Michael Jackson's Thriller, the pop album to end all pop albums, and influenced virtually every pop and R&B star of the last two generations, came out 30 years ago today. You know the stats, or if not, a quick rundown: seven top 10 hits, number one on the Billboard charts for 37 weeks, seven Grammy awards, over 100 million copies sold worldwide.
Music videos for "Thriller," "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" raised the bar for ever other artist on MTV, and officially ushered in the video era. The songs and visuals helped break down musical and racial barriers at radio and MTV, paving the way for other superstars like Whitney, Prince, Madonna and Janet. Even metalheads got a little love via Eddie Valen's classic guitar riffs on "Beat It."
Thriller was one of those all-consuming pop culture moments--like Madge's Like A Virgin/Boy Toy era, The Bodyguard soundtrack, TLC's Crazysexycool, or for the closest modern equivalent, Adele's 21--that totally encapsulate an era, something that seems increasingly rare, if not impossible, in our current niche-driven musical landscape.
What's your favorite Thriller track and/or fondest memory of that era? I can't exactly reminisce on 1982-85, so I'll respond with my favorite track below.