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Michael Jackson - Thriller Grammy Winner! RIAA Certified Multi-Platinum! Click here to see this CD at Amazon.com!

By Rickey Wright

Where Off the Wall was pretty much straight good times, Thriller introduced dread into Michael Jackson's solo work. By 1995's HIStory, this element curdled into overwhelming self-regard and out-of-touchness, but here it's bracing. While Thriller offers its share of cute ("The Girl Is Mine," a duet with Paul McCartney that was the album's first single; "P.Y.T."), the most memorable cuts remain "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," all of which meld musical imagination and worried-mind lyrics.

There's also the title track, which takes a cue from Parliament's concept pieces in employing Vincent Price to warn that nonfunky forces will "terrorize y'all's neighborhood." Thriller, of course, continues to battle with the Eagles' first greatest-hits package for the title of biggest-selling U.S. long-player ever. Bonus material on this edition includes "Someone in the Dark," from Jackson's E.T. children's album, and a Quincy Jones interview in which the producer cites "My Sharona" as the inspiration for "Beat It"--and, even better, the real-life Billie Jean's claim that Michael was "the father of one of her twins."

Tracks
1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson12. Interview with Quincy Jones [*] - Michael Jackson
2. Baby Be Mine - Michael Jackson13. Billie Jean [Home Demo from 1981] [#][*] - Michael Jackson
3. Girl Is Mine - Michael Jackson14. Interview with Quincy Jones [*]
4. Thriller - Michael Jackson15. Interview with Rod Temperton [*]
5. Beat It - Michael Jackson16. Interview with Quincy Jones [*]
6. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson17. Voice-Over Session from Thriller [#][*]
7. Human Nature - Michael Jackson18. Interview with Rod Temperton [*]
8. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson19. Interview with Quincy Jones [*]
9. Lady in My Life - Michael Jackson20. Carousel [#][*]
10. Interview with Quincy Jones [*] - Michael Jackson21. Interview with Quincy Jones [*]
11. Someone in the Dark [*] - Michael Jackson

 

Share Your Memories!

Is Thriller one of your favorite albums? What interesting or amusing stories can you tell? Wanna write a review? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Keeping in mind that Thriller was an album released in the early '80s and no other album has surpassed its record sales, not even Backstreet Boys, it can be crowned the title as the king of all pop albums. [Editor's note: Using your criteria, The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits is the second best of all time.] Released in a period when "Black Pop" consisted of artists like Rockwell and the Gibson Brothers[Editor's note: No, Rockwell - Michael's friend - was a one-hit wonder only after Thriller was released. Also Prince was releasing critically acclaimed albums and would soon eclipse him musically and commercially.], Thriller was a welcome change. This album grabbed Michael Jackson eight Grammy Awards, including those for Best Vocalist and Best Video. This album and its predecessor, Off The Wall, remained on US charts for a whopping fifteen months, as to the fact that every one of the nine tracks in this album had videos and became hits that everyone [Editor's note: Lady in My Life and Baby Be Mine never charted.], everywhere welcomed with open hands. With superb hits like "Beat it" (which's video showed a street warfare between real Californian gangs [Editor's note: Nope, those are just dancers.] and an interlude by guitarist Eddie Van Halen [Editor's note: Sorry, but he's not actually in the video.]), "Billie Jean" (the best ever track made), "Thriller" (which featured a video 14 mins long, showing a horror background with Michael Jackson surronded by zombies, and which consumed 800,000 dollars in its making) and "The Girl Is Mine" a duet with Paul McCartney, it was no wonder the album sold 43 million copies worldwide and made Michael Jackson a millionaire [Editor's note: MJ was already a millionaire.]. Michael began by performing in his family troupe, the"Jackson Five" and later began a solo career, which catapulted him into fame and glory. Even Michael Jackson's later albums couldn't compete with the pomp of Thriller. Thriller can also be accredited with the fact that MTV began showing more black artists' songs with the arrival of this superflous album. [Editor's note: Not exactly, it began playing both Michael and Prince (1999 and Little Red Corvette) in early 1983 to respond to criticism from Rick James, who they did not play. They happened to be the strongest crossover artists at the time.]"

--Denny Jacob

"After reading the Thriller review on this site, I was kind of conflicted. You see, I agree that Thriller changed many things in a way nobody could have anticipated. I can only attribute this success to the "discovery of Michael Jackson" as all that was formerly known of him was his time with the Jackson 5 and the not-quite-as-astounding Off The Wall. However, I do not agree that the albums following it were some attempt to top the record Thriller had set. To be quite simple, the music changed as all art does. if all of the following albums were produced by Quincy Jones and were based on the same sounds, the same reviewer is likely to have commented that they were all just repetitions of Thriller in an attempt to "recreate the magic". The fact is, Michael Jackson continues to make music that has never been heard before. Perhaps it is not evident through the consumer friendly singles chosen, but if you really, and I mean really listen to his new work you'll discover that the music he continues to make has never been done before. As for sales, something tells me Michael Jackson is capable of accepting that fact that Thriller may simply be unbeatable. I mean, even he can see that (having not just thriller in the top spot, but Bad and Dangerous in the 2nd and 3rd spots) selling less than Thriller does not mean failure."

