Thriller is the best selling album of all time. It is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The album was released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records as the follow-up to Jackson's critically and commercially successful 1979 album Off the Wall. Thriller explores similar genres to those of Off The Wall, including funk, disco, soul, soft rock, jazz and pop. However, Thriller's lyrics deal with generally darker themes, including paranoia and the supernatural.
With a production budget of $750,000, recording sessions took place between April and November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California. Assisted by producer Quincy Jones, Jackson wrote four of Thriller's nine tracks. Following the release of the album's first single "The Girl Is Mine", some observers assumed Thriller would only be a minor hit record. With the release of the second single "Billie Jean", the album topped the charts in many countries. It reached number one in the United States and the United Kingdom simultaneously, becoming the first album to do so. At its peak, the album was selling a million copies a week worldwide. In just over a year, Thriller became the best-selling album of all time. Sales are estimated to be over 110 million copies sold worldwide as of March 2010. Seven of the album's nine songs were released as singles, and all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album won a record-breaking seven Grammy Awards at the 1984 Grammys. Despite numerous five-star reviews, Thriller was not universally praised.
Thriller cemented Jackson as one of the predominant pop stars of the late 20th century, and enabled him to break down racial barriers via his appearances on MTV and meetings with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools—the videos for Thriller, "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" all received regular rotation on MTV. In 2001, a special edition issue of the album was released, which contains additional audio interviews, a demo recording and the song "Someone In the Dark", which was a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, the album was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing re-mixes that feature contemporary artists, a previously unreleased song and a DVD.
Thriller ranked number 20 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003, and was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at number three in their Definitive 200 Albums of All Time. Thriller was preserved by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry, as it was deemed "culturally significant".
Producer: Quincy Jones
Co-producer, lead and backup vocals: Michael Jackson
Guitar: David Williams, Dean Parks, Steve Lukather, Paul Jackson
Bass: Louis Johnson, Steve Lukather
Saxophone and flute: Larry Williams
Trumpet and flügelhorn: Jerry Hey, Gary Grant
Trombone: Bill Reichenbach
Drums: Jeff Porcaro and N'dugu Chancler
Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
Keyboards/synthesizers/programming: Greg Phillinganes, Steve Porcaro, David Paich, Brian Banks
Keyboards/synthesizers: Michael Boddicker, David Foster, Bill Wolfer, Rod Temperton
Synthesizer programming: Anthony Marinelli
Horn and string arrangements: Jerry Hey
Backup vocals: James Ingram, Bunny Hull and Becky Lopez
Recording engineer/mixer: Bruce Swedien
Technical engineer: Matt Forger
Released November 30, 1982
Recorded April 4 November 8, 1982, Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Pop, R&B, Funk, Soul
Label Epic EK-38112
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