U.S. 12’’ vinyl
|Single by Michael Jackson|
|from the album Thriller|
|B-side||"Things I Do for You"|
|Released||January 23, 1984 (U.S. release) |
November 2, 1983 (U.K. release)
|Studio||Westlake Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California)|
|Michael Jackson singles chronology|
|"Thriller" on YouTube|
"Thriller" is a single by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released as a single by Epic Records on January 23, 1984 as the seventh and final single from Jackson's sixth studio album, Thriller ."Thriller" is a mix of post-disco and funk. The song was produced by Quincy Jones and was written by Rod Temperton who wanted to write a theatrical song to suit Jackson's love of film. The music and lyrics evoke horror films, with sound effects such as thunder, footsteps and wind. It ends with a spoken-word sequence performed by horror actor Vincent Price.
"Thriller" received positive reviews and became the album's seventh top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number four. It reached the top of the charts in Belgium, France and Spain as well as the top 10 in many other countries. "Thriller" is certified 7x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It is one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 9 million copies worldwide.In the week of Jackson's death in 2009, it was Jackson's bestselling track in the US, with sales of 167,000 copies on the Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart. It charted on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart at number two, and remained in the charts' top ten for three consecutive weeks.
"Thriller" won a Grammy Award.It is often cited as a pop culture phenomenon and a Halloween anthem. It appears on several of Jackson's greatest hits albums and has been covered by numerous artists. The "Thriller" music video was directed by John Landis and premiered on MTV on December 2, 1983. In the video, Jackson becomes a zombie and performs a dance routine with a horde of the undead. Many elements of the video have had a lasting impact on popular culture, such as the zombie dance and Jackson's red jacket, and it was the first music video inducted into the National Film Registry. It has been named the greatest video of all time by various publications and readers' polls.
"Thriller" was written by English songwriter Rod Temperton, who had previously written for Jackson's 1979 album Off The Wall.Temperton said he wanted to write something "really theatrical" to suit Jackson's love of film. He improvised with bass and drum patterns until he developed the bassline that runs through the song, then wrote a chord progression that built to a climax. He recalled: "I wanted it to build and build – a bit like stretching an elastic band throughout the tune to heighten suspense."
Temperton's first version was titled "Starlight", with the chorus lyric: "Give me some starlight / Starlight sun".The production team, led by Quincy Jones, felt the song should be the title track, but that "Starlight" was not a strong album title. Instead, they wanted something "mysterious to match Michael’s evolving persona". Temperton considered several possible titles, including "Midnight Man", which Jones felt was "going in the right direction". Finally, he conceived "Thriller", but worried that it was "a crap word to sing ... It sounded terrible! However, we got Michael to spit it into the microphone a few times and it worked."
With the title settled, Temperton wrote lyrics within "a couple of hours".He envisioned a spoken-word sequence for the end of the song, but did not know what form it should take. It was decided to have a famous voice from the horror genre perform it, and Jones' then-wife, Peggy Lipton, suggested her friend Vincent Price. Temperton composed the words for Price's part in a taxi on the way to the studio on the day of recording.
"Thriller" is a disco/funk song. [ citation needed ]Set in the key of C# minor, the song has a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. The lyrics and sound effects on "Thriller" pertain to frightful elements and themes. At the beginning of the song, sound effects such as a creaking door, thunder, feet walking on wooden planks, winds and howling dogs are heard. The instrumentation consists of a Minimoog synthesizer, a Linn LM-1 drum machine, a Rhodes piano, a Roland Jupiter-8 synthesizer, an electric guitar, a pipe organ, and a horn section consisting of trumpet, trombone, flugelhorn, saxophone, and flute.
"Thriller", along with the rest of the album, was recorded over eight weeks in 1982.It was recorded at Westlake Recording Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.
Engineer Bruce Swedien had Jackson record his vocals in different approaches, doubling takes and recording at different distances from the microphone. Some background vocals were recorded in the Westlake shower stall.The bassline was recorded with two modified Minimoog synthesizers playing in unison.
To record the wolf howls, Swedien set up tape recorders up around his Great Dane in a barn overnight, but the dog never howled. Instead, Jackson recorded the howls himself.For the creaking doors, Swedien rented doors from the Universal Studios film lot, specially designed for sound effects, and recorded the hinges closely. Price recorded his part in two takes; Jones, acknowledging that doing a voice-over for a song is "difficult", praised Price and described his takes as "fabulous".
Ashley Lasimone, of AOL's Spinner.com, noted that it "became a signature for Jackson" and described "the groove of its bassline, paired with Michael's killer vocals and sleek moves" as having "produced a frighteningly great single."Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted that "'Billie Jean', 'Beat It', 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ' and "the movie in the song 'Thriller'", were the songs, unlike the "fluff" "P.Y.T.", that were "the hits that made Thriller a world-beater; along with Mr. Jackson's stage and video presence, listeners must have identified with his willingness to admit terror." Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times described "Thriller" as "adequately groovy" with a "funked-out beat" and lyrics "seemingly lifted from some little kid's 'scary storybook'".
