Michael Jackson's album Thriller is celebrating its 25th year anniversary. The 1982 album was a follow up to 1979's Off The Wall, which was a big hit. Thriller would become an even bigger hit -- much, much bigger -- going on to become the biggest selling album of all time, with worldwide sales of over a hundred million to date!
Thriller was such a large scale hit that it stayed on the Billboard Top 10 Album chart for a solid year and produced a total of seven Billboard Top Ten singles -- and the album only had nine tracks!
When Thriller was relased in late 1982 it was a different world in many ways -- besides the fact that people still loved Michael Jackson. For one thing, it was a time when a pop star of that scale could exist. Nowadays the fame pie is divided many more times and there are now no artists such a broad cross-section of the population could all agree on liking.
But Thriller era Micheal Jackson appealed to all demographics. Quincy Jones' perfectly produced sound -- whose key instrument was Michael's voice -- somehow captured the best of everything in music at that time, and beyond too. Thriller had everything -- rock, dance, rhythm, soul, groove and strong melody. It advanced disco into a new space, and tapped into (and topped) the imported new wave sound that was gaining popularity then.
Thriller is available at Amoeba Music, both new and used, vinyl and CD. And note there are different versions/editions of it. In addition to the original 1982 version (see tracking below), there is also the 2001 Thriller Special Edition Release CD which has 21 tracks, including several Quincy Jones interview clips. But there is also the brand new 25th Anniversary edition of Thriller which comes as a CD/DVD bundle.
The DVD has three music videos ("Thriller," "Beat It," "Billie Jean") and "Billie Jean" live on TV from '83. The 14 minute video for "Thriller" directed by John Landis is considered by many to be the best music video of all time and redefined the production values of music videos from then on. Meanwhile the new CD version of Thriller offers sixteen tracks including the new "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" featuring Akon and will.i.am. Kayne West also contributes to the new reissue.
THRILLER (Original 1982 Version)
1 "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (Jackson) 6:02
2 "Baby Be Mine" (Temperton) 4:20
3 "The Girl Is Mine (featuring Paul McCartney)" (Jackson) 3:42
4 "Thriller (featuring Vincent Price)" (Temperton) 5:57
5 "Beat It (featuring Eddie Van Halen)" (Jackson) 4:17
6 "Billie Jean" (Jackson) 4:57
7 "Human Nature" (Bettis/Porcaro) 4:05
8 "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (Ingram/Jones) 3:58
9 "The Lady in My Life" (Temperton) 4:57