MICHAEL JACKSON > Thriller: 25th Anniversary Edition

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

There was a time when hearing the name “Michael Jackson” didn’t bring a snigger to one’s lips. As this 25th anniversary edition of Thriller reminds you, at his peak, Michael Jackson was a consummate artist who could bring together pop, funk and soul in a fashion that was fresh, innovative and, to record buyers, irresistible.Label : EPIC/LEGACY
[RATING: 5]


There was a time when hearing the name “Michael Jackson” didn’t bring a snigger to one’s lips. As this 25th anniversary edition of Thriller reminds you, at his peak, Michael Jackson was a consummate artist who could bring together pop, funk and soul in a fashion that was fresh, innovative and, to record buyers, irresistible.

Part of Thriller‘s acclaim, of course, is that it’s the best selling album of all time, but what’s often overlooked is why it became a best seller. It’s important to experience the album as a complete work, as records were then designed to be heard. “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” is a terrifically lively opener, sharply contrasting with the smooth, romantic closer, “The Lady In My Life.” The most saccharine track, “The Girl Is Mine” (a duet with Paul McCartney) doesn’t sound as mawkish when sandwiched between “Baby Be Mine” and “Thriller.” Of course, the latter track ushers in the album’s strongest sequence, given that it’s followed by “Beat It” and “Billie Jean”-two tracks that have readily maintained their stark, propulsive power. The sweet “Human Nature” then provides a welcome respite and the perfect lead-in to “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” Overall, a collection of song jewels that have been polished until they gleam.

Bonus tracks are largely modern remixes, and one outtake, a balance that should really have been reversed. The bonus DVD has videos of “Thriller,” “Beat It” and “Billie Jean,” plus Jackson’s landmark performance of the latter song on the Motown 25 TV special.

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