Tracks from the Past: Michael Jackson’s Thriller

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JULY 02, 2009 7:20 AM

Michael Jackson: Thriller
Nov. 30, 1982

It’s easy to pay homage to the late Michael Jackson — who died June 25 of cardiac arrest — with his copious numbers of recording sensations that have graced radio waves since the Jackson 5 in the mid-60s.

Jackson’s album Thriller marked the height of his career — with such singles as “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing),” “The Girl Is Mine,” and “Beat It” — and it remains the best-selling record of all time, with more than 109 million copies sold.

But the song that showcases the King of Pop’s legendary Moonwalk deserves a standing ovation in the days after his death. Based on the claim that Jackson fathered a fan’s child, “Billie Jean” is chock full of anger and passion and proves that affairs resulting in pregnancy makes for catchy and interesting listening.

Although most of us can’t recall when this music video aired on MTV (or when music aired on MTV at all), we take comfort in the familiarity of the hop-skipping of Jackson that can’t be replicated by any Jonas Brothers or Flo Rida today.

His personal life may have been a little sketchy, but “Billie Jean” and the rest of Thriller remains the soundtrack to the ’80s and for that, we thank you, Michael Jackson.

— by Kristen Peters

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