"Rock with You" was written by Rod Temperton and recorded by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released on November 3, 1979, as the second single from Michael Jackson's fifth album, Off the Wall. Temperton, formerly of the group Heatwave, also wrote Jackson's 1982 song "Thriller".

It reached number one on both the pop and R&B singles charts. According to Billboard, the song was the fourth biggest single of 1980.[1] It is also considered one of the last hits of the disco era.

It was re-released as a single on February 27, 2006, as part of the Visionary: The Video Singles box set.


 [hide*1 Music information

Music information[edit]Edit

This song is written in the key of Eb minor, changing to E minor after the bridge.[2] Meter is 4/4 at 114 bpm.[2]

Critical reception[edit]Edit

Allmusic highlighted the song on the album itself.[3] Robert Christgau called this song a smooth ballad.[4]

Cover versions and samples[edit]Edit

  • The song was later covered by singer Brandy in 1995 for Quincy Jones' album Q's Jook Joint.
  • Contemporary jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb offered his version on his album Listen.[5]
  • It was also covered by Ashanti in 2003 as a remix to her single "Rock wit U (Awww Baby)" and performed at the BET Awards.
  • The song was covered by the company Wavegroup for the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol.
  • Brazilian singer Fernanda Abreu performed a version on the record Um Barzinho Um Violao 4, issued in 2005.
  • Japanese house music band Cargo made a cover of the song in their 2007 album Jewel.
  • Emi Hinouchi, a famous Japanese artist, made a version of the song.
  • Usher performed it at the 2013 Rock and Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
  • Chris Brown performed it on the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans in 2007.
  • Kelly Clarkson performed the song with Eric Hutchinson on her All I Ever Wanted Tour in 2009.
  • Boys Noize DJ performed a remix of his song, Lava Lava, opened with an A Capella version of Rock With You on June 26, 2009 at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles.
  • After Jackson's death in June 2009, R&B singer Frankie J recorded a cover version, which was released on his MySpace page.
  • Mariah Carey also performed this song along with Trey Lorenz in her concert "Live at The Pearl" in Las Vegas in September and October 2009.
  • American R&B singer Dina Rae sampled the melody on her song "Ride the Boogie" with rapper Obie Trice.
  • Aphex Twin performed a mashup of "Rock with You" during his set at the 2009 Osaka Summer Sonic music festival, incorporating his own song "Cordialatron". This remix was also segued with a live remix of a song by the rave musician Eon, who died almost a week before Jackson did.
  • Toshinobu Kubota performed the song during his Timeless Fly Tour, as a tribute to Jackson.
  • SWV interpolate part of the chorus in their song "Coming Home" from their 1992 album It's About Time.
  • Japanese R&B singer and performer Yuya Matsushita did a cover of the song in 2011 as a B-side to his single "Superdrive".
  • Blues/jazz guitarist Roy Gaines did a big band instrumental cover in 2009 on the album Tuxedo Blues (by "Roy Gaines and His Orchestra").
  • Brazilian singer Fabiana Passoni recorded a very interesting version on her album Dim The Lights, issued in 2013, using the Brazilian rhythms samba and baião.
  • Luxury Elite sampled Rock with You on the track "ALL NIGHT" on their 2013 split release Late Night Delight with Saint Pepsi.
  • British R&B and pop singer Jessie J did a cover of the song in an acoustic version for BBC Radio 1Xtra uploaded on Youtube in June 2014.

Music video[edit]Edit

A music video was released for the song. It features Michael in a sparkly sequined suit singing the song with a bright laser behind him. The video was directed by Bruce Gowers.

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

Live performance[edit]Edit

Michael performed the song on the JacksonsDestiny Tour on the second leg, as well as the Triumph Tour and the Victory Tour. He performed the song on his solo tour the Bad World Tour. He also performed the song during the HIStory World Tour, but only a part of the Off the Wall medley on certain concerts. "Rock with You" was rehearsed for the Dangerous World Tour, but wasn't performed. Jackson also would have performed it for the This Is It concert series, but the shows were canceled, due to his sudden death.

Michael Jackson: The Experience[edit]Edit

The song is also featured in the game Michael Jackson: The Experience.


  • Original LP version – 3:39
    • This "classic" version was only released on initial runs of the LP record and cassette, replaced by the full version of the 7" remix on later LP pressings and all CD editions. The original version was later remastered and released on the "French Fans' Selection" deluxe box set edition of King of Pop.
  • 7" remix video edit – 3:23
    • The "remix" was used for the single and to underscore the video. The remix re-pans the guitar, adds more strings, horns, hand claps in the chorus, and an edit was made to the middle musical bridge by shortening it from two parts to just one.
  • 7" version – 3:39
    • This is the same as the 7" remix, but with the musical bridge left intact.
  • Extended version – 4:57
    • Available only on the Japanese 12" promo, "Rock with You / Robin Hood". The latter song was recorded by Fox and the Promes.
  • Masters at Work Remix – 5:29
  • Frankie's Favorite Club Mix – 7:49
  • Frankie Knuckles Radio Mix – 3:50
    • The Masters at Work Remix and Frankie Knuckles remixes both contain previously unheard vocals and ad-libs not heard on the original album version. This is because the remixers were given access to the master tapes of the song to produce their remix. The master tapes contained additional vocals and cuts that didn't make it onto the original album version.
  • Freemasons Bootleg Remix – 5:44
  • 2012 Reeno 12" Remix – 7:16
    • This is a bonafide remix from the original 48-track masters. The intro and outro sections were greatly extended, and there is also a lovely break in the middle spotlighting the background harmonies. This mix also contains some previously unused string parts.
  • Live 1981 (3:55)
    • The live version, taken from the 1981 album The Jacksons Live!, was included on the UK 12" "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" single in 1983.
  • Live 1988 (4:05)

Track listing[edit]Edit

European 7" single (EPC 8206)[6][7]
  • A. "Rock with You" – 3:38
  • B. "Get on the Floor" – 4:44
Netherlands 12" single (EPC 12.8206)[8]
  • A. "Rock with You" – 3:20
  • B1. "You Can't Win" – 7:17
  • B2. "Get on the Floor" – 4:44
U.S. 7" single (9-50797)[9]
  • A. "Rock with You" – 3:20
  • B. "Workin' Day and Night" – 4:55
Visionary DualDisc single (82876725132)[10]
CD side
  1. "Rock with You" (single mix) – 3:23
  2. "Rock with You" (Masters at Work Remix) – 5:33
DVD side
  1. "Rock with You" (video) – 3:23

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (1980) Peak


Australian Singles Chart 4
Canadian Singles Chart[11] 4
German Singles Chart[12] 58
French Singles Chart[13] 59
Irish Singles Chart 11
Italian Singles Chart[14] 9
UK Singles Chart[15] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 1
US Hot R&B Singles[16] 1
Chart (2006) Peak


Spanish Singles Chart[17] 1
Chart (2009) Peak


Australian ARIA Singles Chart[18] 36
UK Singles Chart 54
U.S. BillboardHot Digital Songs[19] 17

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1980) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 4


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