--Cilia

"I TOTALLY agree that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was the best album of the 80's. He is my all time favorite music artist and is really the King of Pop. Although he ruled the Awesome80's, I think that he was a little under-valued in the US in the 90's. Everything he did afterwards was compared with Thriller and frankly, no one, not even MJ himself has been able to match that album's success."

--Anonymous

"My name is Keith. I love this album and believe it's the greatest in history. I grew up with this juggarnaut on the radio everyday and it was an incredible time. I remember that it seemed everyone was a Michael Jackson fan. I had the Beat it and Thriller jackets. I went to the Victory Tour in 1984. Every television show seemed to make reference to Michael in some way.

I remember how excited every kid seemed to get when they would show the Pepsi commercials to the Billie Jean beat. I wish Michael had stayed as he was then."

--Anonymous

"Forget the Eagles, Elvis and Madonna!!! Michael Jackson is and always will be the undisputed, most Invincible, Dangerous, BADdest THRILLER of a King of pop, rock, and soul there ever was and there ever will be in HIStory!!!! Anybody wanna argue with that (Meet me outside in 5 min.)!!!"

--A'Soulja

"I will always remember back when Michael performed Billie Jean at the Grammy's. I had goose bumps all over. I had shivers up and down my spine. To this day, it was the best perfomance ever, by anyone!!!!!!!!"

--Monica

"I truly believe that Michael Jackson's thriller is a very,very,very great album and always will be. Michael Jackson is extremely talented. He can dance like no other, Sing with character, He is just incredibly talented. I think every cd by Michael Jackson is overwhelmingly great. He has very much earned being the King of Pop. He has touched others hearts in many ways no one else could. He seems to be so sweet and down to earth. He is just a very great person."

--Anonymous

"Yes, Michael was awesome as a musician back then and today as well. Awesome!!

However, since he became such a pervert I can't stand to listen anymore. In the background of his music his actions speak so loud:
CHILD MOLESTING,
FREAKY PLASTIC SURGERY (WHITE GIRL - LOOK),
WHINIG ABOUT BEING BLACK, ETC.
Man he should talke lessons from Will Smith. Will hates it when people whine about blackness being a bad thing, what a crock! Especially when Michael has become so filthy rich and doesn't even seem to be the least bit grateful for anything he has.

What a JERK."

--No longer a listener

"This song came out when I was 8 years old. I was living in the deep south at this time and despite the very real racial tensions that still existed/exist there, Jackson's Thriller album broke down all walls. I remember every kid who could get their parents to shell out the big bucks getting Jackson jackets like the one worn in the Thriller video and being the envy of every other kid. Every time Thriller came on the radio everyone got completely silent and listened. There was a real excitement about it that I'd never seen before or since."

--scat

"John Milward should check his facts it was not Michael Jackson who asked Vincent Price to appear on Thriller. It was Quincy Jones. His ex-wife, Peggy Lipton was a friend of Mr. Price and asked him to do the part. He was able to do it in only two takes, almost unheard of, especially since it was the first time Mr. Price has ever done anything of this nature.[Editor's note: You should check your facts. Vincent Price recorded with Alice Cooper in the mid-Super70s and thus he had done this type of work before.]"

--dcjrichardson

"Arguably the greatest album ever recorded. The greatest entertainer of all time! No one had a bigger impact on a global scale and so many different people of different ages, races, and backgrounds than Michael Jackson. We won't ever see anything even come close to this record! You can't talk about music in the Awesome80s without mentioning Michael Jackson and the Thriller record!"

--Anonymous

"Thriller was where Michael peak artistically. Those were the days when Michael was full of sass, funk and spontaniety... and on top of that he was black and beautiful."

--Anonymous

"It's true that Thriller did break new ground in the music industry. It also launched Michael Jackson to success beyond anything he could handle. When I was a kid, Thriller was huge. However, it is still number two in the best selling albums of all time in America. According to the RIAA, its multi-platinum status is 26, behind Eagles: Their Greatest Hits, which stands at 27. I like this fact. :) [Editor's note: It is true that Thriller is the best selling album in world history and it may hold that record for a long time. It is also true, as you point out, that The Eagles disc has surpassed it in the U.S. and it doesn't seem likely that Thriller will ever be in first place again given Michael's inability to keep his hands off children.]"

--Anonymous

"John Milwards comments in his review of Thriller were great and correct until the ending. To call the greatest entertainer that ever lived "Kooky" because he doesn't agree with his lifestyle was at best juvenile, and a silly attempt to follow the latest trend of newsreporting. Just state the facts, John. [Editor's note: Something about a Michael Jackson fan calling a critic "juvenile" brings out the contrarian in me. Adult men who sleep with other people's children and change their skin color - and I hadly need to stop there - are certainly kooky. Those are the facts.]"

