“It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark…Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart…”

Michael Jackson’s album Thriller had gone on a nice little run by the time 1984 rolled around. Released two years prior, the album included nine songs, six of which had been released and subsequently charted in the top 10. On January 23, 1984, his label finally released a seventh, the album’s title track (…more than a month after the release of its famous video, which we’ll get to in a second).

“Thriller” was unlike anything else on the album. Opening with a creaking door, footsteps, and a coyote howl, the song was a far cry from Jackson’s happy-pop hits like “The Girl is Mine” and “P.Y.T.”. Heck even the album’s “darker” songs like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” were no match for this ghoul-filled fright-fest.

Written by Rod Temperton, “Thriller” began as a happy-go-lucky tune called “Starlight”, but then, as Temperton tells it, one morning he woke up, and…well, the rest it history (or HIStory, if you’re prone to M.J. puns):

“I just said this word. Something in my head just said, ‘This is the title’. You could visualize it on the top of the Billboard charts. You could see the merchandising for this one word, how it jumped off the page as ‘Thriller.'”

Though it didn’t exactly top the Billboard charts, “Thriller” did spend 14 weeks in the Hot 100, peaking at #4 in March 1984…still a solid showing, and enough to give the album its seventh top 10 hit.

Of course, though, “Thriller” is best known for its video. Directed by John Landis, the 14-minute masterpiece is as memorable as anything else the 80s ever spawned, but there’s far too much that went into it for us to give it its due here. You’ll just have to hang on until our crack staff gets around to dedicating an entire post to it in the near future.

Until then, keep the lights on, and make sure you always have the soul for getting down.

“And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver.
For no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller…”

We ♥ Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.


~ by weheart80s on May 30, 2017.

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