The date was November 30th 1982 and the world of music was about to make a quantum leap from the times. It was a time of punk and synthesized pop music and the industry was in trouble with sales on the decline for a number of years. Disco was still the mainstream but its impact was waning.
A few years before, a young man came up with something new ‘Off the wall’ and the writings were very much on the wall that he could be in for bigger things in times to come. What he did has been of such impact that it’s still felt, as the highest selling album to date, with possibly over 100million copies sold worldwide .Thriller did just that and the maker was just 24, about to begin a musical journey that would ultimately lead him to be the King of Pop and stay there- the likes of which hasn’t been done till then, or since.
Michael Jackson wanted an album that smashes in with ‘hit after hit’. His mission was to create history where ‘every song was a killer’ .Thriller released 7 hits - "The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ", "Human Nature", and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)",all of which would go to be among the top 10, virtually everywhere in the world music was allowed. Out of them both ‘Beat it’ and ‘Billie jean’ would rise to be the No1 .Thriller remained No1album for 37 straight weeks and Billie Jean, which was the favorite of Michael would stay at the top for 7 straight weeks.
Thriller dominated all forms of entertainment –Radio, Video and Records. He was the first to do so. Besides, his dance routines would captivate a world already stunned by his music which was a combination of pop, post disco, rock and funk, fused together to create that unique brand of music only young Michael could dish out.
Michael’s very first performance with Billie Jean a few months after release at ‘Motown 25,Yesterday ,Today ,Forever’ show would still make its mark as amongst the greatest of performances with renditions of music ,voice and scintillating dance moves .
A new culture came in to being. Tens of millions of young the world over would attempt ‘moon walk’ in to the rolling 80s and Michael happened to be the undisputed king of the entertainment horizon-a position he ruled for a decade ,until the early 90s when he was caught up by the talent he himself inspired. .
It wasn’t just the music, but the unique approach to his work would set a whole new standard for the global music industry, influencing artists, record labels, producers, marketers and choreographers.
As Time puts it once, ‘’The pulse of America and much of the rest of the world moves irregularly, beating in time to the tough strut of 'Billie Jean', the asphalt aria of 'Beat It', the supremely cool chills of 'Thriller' ,’’ for decades ,in to the 21st century ,influencing an entire global industry.
The global phenomenon, which Michael invented with his music, would continue on and his masterpiece stands unrivalled. He transcended everything that was before him and produced a magical collection that would stay ahead of its time, for generations. Thriller remains the second best seller ever in the USA and an unassailable leader in global sales even today.