"Thriller" was the seventh and final Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single from the Thriller album. In Billboard issue date February 11, 1984, the single entered the charts at number 20 on the Hot 100.It reached number seven the following week, number five the next, and peaked the next week at number four, where it stayed for two weeks. The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 4, 1989, for sales of over one million physical units in the U.S. (the requirement for gold and platinum singles was lowered after 1989). It has sold a further 6 million copies in digital downloads as of August 2018 in the U.S. As of August 2018, the song has sold 7.024 million copies in the US.
For the issue date February 25, 1984, "Thriller" charted at number 19 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart.The following week, the song placed at number five. On March 10, 1984, it charted at number 3, where it peaked. "Thriller" debuted on the UK Singles Chart on November 19, 1983, at number 24, and the following week charted at number ten, where it peaked; the song appeared on the chart for 52 weeks. Beginning on February 5, 1984, "Thriller" peaked on the French Singles Chart at number one and topped the chart for four consecutive weeks. "Thriller" also topped the Belgian VRT Top 30 Chart for two weeks in January 1984.
Following Jackson's death in 2009, his music surged in popularity.In the week of his death, "Thriller" was Jackson's best-selling track in the US, with sales of 167,000 copies on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart. On July 11, 2009, "Thriller" charted on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart at number two (its peak), and the song remained in the charts' top ten for three consecutive weeks. In the United Kingdom, the song charted at number 23 the week of Jackson's death. The following week, the song reached its peak at number 12 on the UK Single Chart. On July 12, 2009, "Thriller" peaked at number two on the Italian Singles Chart and was later certified gold by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. "Thriller" reached at number three on the Australian ARIA Chart and Swiss Singles Chart and topped the Spanish Singles Charts for one week. The song also placed within the top ten on the German Singles Chart, Norwegian Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart, at number nine, number seven and number eight respectively. "Thriller" also landed at number 25 on the Danish Singles Chart. In the third week of July "Thriller" peaked at number 11 in Finland. It finished at #78 for the year on Billboard Hot 100 of 1984. "Thriller" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2013 at number 42 and in November 2018 at number 31.
The music video for "Thriller" references numerous horror films,and stars Jackson performing a dance routine with a horde of the undead. It was directed by horror director John Landis and written by Landis and Jackson. Jackson contacted Landis after seeing his film An American Werewolf in London. The pair conceived a 13-minute short film with a budget much larger than previous music videos. Jackson's record company refused to finance it, believing Thriller had peaked, so a making-of documentary, Making Michael Jackson's Thriller, was produced to receive financing from television networks. Michael Jackson's Thriller premiered on MTV on December 2, 1983. It was launched to great anticipation and played regularly on MTV. It doubled sales of Thriller, and sold over a million copies on VHS, becoming the bestselling videotape at the time. It is credited for transforming music videos into a serious art form, breaking down racial barriers in popular entertainment, and popularizing the making-of documentary format.
Many elements have had a lasting impact on popular culture, such as the zombie dance and Jackson's red jacket, designed by Landis' wife Deborah Nadoolman.Fans worldwide re-enact its zombie dance and it remains popular on YouTube. The Library of Congress described it as "the most famous music video of all time". In 2009, it became the first music video inducted into the National Film Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.
|Australia (ARIA)||3× Platinum||210,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||45,000|
|Spain (PROMUSICAE)||2× Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000|
|United States (RIAA)||6× Platinum (digital)||6,000,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold (MT)||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum (physical)||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
In October 2010, it was found that GK Films plans to produce a horror film inspired by the song, directed by Kenny Ortega and produced with Ivan Reitman.As of February 2016, there has been no further news.
"Billie Jean" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson, released by Epic Records on January 2, 1983, as the second single from Jackson's sixth studio album, Thriller (1982). It was written and composed by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. "Billie Jean" blends post-disco, rhythm and blues, funk and dance-pop. The lyrics describe a woman, Billie Jean, who claims that the narrator is the father of her newborn son, which he denies. Jackson said the lyrics were based on groupies' claims about his older brothers when he toured with them as the Jackson 5.
Thriller is the sixth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records. Reunited with Off the Wall producer Quincy Jones, Jackson was inspired to create an album where "every song was a killer". With the ongoing backlash against disco, Jackson moved in a new musical direction, incorporating pop, post-disco, rock and funk. Thriller foreshadows the contradictory themes of Jackson's personal life, as he began using a motif of paranoia and darker themes. The album features a single guest appearance, with Paul McCartney becoming the first artist to be featured on Jackson's albums. Recording took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000.
"Smooth Criminal" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson from his seventh studio album Bad (1987). It was written and composed by Jackson, and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. It was released as the album's seventh single on November 14, 1988. It features a fast beat with lyrics about a woman who has been attacked in her apartment by a "smooth criminal". The refrain "Annie, are you OK?" was inspired by Resusci Anne, a dummy used in CPR training.
