Friday, October 14, 2011

The Thrill of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller Album"

It would seem that when it comes to talking about the albums that Michael Jackson did over the years, one album would be brought up more than any other. That album was of course, "Thriller" which was released by Epic Records in the fall of 1982'. All of us know Michael Jackson had huge success prior to "Thriller" and after its triumph, but even if "Thriller" had been his only achievement, it would have been enough to make him a music legend. So many things about this album make it a part of music history, as we all know it.  Here is but a few examples:

·        "Thriller" remains to this day the highest grossing album of all time.

·        "Thriller" featured a 14-minute music video for the title song that changed the course of music videos, as we all know it. They went from being simplistic to cinematic achievements, with Jackson working with director John Landis to create a video that was very much like a short horror film, complete with a narration by horror film star Vincent Price.
·        The Thriller video broke down barriers at the video music channel, MTV where it became one of the first music videos done by a black entertainer to be heavily featured on the cable network.

·        The album Thriller would have several singles that would make it to number one on the bill board charts, including "Billie Jean" and "Beat It".

·        The album "Thriller" was ranked number 20 in Rolling Stones Magazine's 500 greatest albums of all times list.

·        Michael Jackson won a record breaking 8 Grammy awards and 8 American Music awards for "Thriller".

I could go on and on about the success of "Thriller", as I said before if this had been Michael Jackson’s only achievement as a recording artist it would have been enough for him to have achieved immortality in the music industry with just this album alone. But, of course this wasn’t his only achievement, it was no doubt a huge triumph, perhaps a little too huge at the time. There’s a saying once you have reached the top there is nowhere left to go but down. "Thriller" was an album that no one, and I do mean no one even Michael Jackson could live up to, and that is why all these years later "Thriller" still remains the highest grossing album of all time. To hear some talk, such as former Jackson publicist turned author Bob Jones, because none of Jackson's other albums after "Thriller" ever reached the same success Michael Jackson was a has been. If that’s the case so was every other recording artist out there, I’m sorry to tell Mr. Jones and others who stood by this belief, that "Thriller" was just too big for anyone even Michael Jackson to be able to compete with. Does that mean that all of Michael’s other album’s after "Thriller" were flops, or could they be considered a success in their own right? Think about it, right after "Thriller" Michael put out the album "Bad",

which turned out to be the biggest selling album of 1988'-1989', and his Bad Tour which consisted of a 123 shows was attended by a whopping 4.4 million people and had sold 125 million dollars in tickets.  It was rated the greatest concert tour ever. 
In another blog entry, I will go into other albums that Michael Jackson had in his solo career that could be considered successes in their own right, even if they had to be eclipsed by the thrill of "Thriller".