Thriller (5:14)

Cover of Thriller

From Thriller and 110 other releases

“Thriller” is a song recorded by American recording artist Michael Jackson, composed by Rod Temperton, and produced by Quincy Jones. It is the seventh and final single from his sixth studio album Thriller. It was released on January 23, 1984 by Epic Records. The song has appeared on multiple greatest hits compilation albums from Jackson, including HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I (1995), Number Ones (2003), The Essential Michael Jackson (2005), and Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009). The song, which has a voice-over from actor Vincent Price, had originally been titled “Starlight.”

The song’s instruments include a bassline and synthesizer. In the song, sound effects such as a creaking door, thunder, feet walking on wooden planks, winds and howling dogs can be heard, and the lyrics contain frightening themes and elements. “Thriller” received positive reviews from critics, though the song was outshone by its music video. “Thriller” became Jackson’s seventh top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart from the album, while reaching the top of the charts in France and Belgium and the top ten in other countries.

“Thriller” was adapted into a highly successful music video, known independently as Michael Jackson’s Thriller. At fourteen minutes the video is substantially longer than the song, which ties together a narrative featuring Jackson and actress Ola Ray in a setting heavily inspired by horror films of the 1950s. In the video’s most iconic scene, Jackson leads other actors costumed as zombies in a choreographed dance routine.

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