After 8 long months of blood, sweat, and tears, it was finally ready for launch. On November 30th, 1982, "Thriller" would hit the shelves. It was said that he repeatedly asked Epic to delay the release because he firmly believed you could not rush a piece of art! Believe it or not, the demos were disastrous according to Quincy. Wherever the album was headed was no good unless a revision took place. Despite Epics demand on a set-timeline, Michael Jackson threw his foot down and kept right on tweaking this gem unto perfection. Until he felt it was ready for the masses. No longer are we talking about a bubble gum star. But a super icon in the making!
My dad told me the whole story. One night, they announced Michael Jackson was to fill in for somebody. After hearing "Off the Wall", he thought "ai, what the heck".
The next moment, he took everyone's breath away! Dad along with millions of others world-wide literally dropped out of their seats to take a closer look!
Nothing like this had ever happened since The Beatles had made their American debut in 1964. The next day, every news station across the world was talking about it! Never had they seen such smooth rhythm on stage.
That night Michael walked home winning 8 Grammy's in one night! A feat not likely gonna happen again in the near future. Only Carlos Santana managed to tie in the year 2000(only for the most in one year). You can read more about the 1984 Grammy's here.
The Moonwalk has been done before. Michael only perfected and spotlighted the dance-step for the world to see.
Whenever that white sparkling glove showed up, the house was packed. Tickets were sold-out in a snap! Just reserving a seat was like going to a congested airport. Even for an awards ceremony!
All 7 of his singles reached the top 10 for the billboards charts. Contributing to his Gross record earnings of $100,000,000 in less then one year. Seriously, what would you do with all that money?!
In 1984, he created what would become the greatest music video of all time. "The making of Thriller". Then if that weren't enough, the next year saw him releasing the best-selling single of all time(Which Elton John recently surpassed with "A Candle In The Wind")-"We Are the World"! Making him a humanitarian and eventually one of the most charitable celebrities ever!
He started having blotches of lighter skin right around 1982. That same year, a doctor diagnosed him with Vitiligo and Lupus(two skin conditions which whiten the skin). He took precautions to even out his skintone. The cinnamon Thriller look is what his first attempt looked like. Some accused Mr. Jackson of trying to be white and thrusting his back against being black. However, most hardly even noticed the subtle changes. To learn more, check out my earlier post on Vitiligo.
While rehearsing for Beat It, he fell and broke his nose. Landing him in the hospital. Where they gave him his first Rhinoplastic surgery(nose job). What seemed to be the end was only the beginning for young Michael Jackson.
He had now obtained super stardom. Along with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Beatles! He drove and intermingled MTV unto the spotlight. He was the first African American to be featured on The Rolling Stone. Forever changing how the world viewed black entertainment.
He set the stage of modern dance for both celebrity and nomad alike...And guess what. Never did he launch a Thriller Tour! Unless you count "Victory" in.
Thriller Album Review
Words fail me to describe how far Mr. Jackson had gone in surpassing his last solo achievement! With Thriller, walls were broken-down, horror merged with Funk, and Rock married Soul! Ever since The Beatles broke-up in 1970, we thought there were no more surprises-Well, we were wrong!
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" starts off on a flamboyant beat and introduces a mystery(later revealed as "Billie Jean"). Then ends on a Debangoid chant. Then Michael's wonderfully crisp voice greets us with "Baby Be Me". Followed by a duet with former Beatle Paul McCartney. "The Girl Is Mine" is a slow-tempo Ballad over a girl of their dreams.
Now for the big three! The eponymous title track left us all rollin' with the zombies every Halloween. Mingling horror-flicks with boogie. "Beat It" attempts to fuse Hard Rock and R&B. In very much the same way Michael reconciled a bunch of thugs on a round of dance. "Billie Jean" climaxes his paranoia on a groupie desperate to marry The King of Pop!
"Human Nature" recharges our minds with a slower New Wave soundscaping Ballad. The next track will quickly move you back on your feet! "PYT(Pretty Young Thing)" has an iconicly irresistible aura you can never ignore(Latoya, Rebbie, and Janet all sing back-ups)! The album finishes off on another slow groove-"Lady Of My Life". With plenty of Soul and Smooth R&B to go around.
"Carousel" might fit in but they made the right call in cutting out "Someone In The Dark". There are many other great outtakes. But since these 9 cuts did their job, there's no sense in adding more album tracks.
To end our brief review, Thriller will always be an unforgettable classic and remain the best selling album of all time!
#1 Wanna Be Startin' Somethin
#2 Baby Be Mine
#3 The Girl Is Mine
#5 Beat It
#6 Billie Jean
#7 Human Nature
#9 Lady In My Life
"Someone In The Dark
Other Thriller Outtakes
"The Jackson's" "Victory"
Michael Jackson Interview
We Are The World
P.S. Check out Thriller 25 and my other post concerning Quincy Jones.