“Thriller” is the best song (And album) delivered by Michael Jackson. The ‘King Of Pop’ also starred in the 11 minute (What they called at that time) gory music video, which propelled the song even further to fame. It is undoubtedly one of the best Pop songs (If not the best) ever made. The creaking and howling sounds, and the extraordinary ending commentary makes the music video (And the song too) an unforgettable experience. It was the first ‘horror’ clip I ever saw, and BOY did it scare me! I was scared to death! For a music video produced in 1984, it really is a masterpiece. My top 5 Michael Jackson favorites are: “Bad“, “Black Or White“, “Heal The World“, “Ghosts” and “Thriller”; which I’ll be reviewing today. So, let’s get to it!
History: “Thriller” is a song from Michael Jackson’s seventh single from his sixth Studio album titled “Thriller” (1984). The song has also featured in many of his compilation albums like HIStory (1995), Number Ones (2003), The Essential Michael Jackson (2005), and Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009). It was remixed to the Immortal album in 2011. The ending commentary was given by Vincent Price. The music video was a phenomenal success, and it scribbled it’s name in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Selling Video”, making a turnover of around 9 Million units! It also enjoyed phenomenal success all over the world. For the complete chart performance, click here, and for Charts and Certifications, click here. For the complete info on the music video, click here. There are two versions of this song; one being the 6 Minute 2 Second Studio Version, and the other being the 10 Minute 53 Second Music Video Version. [Source: Wikipedia]
What it tries to convey to us: Simply put, NOTHING. For the complete story, watch the music video (I’ve provided the Youtube link below). It’ll tell you everything you need to know. But I’ll brief it out. It’s about a couple who are walking home one night, and are exposed to the zombie infestation. That’s it.
Review: Rod Temperton, the composer of the song; suggested that some extra effects like the sound of howling, creaking doors, thunder and feet walking on wooden planks be added to make the song sound a bit more ‘awake’. And of course, it was the perfect formula to create the Frankenstein of Pop music – “Thriller”. The tempo of the song is moderate, being a little to the faster side (120 beats per minute). There are a TON of instruments used in this song; the synthesizer, guitar, trumpet, flugel horn, saxophone, flute and trombone, to be precise. The song starts in a REAL spooky manner, commencing with the sound of a creaking door opening. The man/ghost/whatever-it-is is heard walking into the open, where sounds of thunder and howling are eminent. The song goes downwards spirally at 00:18, and picks up pace with the synthesizer and the howling, and the actual music starts at 00:38, with the addition of a funky disco theme to it. Michael starts with the vocals at 00:59 with his famous ‘swallow’ sound. Now, the pace of the song – It’s really well paced, and keeps the mood alive. Don’t expect soul ripping lyrics here, they’re really cheeky (And equally fun!). The first chorus starts at 01:30. The chorus, amazingly, isn’t the part which everyone finds attracting. Then what is? You’ll know shortly. After a brief interlude, Michael takes over and starts with the second stanza and before you know it, you’re facing the second chorus, which begins at 02:27. After the chorus, he (Michael) makes his pitch a bit slurry, and slows down the song (You know, as if it’s gone into slow-mo). The vocal bridge is accompanied by trumpets and the synthesizer. The bridge comes to an end, and merges with the interlude at 03:06. The third para starts immediately, with that creepy horror tune which was so commonly used in the early ages (The creepy whistle tune, remember?) Anyways, the third chorus starts at 03:38, and is looped once again. Then comes the fun part from 04:15, with the CREEPY music and awesome lyrics (Courtesy Vincent Prince) combined, you’re into a real treat! I always get shivers up my spine when I hear this vocal interlude. The lyrics used here are really classy (And spooky, too). The use of English language is impeccable! Try “And Though You Fight To Stay Alive, Your Body Starts To Shiver; For No Mere Mortal Can Resist; The Evil Of The Thriller” on for size! The song ends with a final dose of spookiness, guaranteed to keep you awake for the night – That evil laugh.
Rating: One of Michael Jackson’s greatest songs (For me, it IS the greatest), it deserves a perfect score. So, a 10/10 it is!
Lyrics for “Thriller” : http://artists.letssingit.com/michael-jackson-lyrics-thriller-fwltnzk
Download link for “Thriller” : http://www.pipedreamer.org/~tim/RHPS/Micheal%20Jackson%20-%20Thriller.mp3 (Right click on link, click “Save Target/Link As”)
Youtube link for “Thriller” (Official Music Video) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA