Thriller 25

Last updated

Thriller 25
Thriller 25 cover.jpg
Studio album (reissue)by
ReleasedFebruary 8, 2008
RecordedApril–November 1982, November 2007
Length67:11(CD)
28:32 (DVD)
Label
Producer
Michael Jackson chronology
Visionary: The Video Singles
(2006)
Thriller 25
(2008)
Thriller 25: Limited Japanese Single Collection
(2008)
Alternative cover
Thriller25.jpg
Singles from Thriller 25
  1. "The Girl Is Mine 2008"
    Released: January 14, 2008
  2. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008"
    Released: January 23, 2008

Thriller 25 is the 25th anniversary edition reissue of American singer Michael Jackson's sixth studio album Thriller (1982). Thriller has sold 66 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling album of all time. Thriller 25 was released by Sony BMG's re-issue division, Legacy Recordings. In the United Kingdom, the BBFC gave it a '15' certificate because it included the video for "Thriller". It is the first Jackson album with an age certificate. Along with the original material, the reissue contained remixes, new material, a DVD and collaborations with several contemporary artists.

Contents

The prospect of a "second chapter" to Thriller was first publicly discussed on Access Hollywood in late 2006. Jackson said he would discuss the idea with collaborator will.i.am. It was released in Australia on February 8, 2008, [1] internationally on February 11, 2008, and in the United States on February 12, 2008 by Epic Records, Legacy Recordings and MJJ Productions. [2] To help promote Thriller 25, Jackson's website was recreated and accounts on both MySpace and Facebook were set up. On February 3, 2008 a Sobe advertisement was aired during Super Bowl XLII to an audience of over 95 million viewers. The ad aired again at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards on February 10, 2008. [3]

Thriller 25 debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums and in nine other countries. It was a commercial success, selling three million copies worldwide in its first 12 weeks, and was generally well received among critics, despite their view that the new material was not as inspiring as the original. Two singles, "The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008", were released from the album to moderate success and a number of the other remixes charted, despite no physical release. Thriller 25 was the best-selling catalog album in the US of 2008.

Background

Michael Jackson in 1984 Michael Jackson 1984.jpg
Michael Jackson in 1984

Jackson released his sixth studio album, Thriller , on November 30, 1982. With sales estimated to be over 65 million copies worldwide, Thriller became the world's best-selling album of all time; the album was the first in history to yield seven top-ten singles. The success of Thriller put Jackson into the dominating position of pop music, becoming an international pop-cultural icon. [4]

Jackson was asked about a "second chapter" to Thriller on Access Hollywood in late 2006. He said he would discuss it with collaborator will.i.am but had not yet considered it, commenting "No I haven't really thought about it in that way but I would give it more thought. We haven't really discussed it yet, on that level, but I'm sure at some point we will. But it's a great thought." [5] will.i.am served as executive producer; the album's release was announced in an Epic Records press release on November 30, 2007. [6] [7]

Release

Thriller 25 was released on CD and vinyl and included seven bonus tracks: the previously unreleased ballad "For All Time" (with backing provided by Toto), Vincent Price's voice-over and five remixes featuring contemporary artists Fergie and Akon. [8] [9] [10] It also included a DVD featuring three award-winning music videos, the Emmy-nominated Motown 25 "Billie Jean" performance, and a booklet with a message from Jackson. "For All Time" supposedly dates from 1982, but leaks often credit it as being from Dangerous sessions. [11] Despite this, a new bridge was used in the Thriller 25 release.

On the iTunes Store, Zune Marketplace, and Amazon MP3, a "Super Deluxe Edition" can be purchased which also features the bonus material from Thriller: Special Edition, "Billie Jean (Underground Mix)", an instrumental "Thriller" mix, an extended "Billie Jean" and a digital booklet. Copies bought in Target, Best Buy, Circuit City and Independent Music Stores in the US feature the bonus tracks "Billie Jean (Four on the Floor Club Mix)", "Thriller (Def Thrill Remix)", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Extended 12" Mix)" and "Billie Jean (Four on the Floor Radio Mix)" respectively. Sony also released a "fan pack" containing Thriller 25 and the Number Ones DVD.

Promotion

To help promote the album, Jackson's website was recreated and accounts on both MySpace and Facebook were set up. [12] [13] [14] On February 3, 2008 a Sobe advertisement was aired during Super Bowl XLII to over 95 million Americans, with Naomi Campbell and Sanam Nazar CGI lizards dancing to "Thriller". The ad aired again at the Grammys on February 10, 2008. [3] In the United Kingdom, Odeon Cinemas ran free Thriller viewings on February 8 and 9, 2008 and television adverts announcing the release were aired throughout Europe.

