Michael Jackson in the 80s
After its release in 1982, the Thriller album eventually became the biggest-selling album of all time. Nearly every track became a single, but my personal favourites are Billie Jean and the title track Thriller.
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Michael Jackson's Number One Singles in the U.S.
Oct 1972 Ben
Oct 1979 Don't Stop Till You Get Enough
Jan 1980 Rock With You
Mar 1983 Billie Jean
Apr 1983 Beat It
Dec 1983 Say, Say, Say (with Paul McCartney)
Sep 1987 I Can't Stop Loving You
Oct 1987 Bad
Jan 1988 The Way You Make Me Feel
Mar 1988 The Main in the Mirror
Jul 1988 Dirty Diana
Dec 1991 Black or White
Sep 1995 You Are Not Alone
Number One Singles in the UK
Jun 1981 One Day in Your Life
Mar 1983 Billie Jean
Aug 1987 I Just Can't Stop Loving You
Nov 1991 Black or White
Sep 1995 You Are Not Alone
Dec 1995 Earth Song
May 1997 Blood on the Dance Floor
1972 Got To Be There (Gold)
1973 Music & Me
1975 Forever, Michael
1979 Off The Wall (8 x Multi-Platinum)
1982 Thriller (29 x Multi-Platinum)
1987 Bad (9 x Multi-Platinum)
1991 Dangerous (7 x Multi-Platinum)
1996 HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 (7 x Multi-Platinum)
2001 Invincible (2 x Multi-Platinum)
Sales certificates in brackets are for the U.S.
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Thriller was the 7th and final single (and the title track) from the best-selling album of all time. Released on November 30th 1982, the Thriller album was Michael Jackson's sixth studio album.
The title song features the voice of horror actor Vincent Price and reached #4 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 in the UK, although by the time of it's release most fans had bought the album and had heard the song anyway.
The real excitement, however, came from the video, which was could be best described as a fourteen minute horror musical epic. Featuring a choreographed dance routine with zombies (fronted by Michael himself, of course) the video received critical acclaim and won three MTV video awards.
With regards to the Thriller album, what more can I say that hasn't already been said? If you've never listened to the album then you really need to right now!
We all have memories of what we were doing when Thriller was released and many memories can be linked to music. For instance, I have a funny memory from when I was camping with a friend in 1984 and playing the cassette of the Thriller album just before 12.00am. By the way, I had borrowed the tape off another friend who had also lent us the tent!
My friend asked me what the time was and I had wound the tape to the part where Michael sings "It's close to Midnight, and there's something evil lurking in the dark"! We were pretty crazy in those days and you kind of lose that energy and imagination as you grow older, although you tend to gain other qualities such as wisdom and responsibility.
There's no doubt that the second and third singles to be lifted from Thriller, Billie Jean and Beat It, helped to propel the album to its dizzy sales totals. Both songs topped the charts across the globe. Follow-up singles Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', Human Nature and PYT (pretty Young Thing) weren't quite as commercially successful.
However, the decision to delay the release of the title track and its epic 14 minute video until January 1984 (as the final single) proved to be a very clever move, and this helped revitalise album sales during 1984.
Was Bad better than Thriller?
Fans had to wait five years for the much-anticipated follow-up album to Thriller and it felt like a lifetime. Jackson had an unenviable and almost impossible task on his hands to create an album that could measure up to the best-selling album of all time.
The reviews were slightly mixed, although they were probably always going to be. Fortunately for Jackson, the majority of critics were generally positive with their reviews. Bad followed a similar formula to Thriller (the old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" springs to mind) with its songs featuring strong hooks and a very professional sound. Indeed, the album was immaculately produced by Quincy Jones and had an even more polished sound than Thriller. Jackson had managed to repeat his ingenious songwriting formula, that's for sure.
However, one could argue that, unlike Thriller, no new boundaries were broken and that the songs were simply of their time rather than being ahead of their time. Jackson had, perhaps, played it a little safe.
Nonetheless, there are many who firmly believe that Bad was Jackon's ultimate album (his crowning glory) and its first five singles all hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking a new record in the process. The tracks cover a more diverse range of musical styles than Thriller and have, no doubt, been influential to some of the pop stars in the 21st century.
Personally, I preferred the Thriller album simply because I enjoyed the smoother sound and rhythms which were to die for. The answer to the ultimate question, though, is one that may never be answered conclusively.
Released in October 1988, Smooth Criminal was the seventh single to be released from the 1987 Bad Album. It reached No.3 in the UK and made #1 in Spain, Holland, Denmark and Belgium. Well, I just hope Annie is okay!
Michael Jackson Photos
Janet Jackson Let's Wait Awhile
Janet Jackson Nasty
Janet Jackson What Have You Done For Me Lately
Jackson Five Can You Feel It?
Jaki Graham and David Grant Could It Be I'm Falling In Love
Paul McCartney Pipes Of Peace