Today in History: Thriller released by Michael Jackson

For many people, this was their first introduction to Michael Jackson. For younger people like me it was assumed that it was his first album. It was actually his 6th album. Thriller was a truly special musical experience and the epic tracks combined with the relatively recent music video experience that Michael took to the "next level" made this album the best selling record of all time.

The year was 1982

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The world was in a state of anti-disco uproar and I think Michael and his team were very aware of this because this was the first album to kind of break the mold of popular music. It didn't follow pop music, Thriller kind of defined it.

Produced by the legendary Quincy Jones the album quickly became know for having a lineup where "every track is a killer." This was definitely easy to see because 7 songs were released from the record and all of them were hits.

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Music videos were a relatively new thing but to be fair most videos were pretty poorly produced. Not Michael's. There was quite a lot of money sunk into each of his videos and every time he released a new one album sales would soar again. This was particularly evident in the "Thriller" video, which was more like a movie.

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While it is likely what 50-cent spends on one of his necklaces these days, the Thriller video cost a staggering $500,000 to create and it was a wise investment, because the timing of it's released resulted in another rush of sales on the album in the millions nearly a year after the album's initial release date.

At the Grammy's the album won 8 awards including "Best Album." At that point, it was likely that almost everyone already had a copy of record as it was well on its way to selling more than 30 million copies.

Just when we though that this album and the man behind it couldn't get any more hyped up Michael went and did this: source

At the Motown 25: Now and Forever special M.J. introduced the world to The Moonwalk, it was the first time that we had seen something like this. I remember watching the screen like everyone else and being amazing by what i had just witnessed. It seemed like magic. All kids scrambled to attempt to mimic the moonwalk immediately.

I also remember thinking that Jackson was lip syncing and not singing and to be fair, it is pretty evident that is the case. Michael actually lip synced frequently in live performances but for some reason everyone gave him a pass on this.

Thriller was definitely something extremely special and it propelled Michael to a level of fame that very few people have or ever will know. It is one of just a mere 2 albums to go triple diamond (diamond is a classification for each 10-million sold) with only an Eagles Greatest Hits album up there with him.

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Unfortunately after Thriller Michael started to become whiter and whiter with each new release and also descended further and further into apparent madness. While his dedicated fan-base still admonished him to almost god-like levels, he began to appear in the news for all the wrong reasons right after the release of "Bad." Living a tumultuous life, Michael started to stay out of the public spotlight entirely by the mid 90's. It is hard to believe that the man, the legend, has been dead for over a decade now.

I feel as though it is almost impossible to not have an extreme appreciation of the accomplishment that is Thriller. It is an album that will forever be remembered as one of the greatest musical accomplishments of all time.

And it all began today.... 37 years ago.

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  • @theflatline

    Michael Jackson is a legend. He rejuvenated a whole genre of music.

  • @ramblin-bob

    As amazing as his pinnacle achievement is, it is even more mind-blowing to listen to his isolated vocals on his first #1 hit, recorded when he was about 11...or watch the Motown audition video of him doing his James Brown routine when he was 8.

  • @anil2307
  • @muqeem


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  • @stefano.massari

    Fantastic album

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  • @richkad

    He was the regeration of pop in his period

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  • @blackflame23

    I remember hearing this a lot in my house growing up. He was one of my mom's favorite artists so she was always playing his songs

  • @meryem-byl

  • @evernoticethat

    Michael Jackson became whiter because he suffered from a disease called Vitiligo. He also had Lupus which was confirmed during his autopsy. This condition causes a loss of pigmentation which can spread all over the body. Your immune system destroys your pigment cells. It was noticed on his hand, which is why he started wearing the one glove in order to hide it.

    It then started spreading quickly, which caused him to use skin cream and makeup in order to have a uniform appearance. Can you imagine Michael appearing in public looking like this?:,f_auto,w_695/v1438505559/tzpwthgth1ojspvtacid.jpg source source source

    His career would have been over. At first he covered up the small spots with dark makeup, then the spots were so extensive, that it made sense to use skin whitener to even the skin tone out.

    You can see a little bit of it here, underneath the makeup: source

    It starts to make sense now that he was often seen in public with a mask as it affects the mucus membrane and mouth, and an assistant carrying an umbrella, as they are at increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer due to the missing pigment.

  • @cryptoandcoffee

    I admit he was very talented, but I was never a fan. 37 years already and where has the time gone.

  • @albertogio

    Bueno yo creci oyendo la Pop music Michael Jackson tiempo hermosos

  • @redglasslover

    The fucking goat. We'll miss you MJ

  • @doitvoluntarily

    have you seen lol the group dance

  • @gmlrecordz

    He was so talented and his music will live on forever

  • @bozz

    I never owned Thriller, but I do remember when it came out. We didn't have cable TV at the time, so seeing any of the videos was pretty much not going to happen for us. I do kind of remember the Moonwalk. He was always just a bit odd, but he was also so brilliant when it came to pop music. I remember where I was when we found out he had passed away. It was very sad. I think it is pretty cool that he had Eddie Van Halen do the guitar rifs for Beat It.

  • @janton

    Wow how time flies. It's amazing and so was that album. It was very sad to see him get more and more bizarre as he got older. Great write up and tribute sir gooddream!