Time-tested music: how did one album change the world? The resounding success of Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
"Thriller" - the legendary pop record of Michael Jackson! Released in the early 1980s, it beats all possible and impossible records to this day ... So, in 2015, the Recording Industry Association of America announced that Thriller was the first album of all time, whose circulation in America amounted to 30,000,000 copies! Prior to that, the record had been held by the rock band The Eagles and their compilation album Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975). Today, Jackson's creation is still considered the most commercially successful in history: according to the Guinness Book of Records, "Thriller" has sold at least 66 million copies worldwide, while other sources claim that the album has sold more than 100 million copies ... And this is not surprising, given that two years after the release, sales exceeded 20 million copies (and this is only in the United States!)
Given the stunning circulation, Thriller can easily be classified as a "diamond" album! The RIAA introduced this status at the end of the 1990s and began to assign it to records whose circulation exceeded 10 million copies.
A little about the album
The legendary king of pop passed away in 2009, yet Michael Jackson continues to be a best-selling artist. In 2015, Forbes magazine placed Jackson on the first line of its ranking of the richest deceased celebrities: the performer's income from October 2014 to October 2015 amounted to almost $ 120 million.
The cult record, which largely determined the further influence of the pop artist, was released in 1982: "Thriller" became Jackson's sixth album, and it included nine songs, including the famous hits "Billie Jean" and "Beat It". Two years was enough for the album to sell 20 million copies and receive eight Grammy awards at once! And who would have thought that it was this album that saved CBS Records ... When the label's management began preparing for the release, they knew that they had in their hands an amazing album from one of the biggest superstars in the music industry. But they were also a little worried...
To begin with, the recording industry as a whole was in a slump at the time, with industry-wide shipments dropping by 50 million units between 1980 and 1982. CBS Records' own profit fell by 50%, and sales by more than 15% in a year ... As a result, in mid-August, on the day that the company remembered as "Black Friday", there were major layoffs in the company. CBS was desperate for Jackson's album to be a hit, but market conditions seemed daunting. Luckily for them, Jackson released a really impressive and delightful record… Thriller was later included in the National Registry of the US Library of Congress, and the video for the song of the same name in the US National Film Registry.
Thriller spent the most weeks (37) at the top of the Billboard 200 of any album by a single artist. Only the West Side Story soundtrack reigned longer… Thriller was also the first album to make the Hot 100 top 10 hit list. By the way: Michael Jackson remains the only performer in the world who managed to sell more than a billion copies of his discs…
Hits Thriller brought to the world
Although the album was released almost four decades ago, songs from it, notably "Thriller", "Billie Jean" and "Beat It", are still played regularly on radio and nightclubs. Some of these songs, or rather their videos, have been uploaded to YouTube and have collected hundreds of millions of views: "Beat It" alone has collected more than 700 million views ... The song "Beat It" became the third single from "Thriller" released after such hits, like "The Girl Is Mine" and "Billie Jean", and features a dance routine that brings together two rival gangs. Over the years, this song has been attempted by many contemporary artists such as Justin Bieber, Fergie and Eminem.
As for the hit of the same name, the music video for "Thriller" is considered the most famous music video of all time to this day! The video became a cultural milestone, featuring elaborate choreography, costumes, and dialogue. And all this is in the frightening horror genre ... Yes, perhaps today you will not get goosebumps when watching this clip. But in the distant eighties it looked really creepy ...
"Billie Jean" is a famous song that was inspired by a true story: an unknown girl wrote to Jackson and claimed that he was the father of her child.
Despite his global success and huge profitability, Jackson has been adamant about his career. For this reason, the singer stated that he refused to exhibit his numerous awards (eg 13 Grammy Awards for albums and singles) in his house. He didn't want to undermine his work ethic.
"I try not to think about it too much," Jackson said of his success in a 2005 interview. “I don’t want my subconscious to think that I did all this. It's something like: "Now that's it." No. That's why I don't display awards or trophies in my house. You won't find a gold record anywhere in my house because it makes you feel like you've done your best. I always want to feel like, "No, I haven't done that yet!"