpaid debts. Michael was so impressed with the treatment he received at the Brotman Medical Center in California following the accident in the Pepsi commercial, that he donated $1.5 million to the hospital, which resulted in them naming it the “Michael Jackson Burn Center.”
    Michael Jackson created the Neverland Ranch mansion named for the home where Peter Pan lived to be a private theme park, where he would entertain children. Jackson has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his work as a solo artist and the other as a part of the Jackson 5. Michael was afraid of his father, because he would beat him with a belt when he made mistakes performing as a child in the family band. Thriller is the only music video preserved for posterity by the US Library of Congress, recognizing its contribution to American media and culture. Jackson was scheduled to be attending a meeting at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, however, he missed the event because he overslept.


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