History for the Rest of Us

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Nov 30, 2012

One of the top selling albums of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, was released November 30, 1982. The recording of the album began at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles on April 14, 1982. When Quincy Jones walked into the studio, he said to some of the others involved in the recording, ‘OK guys, we’re going to save the recording industry’. At 12:00 noon the actual recording began with Paul McCartney and Micheal singing ‘The Girl is Mine’. The album spent 37 weeks at number one on the Billboard charts. Thriller consisted of nine tracks, seven of which were released as singles. All seven reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Michael indicated that his inspiration for the album was Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ because ‘every song was a killer’. Listen on Spotify:Thriller Backgrounds on some of the songs: Beat It Beat It was written by Jackson and was an attempt to make a clean break with the disco sound of Jackson’s Off the Wall album. Quincy Jones and Jackson wanted to make a rock song that would appeal to all tastes, and after weeks of searching for a guitarist, found Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen would later say about the recording ‘Everybody (from Van Halen) was out of town and I figured, who’s going to know if I play on this kid’s record?’ Billie Jean Michael wrote this song with a particular obsessed fan in mind. The most persistant of his admirers he received dozens of letters from her, including one with a gun and a note indicating that since she and her child (which she claimed was his) couldn’t be with him in this life, the three of them should commit suicide on an appointed day. Michael himself became obsessed with the situation and had her picture framed and placed on a coffee table feeling like he needed to remember her face in case she showed up. Quincy Jones didn’t feel like the song was strong enough to be included on the album, but Michael prevailed. Quincy also believed fans would think the song was about tennis legend Billie Jean King and wanted the title to be changed to ‘Not...