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson recorded for his sixth studio album Thriller (1982). It is the opening track of the album and was released as its fourth single on May 8, 1983 by Epic Records. It was written by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. The lyrics pertain to strangers spreading rumors to start an argument for no good reason. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" evokes the disco sound of Jackson's previous studio album, Off the Wall, released in 1979. The song is characterized by a complex rhythm arrangement and a distinctive horn arrangement.
"Bad" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records on September 7, 1987, as the second single from Jackson's third major-label and seventh studio album of the same name. The song was written and composed by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones and Jackson. Jackson stated that the song was influenced by a real-life story he had read about, of a young man who tried to escape poverty by attending private school but ended up being killed when he returned home.
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is a single written and recorded by American singer Michael Jackson. Released under Epic Records on July 10, 1979, the song is the first track on Jackson's fifth studio album Off the Wall (1979). It was the first solo recording over which Jackson had creative control.
"You Are Not Alone" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson from his ninth studio album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995). It was released on August 15, 1995 as the second single from the album. The song was re-released in 2006, as part of Jackson's Visionary: The Video Singles collection box set, where it re-entered at number 30 in the UK Singles Chart in 2006. The pop and R&B ballad was written by American R&B singer R. Kelly for Michael Jackson in response to difficult times in his own personal life. Kelly sent a bare demo tape to Jackson, who liked the song and decided to produce it with him in Chicago. Jackson's interest in the song was also linked to recent events in his personal life.
"Black or White" is a single by American singer Michael Jackson. The song was released by Epic Records on November 11, 1991, as the first single from his eighth studio album, Dangerous. He co-wrote, composed, and produced it with Bill Bottrell. The song is a fusion of pop rock, dance and hip hop. Epic Records described the song as "a rock 'n' roll dance song about racial harmony".
"Rock with You" is a song recorded by American singer Michael Jackson. It was written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones. It was first offered to Karen Carpenter, while she was working on her first solo album, but she turned it down. It was released on November 3, 1979, by Epic Records as the second single from Jackson's fifth solo studio album Off the Wall (1979). It was also the third number-one hit of the 1980s, a decade whose pop singles chart would soon be dominated by Jackson.
"Off the Wall" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson, from his fifth album of the same name (1979). It was written by English songwriter Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, and released as the album's third single on February 2, 1980, by Epic Records. The song was first offered to Karen Carpenter, while she was working on her first solo album, but she turned it down. Lyrically, the song is about getting over troubles. It was well received by music critics, and became Jackson's third top 10 single from Off the Wall, which eventually spawned four top 10 singles; Jackson was the first person to accomplish this. It was performed by Jackson in five of his concert tours.
"The Way You Make Me Feel" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records on November 9, 1987 as the third single from his seventh studio album Bad. It was written and composed by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones and Jackson.
"Dirty Diana" is a song by American artist Michael Jackson. It is the ninth track on Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad. The song was released by Epic Records on April 18, 1988 as the fifth single from the album. It presents a harder rock sound similar to "Beat It" from Thriller (1982) and a guitar solo played by Steve Stevens. "Dirty Diana" was written and co-produced by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones. The song's lyrics pertain to groupies. "Dirty Diana" has a moderate tempo and is played in the key of G minor.
"Footloose" is a song co-written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins. It was released in January 1984 as the first of two singles by Loggins from the 1984 film of the same name. The song spent three weeks at number one, March 31—April 14, 1984 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was the first of two number-one hits from the film. Billboard ranked it at the No. 4 song for 1984.
"Baby, Come to Me", a love ballad from Patti Austin's 1981 album Every Home Should Have One, was her duet with James Ingram. It was written by Rod Temperton. The song was released as a single in April 1982, peaking at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100. Several months later, American soap opera General Hospital began to feature the song heavily as the love theme for character Luke Spencer. It was re-released in October and reached No. 1 on the chart in February 1983.
"Hey Lover" is the Grammy Award winning first single released from LL Cool J's sixth album, Mr. Smith, featuring Boyz II Men. It was released on October 31, 1995 for Def Jam Recordings and was produced by The Trackmasters and LL Cool J. Johnny Kenaya was involved in the project. The title of the song was originally "Hey Brother". The song samples Michael Jackson's "The Lady in My Life" from his 1982 hit album Thriller; thus Rod Temperton, the writer of that song, was given credit as a writer of this song. On the B-side is the "I Shot Ya" remix.
"Beat It" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson from his sixth studio album, Thriller (1982). It was produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. Quincy Jones encouraged Jackson to include a rock song on the album, though Jackson had never previously shown an interest in the genre. Jackson later said of "Beat It", "I wanted to write a song, the type of song that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song... That is how I approached it and I wanted the children to really enjoy it—the school children as well as the college students."
"Use Somebody" is a song recorded by the American rock group Kings of Leon. It was the second single from the band's fourth studio album Only by the Night (2008), released on December 8, 2008.
"Love Never Felt So Good" is a song by American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson, released posthumously on May 2, 2014. The song, reworked from a 1983 demo track originally composed by Jackson and Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka, was the first single released from Jackson's second posthumous album, Xscape.
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