“Thriller” is a legendary song by the late American singer Michael Jackson. It was released as the seventh and final single from his album of the same name in 1984. Written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, “Thriller” is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most iconic pop songs of all time. The single was released in November 1983 in the UK (January 23, 1984 in the United States) with “Things I Do for You” on the B-side. Upon its release, “Thriller” achieved tremendous commercial success. It topped the charts in multiple countries and became the best-selling single of all time, with estimated global sales exceeding 66 million copies. The song also earned numerous awards, including several Grammy Awards, and solidified Michael Jackson’s status as the “King of Pop.”
The music video for “Thriller” is regarded as one of the most influential and groundbreaking music videos ever made. Directed by John Landis, it takes the form of a short horror film and features Michael Jackson transforming into a werewolf. The video’s elaborate choreography, special effects, and cinematic storytelling captivated audiences worldwide. The “Thriller” music video played a significant role in elevating the status of music videos as an art form and contributed to the mainstream acceptance of African-American artists on MTV.
“Thriller” is a fusion of pop, funk, and disco with elements of R&B and rock. The song’s lyrics depict a narrative of suspense, horror, and the supernatural, drawing inspiration from the genre of horror films. Michael Jackson’s vocal performance is powerful and dynamic, showcasing his distinctive voice and impeccable range.
The song’s production features elaborate instrumentation, including catchy melodies, infectious hooks, and a prominent bass line. The distinctive sound effects, such as the creaking door and Vincent Price’s iconic spoken-word segment, further enhance the eerie atmosphere of the song.
“Thriller” has had an enduring impact on popular culture. It continues to be celebrated as a cultural phenomenon and is often associated with Halloween festivities. The song’s iconic dance moves, such as the “zombie dance,” have been imitated and referenced in countless performances and parodies. “Thriller” remains a timeless masterpiece, beloved by fans of all generations and an integral part of Michael Jackson’s musical legacy.