"The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" were the first singles taken from the album. "The Girl Is Mine 2008" reached number two in Japan, three in Mexico, six in the Netherlands and the top twenty positions in the major European markets. [15] [16] [17] "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" reached number three in Sweden, four in New Zealand, eight in Australia, ten in France and thirty-two in Canada, but had disappointing sales in America. [18] [19] [20] These were Jackson's first singles since "One More Chance" in 2003. The album track "Beat It 2008" also began charting in European countries, reaching number 26 in Switzerland, 31 in Denmark, 43 in Sweden, 60 in Japan, 74 in Germany, 75 in Austria, and 77 in Canada. [16] [21] [22] as did "Billie Jean 2008", reaching 91 in Germany.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
About.com Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [23]
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [24]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [25]
IGN Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [26]
Pitchfork Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [27]
PopMatters Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [28]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [29]
The Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [30]

Critics reacted positively to the album, much like their review on the original. All reviews noted that the album is still enjoyable, 25 years on. AllMusic explains, "... 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'' and 'Billie Jean' remain startling in their futuristic funk and 'Baby Be Mine' ... sounds positively incandescent ..." [31] Rolling Stone gave it a full five stars while giving the original only four, saying: "Thriller [25] has MJ at his breathiest and most salacious ('PYT'), and his most beautifully fragile ('Human Nature', so open and brave it makes 'She's Out of My Life' seem phony)". [32]

MTV said, "... it's pretty rare to see a reissue loaded with as much contemporary appeal as this one", and reacted positively to the new tracks, calling them "silver bars". [33] The new material received further praise, with the ballad "For All Time" being described as "perfectly fine" by AllMusic. [31] Rolling Stone described the new version of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" as "actually kind of great — he [Akon] slows it down into a piano ballad, lingering over the easily obscured lyrics." [32] Pop Matters stated that the new version of "The Girl Is Mine" is better than the original, not losing anything with the removal of Paul McCartney. [34] However, most critics agreed that the new versions were not as inspiring as the originals; some even said that the guest artists were the wrong choice. AllMusic notes, "for whatever reason, such Michael-mimicking superstars as Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown did not participate, but Akon, Fergie, and will.i.am did." [31]

Commercial performance

Thriller 25 was a commercial success. It peaked at number one in 11 countries and Europe. It peaked at number two in the United States, number three in the United Kingdom and reached the top ten in over 30 national charts. Thriller 25 spent three weeks at number one in France and two weeks at number one in Belgium. [35] The album has been certified gold in 11 countries, including the UK. In Poland, the album was certified gold, reaching number six on the chart on its release day, and is Jackson's highest-charting album in Norway. [36] In France Thriller 25 received a 2x Gold certification, and in Poland it was certified platinum.

In the U.S., Thriller 25 was the second-best-selling album of its release week, selling 166,000 copies, 14,000 short of reaching the number one position. It was ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart as a re-release but entered the Pop Catalog Charts at number one (where it stayed for 10 non-consecutive weeks), [37] with the best sales on that chart since December 1996. [38] [39] [40] That November, Thriller 25 spent an 11th non-consecutive week atop the U.S. catalog chart. This brought U.S. sales of the album to 688,000 copies, making it the best-selling catalog album of 2008, eventually selling 1.2 million U.S. copies and three million shipments worldwide until Jackson's death in June 2009. [41] [42] This was Jackson's best launch since Invincible in 2001. [43]