--J5 4ever61

"I'm sure we can all agree that Thriller was a phenomenon and the best selling album ever. Calling him the King of Pop goes too far. This guys sings reasonably well but is certainly not the best singer and he has written the lyrics to many songs, but none that are all that touching. And besides his singing, he's not a musician at all. The only way you'd ever get Michael near a keyboard is if a small boy was bent over one. There are any number of musicians/songwriters that could do everything Michael does aside from dancing better than MJ does and they have the additional advantage of not being child molesters (actually, Prince was 10 times the live performer MJ ever was and could play over 30 instruments and he wrote #1 worldwide hits for others, such as Sineid O'Conner). What few MJ fans that remain are living in their own world - just like their fallen hero."

--peace

"Michael Jackson's Thriller was AWESOME! Michael really changed the music endustry! He's such an ICON! I remember I was 4 years old seeing Thriller and I was like "Mommy, look Michael Jackson became a moster!" and my mom just laughed! Michael is such nice guy! Oh God! He sufered a lot! But he's here with us in 2001! With a new album! If I could just meet Michael! People one thing please! stop the rumors about Michael! Please! If you could see the movie of his! His life was sad! I cried during the whole film! Michael if you read this! I want you to know that I really understand you! I'm your number 1 fan! you are awesome and I LOOOOOOVE how you dance! Peace out! [Editor's note: Having a difficult life is no excuse for sleeping with other people's children - and you are living in Neverland if you think there's nothing wrong with a 45 year old unmarried man who admits that he loves sleeping with other people's children.]"

--Anonymous

"Thriller is my favorite albums of all times because Michael put his heart into this cd. You can actually say that he’s singing from his heart out. From Baby Be Mine to P. Y. T, you can notice that Michael had what it took to not only make music but to make everyone fall in love with him. Male or Female. This was the only album to win 8 Grammy Awards. No other artist is on Michael’s Level when it comes to music. Most people sing about fantasies. . Michael, however song about his life. He made his listeners feel what he was going through. Then when he came out with the video for “Thriller” he made history. He defined what video’s really were. From the great sound affects to the costumes, Michael showed everyone how talented and creative he really was. It’s just ashamed that everyone his looking for him to make an album better then Thriller and holding him up to it. Michael will always be a Thriller and Invincible. He gives me Butterflies whenever I hear his voice and he makes me Speechless. All his albums are Off the Wall and will go down in History!"

--jennifer

"please remove your weird remarks about Michael Jackson, stating that the child abuse is a fact. He still has not been found guilty! But oki your probably are from the Us so no blame on you. His skin is not as white as it is because MJ wants too...have youe ever read anything about the man excluding Tabloids?
[Editor's note: What is weird is why anyone would still support that nut case after all his has done. Note that your definition of "Tabloids" must include CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, and even The Christian Science Monitor, as they have all chronicled his descent. Note also that I did not ever say that he abused children, just that he slept with them - something HE HIMSELF has freely admitted! No, the remarks will stay despite your attempt to censor them. The truth is out there and you Wacko Jacko fans are just going to have to deal with it. There may be millions of you still in denial, but the other six billion of us see him for what he is: a great entertainer and a pathetic human being. If you're looking a website that will defend the indefensible, keep looking.]"

--Daniel from The Netherlands druppelstop@mac.com

"It's a bit scary I remeber watching it with my mum but every one knows Thriller, it's more a mini movie than a music video directed by John 'An American Werewolf in London' Landis, this has MJ turning into a Werewolf and then later on a zombie. The zombie bit is well done and has some of the best group dancing, where else could you see a group of Dancing Zombies? [Editor's note: How about Reagan's Inaugural Ball? Sit down Coulter! It was only a joke.]"

--Anonymous

"I absolutely love Michael Jacksons "Thriller". It has really good words and music to it and the film for it was amazing.

When I was younger I used to be really scared of the film Thriller. But you know when you get that feeling of "i really want to see this because its bloody brilliant" but you also feel "i can't watch this, its really scary". So instead you comprimised and sat and watched it with your fingers over your eyes. Well thats how it was for me. So eventually it resulted with me having nightmares about it and saying to my family "its the hands, where are your hands?". Evenyually they found out that it was the scene on Thriller when the hands come out of the ground.

So now I can't really watch the film on my own coz I get a bit scared but it is a brilliant video and its soundtrack is one of the best. What can I say? The guys a genius!"

--debz-scotland

"Thriller is the beginning of the end for Michael Jackson as an artist with great tracks that are solid because he hasn't released a great album since that's worth listening to in my opinion along with three great music videos which are visual masterpieces. Thriller is creatively, musically & artistically a masterpiece which would have been a huge hit anyway with or without MTV at the time since it showcases Michael Jackson at the height of his powers as an artist. I have never understood Michael Jackson as an artist after Thriller as well as a person because he has sunk so low with all his plastic surgery to his face which makes him unrecognizable while his other albums are just crap of the lowest common denominator which is why Thriller is his last hurrah."

--Wayne L.

Looking for a rare import-only single, a gold record, world tour book, hard to find magazine, an autographed guitar, or simply this CD? You'll find them at eBay!


 

MUSICAL NOTES

Artist: Michael Jackson

Released: December 4

Availability: CD, Vinyl

Awards:  Grammy(s) Platinum (26)


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