“The Wiz” era (1978)

The Wiz

Recording sessions : Summer 1977-Summer1978

Studios : A & R Recording (New York City)

Label : MCA

Release date : September 18, 1978

Peak on Billboard 200 : 40

Original track listing from the album released on September 18, 1978 (recorded in 1977)

1. “Main Title (Overture, Part One)” Instrumental 2:36
2. “Overture (Part Two)” Instrumental 1:57
3. “The Feeling That We Had” Theresa Merritt and Chorus 3:26
4. “Can I Go On?” Quincy Jones, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson Diana Ross 1:56
5. “Glinda’s Theme” Instrumental 1:10
6. “He’s the Wizard” Thelma Carpenter and Chorus 4:09
7. “Soon As I Get Home / Home” Diana Ross 4:04
8. “You Can’t Win” Michael Jackson 3:14
9. “Ease on Down the Road #1” Diana Ross and Michael Jackson 3:55
10. “What Would I Do If I Could Feel?” Nipsey Russell 2:18
11. “Slide Some Oil to Me” Nipsey Russell 2:51
12. “Ease on Down the Road #2” Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Nipsey Russell 1:31
13. “I’m a Mean Ole Lion” Ted Ross 2:24
14. “Ease on Down the Road #3” Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross 1:26
15. “Poppy Girls Theme” Anthony Jackson Instrumental 3:27
16. “Be a Lion” Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross 4:04
17. “End of the Yellow Brick Road” Instrumental 1:01
18. “Emerald City Sequence” (music: Jones, lyrics: Smalls) Chorus 6:44
19. “So You Wanted to See the Wizard” Richard Pryor – (spoken dialogue) 2:46
20. “Is This What Feeling Gets? (Dorothy’s Theme)” (music: Jones, lyrics: Ashford & Simpson) Diana Ross – (vocal version not used in film) 3:21
21. “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News” Mabel King and Chorus 3:03
22. “Everybody Rejoice / A Brand New Day” Luther Vandross Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross 7:49
23. “Believe in Yourself (Dorothy)” Diana Ross 2:55
24. “The Good Witch Glinda” Instrumental 1:09
25. “Believe in Yourself (Reprise)” Lena Horne 2:15
26. “Home (Finale)” Diana Ross 4:03

Demos/Outtakes/unreleased tracks from the album’ sessions

You Can’t Win (extended version) :  After the original soundtrack version of “You Can’t Win” was recorded in 1977, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones went back into the studio and re-recorded the track. It was the re-recording that was released in January 1979 as the second single from The Wiz. The 7-inch version split the song in half, with “Part 1” as the A-side and “Part 2” as the B-side; the full-length version was released as a 12-inch single and later was included on The Ultimate Collection in 2004.

Can’t Get Outta the Rain : Part 2″ of “You Can’t Win”, in which Michael Jackson repeatedly sings the line “Can’t get outta the game”, was vocally overdubbed, and the resulting track was titled “Can’t Get Outta the Rain”; it became the B-side of “The Girl Is Mine”, the first single from Jackson’s landmark album Thriller in 1982. Despite “Can’t Get Outta the Rain” being melodically identical to “You Can’t Win”, as well as lyrically identical except for the word “rain”, Jackson and Quincy Jones are credited as the song’s composers, not Charlie Smalls.

Others songs from this era

Singles and short films

1st single : “Ease on Down the Road” (released on September 21, 1978)

Peak on Hot 100 Billboard : 42

No short film

2nd single :  “You Can’t Win” (released on January 11, 1979)

Peak on Hot 100 Billboard : 81

No short film

3rd single : “A Brand New Day” (released in 1979

Peak on Hot 100 Billboard : did not chart

No short film

Previous era : Goin Places (1977)

Following era : Destiny (1978)

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