Thirty-five years ago, on the 30th November 1982, Michael Jackson released his sixth studio album “Thriller”.
In the space of nine songs, Thriller takes a journey through a wide array of genres, including pop, post-disco, rock, and funk. The album is truly unique in that every song is a masterpiece. Carefully crafted in unison with producer Quincy Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton, Thriller is an album of pop perfection. Songs such as ‘Thriller’, ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat It’ and ‘PYT’ (Pretty Young Thing) are all considered iconic hits and yet remarkably they all come from the same album.
In the space of a year Thriller became, and currently remains, the world’s best-selling album, with estimated sales of over 66 million copies. Seven singles were released from the album and staggeringly all reached the top 10 of the Billboard charts. The album also won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year.
The album was unique for a number of reasons. Firstly, it enabled Jackson to break down racial barriers in pop music, through his appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was also one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools and the videos for ‘Thriller’, ‘Beat It’ and ‘Billie Jean’ remain iconic for their use of storytelling.
Thriller set the standard for the music industry and cemented Michael Jackson as the ‘King of Pop’. This undeniably fun and funky album is just as stunning thirty-five years on and if you have 42 free minutes, is well worth a repeat listen.
Remind yourself of the greatest music video of all time, in its full 14-minute glory, below: