Thriller is one of those albums where I’ve probably heard all the tracks separately, just not necessarily all at once and in order. I mean, this is an album where seven of the nine tracks were released as singles (which is insane when you think about it) and most of those singles were incredibly successful. An album whose middle three tracks are ‘Beat It’, ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Thriller’ really deserves it’s high placement in the list… right?
I think that the big thing that I have learned from this albums list, and music listening in general, is that it is a rare thing to have a great album without a few skippable tracks on it. For me, there are two of these on Thriller: the final track and the terrible third track ‘The Girl Is Mine’. There is something so mesmerising in such strange track as the latter one, which is a duet between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. It manages to just about skirt around cringe until the poorly acted spoken exchange at the end. Seriously I do not know what they were thinking.
And then you get to the middle three, which may be one of the largest contrasts in quality that I have ever encountered on an album. How do you go immediately from ‘The Girl Is Mine’ into ‘Thriller’? It boggles the mind somewhat, but I guess that couldn’t exclude a single from the album, especially one that featured a former Beatle.
Then again, there’s the rest of the album which is great example of how a lot of eighties pop borrowed from disco and funk (just like Prince did with 1999 and Purple Rain). It’s also really interesting to see how Jackson’s sound matured from Off The Wall and I just mean in his voice which is transitioning towards a rockier sound.
I’m glad I finally got around to listening to this. Probably worth my time finishing off the Top 25 so I can see which albums Thriller counts as neighbours.