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November 30, 2015

30 Nov 1982: Thriller released

On this day in 1982, Michael Jackson‘s second solo album, Thriller, was released.

Within a year, it had become the highest-selling album of all time – a distinction it retains today, with an estimated 65 million copies sold worldwide.

excerpt from the album cover

Some more details on this groundbreaking album:

  • It was a follow-up to his 1979 album Off the Wall
  • As with Jackson’s first album, Thriller was produced by Quincy Jones
  • It spawned 7 singles: in order, “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “Human Nature”,  “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, and “Thriller”
  • Jackson used real gang members in the video for “Beat It” to show how music and dance could bring people together
  • The full 14-minute “Thriller” video, featuring voiceover by horror-film star Vincent Price, had its debut alongside an episode of Inspector Gadget
    • It was also shown as an intro to a theatrical screening of Fantasia in an attempt to receive an Academy Award nomination (it did not)
  • Jackson’s videos are credited with increasing airtime for black performers on MTV
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