Thriller, the biggest selling record of all time by one of the most successful artists ever to grace this planet, Michael Jackson, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $2.99.
Thriller hit the number one spot 30 years ago today, back on February 26, 1983, and then dominated the charts at that spot for months and months afterwards, in fact, all told, it logged 37 weeks there ultimately. An immeasurable musical cultural artifact from the 1980s, a smooth R&B follow up, a peak for the artist who had already reached so many mountaintops and summits, a record which blew everybody out of the water, created an absolute revolution in styles, fashion, sounds, music videos, production, reshaping genres, crossing them, had luminaries like Paul McCartney and Eddie Van Halen make key contributions to it, one can go on and on with endless platitudes and details about what a powerhouse, heavyweight and seminal record Michael Jackson’s Thriller became and remains.
The follow up to his highly successful Off the Wall, in which he borrowed the disco/funk/pop/light rock sounds of the times and melded it into his own instantly recognizable musical identity, Thriller did the very same thing, but even more so. To have been around originally when this album was released in late 1982 and to see how it built to fever pitch in every which way, how the world responded to it, is the only way one can explain it’s impact. With the death of Jackson and the whole circus atmosphere that followed him in the last decade or so of his life like a negative, pressure cooker of an entourage, sort of gives the achievements he did musically a bit of a more of a lackluster, dulled reputation today. But Thriller was released at a time before the madness, before the allegations, before the finger pointing and surrealism, before every move he made was drawn, quartered, dissected and discussed. When the original frenzy of Thriller and the super-super-super megawatt stardom Michael Jackson attained from it was at its highest highs, it was one big party the world was in on.
And it’s a party of a record indeed. The success of the songs on Thriller alone almost makes the record seem like a greatest hits album, and rightfully so. Co-produced by Jackson with the legendary Quincy Jones, the record kicks the groove face right off the bat with “Wanna Be Starting Something.” Then there’s “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” They don’t need any explanation, they’ll still be played and regarded as A-list slices of perfectly produced power R&B pop long after we are all gone. There’s the beautiful, wonderful, sublime and expertly sung “Human Nature” and the fun, harmless duet with Paul McCartney, “The Girl is Mine.” And of course, the great, haunted title track, which puts it over the top with the Vincent Price rap at the end. There’s not much dated about the record after all these years and it still remains one of the best records of all time, sales wise and in its respective genres. But again, the only thing that can mar its reputation is the stigma that now goes with the Michael Jackson catalog, because of the stigma that goes with Michael Jackson. But of course, that really lies in the eye of the beholder if they want to cloud the vision of a man who still remains one of the giants of his craft. Regardless of all the excess fat around his memory and legacy, one has to ask themselves, what the hell does that have to do with the music?
Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each.
1. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
2. Baby Be Mine
3. The Girl Is Mine
5. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
7. Human Nature
8. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
9. The Lady In My Life
Note – when you purchase MP3s through Amazon, it stores your purchases to Amazon’s Cloud Drive; from there you can stream the music right from their online player. Also, if you have a Kindle Fire, your MP3 purchases will automatically be available for you to stream on your device. All your purchases are backed up and available for you to download at any time. You can download the files to your computer to load to an MP3 device and to your iTunes account if you have one. If you’d like to gift these MP3 purchases, you can – just click the “Give album or song as gift” button on the right on the product page. From there you enter the recipient’s email address and then select either specific songs to gift or the entire album.