28 years ago today Michael Jackson released Thriller to the world!! And we were THRILLED!!! This album, since its release has become the #1 selling album of all time – it sold 40 million copies in its initial chart run, with seven of its nine tracks reaching the Top Ten – it also arrived precisely when MTV was reaching its ascendancy, and Jackson helped the network by being not just its first superstar, but first black star as much as the network helped him. This all would have made it a success – and its success, in turn, served as a new standard for success, but it stayed on the charts, turning out singles, for nearly two years because it was really, really good.
Time summed up Thriller‘s impact as a “restoration of confidence” for an industry bordering on “the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop”. The publication described Jackson’s influence at that point as, “Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too!
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 its Definitive 200 Albums of All Time. The Thriller video was preserved by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry, as it was deemed “culturally significant”.
Michael Jackson is THE most awarded person in history, no one has or will ever compare to this Man!