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" Michael Jackson
6:02
2."Baby Be Mine" Rod Temperton Jones4:20
3."The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney)Michael Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
3:42
4."Thriller"Rod TempertonJones5:57
5."Beat It"Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
4:18
6."Billie Jean"Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
4:54
7."Human Nature"Quincy Jones4:06
8."P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"Jones3:59
9."The Lady in My Life"TempertonJones4:59
10."Vincent Price excerpt from Thriller Voice-Over Session"TempertonJones0:24
11."The Girl Is Mine 2008" (with will.i.am)
  • Jackson
  • will.i.am
3:10
12."P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008" (with will.i.am)
  • Jackson
  • Adams
  • Harris
  • Jackson
  • will.i.am
4:21
13."Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" (with Akon)
  • Jackson
  • Akon
  • Tuinfort
4:14
14."Beat It 2008" (with Fergie)Jackson
  • Jackson
  • will.i.am
4:11
15."Billie Jean 2008" (Kanye West Mix)Jackson
4:36
16."For All Time" (previously unreleased; recorded in 1990 during "Dangerous" and finished in late 2007)
  • Jackson
  • Steve Porcaro
  • Michael Sherwood
Jackson4:04
Japanese bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Got the Hots" (previously unreleased) (recorded 1981–1982, during "Thriller" sessions)
  • Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson
  • Jones
4:27
iTunes bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Billie Jean" (Long Version)Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
6:23
Circuit City bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (1982 Dance Mix)Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
6:32
Target bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Billie Jean" (1982 Club Remix)Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
6:28
Best Buy bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Thriller" (1982 Def Remix)TempertonJones7:21
Independent US Music Store bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Billie Jean" (1982 Radio Edit Remix)Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
4:40
Deluxe edition bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."Quincy Jones Interview #1"  2:19
18."Someone in the Dark"Jones4:47
19."Quincy Jones Interview #2"  2:04
20."Billie Jean" (Home Demo from 1981)JacksonJackson2:20
21."Quincy Jones Interview #3"  3:10
22."Rod Temperton Interview #1"  4:03
23."Quincy Jones Interview #4"  1:32
24."Voice-Over Session from Thriller"TempertonJones2:52
25."Rod Temperton Interview #2"  1:56
26."Quincy Jones Interview #5"  2:01
27."Carousel"Jones1:49
28."Quincy Jones Interview #6"  1:17
29."Billie Jean" (Underground Mix)Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jackson [a]
6:40
30."Thriller" (Instrumental)TempertonJones5:57
DVD: Thriller Music Videos and Live Performance
No.TitleWriter(s)Director(s)Length
1."Billie Jean" Michael Jackson Steve Barron 4:54
2."Beat It"Jackson Bob Giraldi 4:56
3."Thriller" Rod Temperton John Landis 13:33
4."Billie Jean" (Live from Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever )Jackson 4:56
DVD: Number Ones (Walmart Fan Pack)
No.TitleWriter(s)Director(s)Length
1."Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"JacksonNick Saxton4:11
2."Rock with You" Rod Temperton Bruce Gowers 3:22
3."Billie Jean"Jackson Steve Barron 4:55
4."Beat It"Jackson Bob Giraldi 4:56
5."Thriller"Temperton John Landis 13:43
6."Bad"Jackson Martin Scorsese 4:20
7."The Way You Make Me Feel"Jackson Joe Pytka 6:43
8."Man in the Mirror"Donald Wilson5:02
9."Smooth Criminal"JacksonColin Chilvers4:16
10."Dirty Diana"JacksonJoe Pytka5:08
11."Black or White"JacksonJohn Landis6:22
12."You Are Not Alone" R. Kelly Wayne Isham 5:37
13."Earth Song"JacksonNicholas Brandt7:29
14."Blood on the Dance Floor"
  • Jackson
  • Vincent Paterson
4:15
15."You Rock My World" Paul Hunter 10:26

Notes

Thriller 25: Limited Japanese Single Collection

In 2008 a limited edition of Thriller 25 was released in Japan. [45]

Personnel

  • Executive producer: Michael Jackson

"The Girl Is Mine 2008"

  • Keyboards and synths: Harris
  • Producer/engineer/mixer/drums/keys: will.i.am

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008"

  • Keyboards and synths: Keith Harris
  • Saxophone: Tim Izo
  • Trumpets: Printz Board
  • Background vocals: Garcia/Battle
  • Producer/engineer/drums/keys: will.i.am

"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008"

  • Instrumentation and programming: Akon/Tuinfort
  • Tracking Engineer: Padraic Kerin
  • Mixer: Dylan "3-D" Dresdow
  • Producers: Jackson/Akon/Tuinfort

"Beat It 2008"

  • Producer/drums/synths/keys: will.i.am
  • Engineers: Padraic Kerin/Dylan "3-D" Dresdow/will.i.am

"Billie Jean 2008"

  • Engineers/mixers: Kilhoffer/Dresdow/Dromgoole/Hertwech/Wheeler/Houge
  • Keyboards: Bhasker/Kilhoffer/Caruso
  • Producers: Jackson/West/Kilhoffer

"For All Time"

  • Recorded by Bruce Swedien
  • Keyboards: Porcaro/Paich
  • Guitar: Lukather
  • Drums: Porcaro
  • Mixer: Guzauski/Bender
  • Producer: Jackson [46]

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Belgium (BEA) [73] Gold15,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil) [74] Gold30,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [75] Gold40,000^
France (SNEP) [76] Gold300,000*
Italy (FIMI) [77] 2× Platinum140,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON) [78] Platinum+Gold120,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway) [79] Gold15,000*
Poland (ZPAV) [80] Platinum20,000*
Portugal (AFP) [81] Gold10,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE) [82] Platinum80,000^
Sweden (GLF) [83] Gold20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) [84] Gold15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [85] Platinum300,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI) [86] Platinum1,000,000*
Worldwide3,000,000+ [42]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history

List of release dates, showing country, record label, and format
CountryDateLabelFormat
Australia February 8, 2008 Epic Records,
Legacy Recordings,
MJJ Productions
CD, LP record,
Digital download
Germany
Italy
Philippines [87]
Europe February 11, 2008
United Kingdom
United States February 12, 2008
Taiwan February 15, 2008
Japan February 20, 2008
Canada March 11, 2008
France March 28, 2008
Haiti
South Africa
Tanzania

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