’Thriller 40′ revisits Michael Jackson’s magnum opus

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40 years later 70 million copies were sold.Thriller” remains an untouchable benchmark.

Michael Jackson’s rousing fusion of R&B with rock and pop was a best-selling album worldwide. It was earned Eight Grammy AwardsRevolutionized MTV and spawned seven top 10 singles.Gotta start something„”Billie Jean” and the title track.

All staggering statistics in their own right. Even more so when you realize that this was accomplished long before the internet, streaming and social media. Nothing but MTV and radio to facilitate that success.

But four decades later, the impact of the groundbreaking album remains with the producer Quincy Jones It is significant.

Thriller 40,” which arrives Saturday on Paramount+ with Showtime and Showtime (8 p.m. EST/PST), Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mark Ronson, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Ontime acknowledge the musical’s endurance and accompanying detailed videos. Jackson’s deputy Brooke Shields et al.

More than 10 million videos on TikTok include „Thriller” music, further proof of its legacy.

Here are some highlights from the 90-minute documentary.

Paul McCartney and 'The Girl Is Mine’ Michael Jackson’s 'Sneak Attack’.

The first single, „Thriller”, was criticized as Jackson’s blatant attempt to target a white audience. Beatles icon Paul McCartney inspired sniping, but he and Jackson enjoyed a genuine rapport, with the pair laughing and trading vocal ideas during the pair’s studio scenes.

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when Music journalist Steven Ivory The sweetly melodic „The Girl Is Mine” actually references Jackson’s „Sneak Attack,” which topped the pop charts, and there’s no denying that McCartney’s presence added influence.

Guitarist Steve Lukather — who played the majority of „Thriller” — recalled, „Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, it didn’t get much bigger than that. When McCartney walked into the room, there was a palpable shift in energy.

„The Girl Is Mine” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart and No. 2 on the Hot 100.

Michael Jackson 'Wants Better’ With 'Beat It’

It’s not obvious that MTV was reluctant to cast black artists. David Bowie famously addressed supervision in a 1983 interview with VJ Mark Goodman. Resurfaced in the documentaryThere he says in part, „I was shocked that it featured some black artists. Why is that?”

But Jackson bulldozed the channel’s implicit racism With the „Beat It” video

„I wanted quality. I wanted excellence. I wanted the best,” says Jackson, showing a complex dance clip featuring rival gangs (some of the dancers are actual „street cats”). His thinking was that if MTV was reluctant to air videos from black musicians, he would create something so amazing that the channel couldn’t ignore it.

With the song, Jackson led the challenge of re-engaging white fans while not alienating the black community that had supported him since childhood.

While Lukather handled the bass and iconic riff on the song, Jackson wanted a marquee guitarist who would „attract young white males” to add weight to the song, according to his estate attorney John Branca. Enter guitar god Eddie Van Halen, whose solo is heard separately in the film.

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„It’s everything I’ve ever enjoyed in a song,” says super-producer Ronson, a „Thriller” devotee. „It’s the perfect way to sit over rock guitar programmed drums and a funky groove.”

’Thriller’ almost didn’t release as a single

After six singles from the album charted in the top 10 („Human nature„and”PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” rounded out the chart), Sony Music was satisfied with the album’s enormous success.

But Jackson wanted more. And he was willing to dig into his own wallet to achieve his dream.

After watching „An American Werewolf in London,” Jackson was impressed with its director, John Landis, and promised to enlist him to direct the “Thriller” video.

Jackson longed for special effects, including his transformation into a monster During the 14-minute mini-movieThe price for the video ballooned to over half a million dollars, a huge amount compared to the average $55,000 video.

Jackson was willing to pay when Sony initially balked, but he and Landis sold the rights to the 45-minute documentary “The Making of Thriller” to MTV and Showtime to finance the “Thriller” video.

Jackson checked every box on his wish list and walking through a cemetery will never be the same.

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