Over three decades ago, the King of Pop Michael Jackson released the best-selling album of all time – Thriller.
The album that includes hits such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” as well as carrier single changed the way we view music videos and influenced a generation of artists. And to celebrate the Halloween, here are the top five facts behind the blockbuster R&B classic.
1. ‘Thriller’ was Jackson’s response to disappointment of ‘Off the Wall.’
The epic album was a follow-up to MJs 1979 album “Off the Wall” which sells “only” 20 million copies according to him. He was so upset for not winning the best album, he wrote in the mirror of his room that his next album will sell 50 million copies. True enough, the “Thriller” album won eight Grammys in 1984 and sells 110 million copies worldwide.
2. The album continued MJs collaboration with Quincy Jones.
MJs record label hesitated when he suggested working with Jones on “Off the Wall.” They said that Quincy was more of a jazz singer but MJ really pushed it and out of that came his 1979 album. It served as an appetizer to his epic album and to his next album “Bad,” which sold 45 million copies.
3. How they got the songs.
MJ wrote four of the songs, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, and “Beat It”. He wrote the latter as a peace offering to the Los Angeles gangs, which was also featured in his music video.
Heatwave’s Rod Temperton added “Rock With You” and the carrier single “Thriller,” which was originally entitled “Starlight.”
4. The song “Thriller” changed music videos.
The 14-minute music video was dubbed as a mini movie with a horror theme. It was also the first MV made by a major film director, John Landis, who directed “The Blues Brothers” and “An American Werewolf in London.”
5. It broke racial and other barriers.
MJ broke down long-standing racial barriers in the music industry. He spans traditional divides between pop, rock, and dance music, and establish himself as a black star who appealed to all races. At the height of its popularity, MTV ran the 14-minute “Thriller” video twice an hour to meet demand.
Are you “thrilled” by these facts? Let’s pay homage to King of Pop’s greatest masterpiece by making “Thriller” our Halloween party’s theme song.
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