Thriller – Michael Jackson

Last week I sent Leo my review for Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited at 3 o’clock on Thursday. Maybe he was too busy listening to that boring new Mac Miller album. Anyways, thought I’d take the chance to hit you guys with a double whammy this Friday, throwing it back twice in one day, this time to 1982. Michael Jackson was at the top of the game in 1982. It was also the year he released the legendary album Thriller. Quincy Jones provided the stanky beats, as well as the $750,000 production budget, and Michael Jackson offered the…well… Michael Jackson. Let’s see how the “Prince of Pop” fairs in this review.

The Vocals:

MJ has a crazy voice. It’s unlike anything you’ll ever hear, and he’s got the range to go wherever he wants with it. And great lyrics too. For example “Uh, dah-yeeeheee” on every song, or “heeeeeee duh uh, (heavy breathing)” from “P.Y.T.” To be honest, I have no idea why his vocals work so well on every track, but it’s no secret that he gets the people going. Also, Paul McCartney drops in for a duet on “The Girl Is Mine”. I won’t waste too much time here, vocals on this are great.

The Instrumentals/Production:

Quincy Jones is a mad scientist of funky pop songs. With an outrageous budget at his disposal, he brought in an army of hired guns into the studio to record his masterpiece. There are more than forty recording musicians on this piece, so Jones was more of a composer at that point than a producer. He seamlessly wove together pop, rock, and funk, as well as the last dying breath of disco music. He also wrote a majority of the songs. Production and instruments are very solid.

The Essentials:

“P.Y.T.” and “Billie Jean”

The Rating:

All of that being said, it’s not Jackson’s best album, just his best selling. It’s also the best selling album of all time at 66 million copies, which makes it even harder for me to give this album an…

8.1

I like Bad better. Sue me. “The Girl Is Mine” is my least favorite Paul McCartney song. There are other reasons, but it’s an 8.1. See you next week.

-Drew

CONTEST: Next week I’m considering doing a side by side of two albums from two of the best bands from the British Invasion. One of them is one of the most groundbreaking and experimental rock albums of all time. The other sounds suspiciously similar to that first album. If you guess which two albums I’m talking about you win an iPod shuffle without the charger.

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