Pop music classic: The best-selling album in history released 40 years ago
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 179
Mixing rock, pop and R&B like no one before, Michael Jackson released "Thriller" 40 years ago, an album that would become the best-selling album in history and define a new musical era with its audiovisual ambitions.
"Thriller" was released on November 30, 1982 and has sold more than 100 million copies to date. It brought Jackson the status of "King of Pop" and became a musical inspiration for many. Despite numerous controversies and accusations of pedophilia, Jackson's popularity was not threatened, and on the music platform Spotify, his music is still "streamed" more than 35 million times a month.
“Michael is someone I admire. He’s unreal, you know? When I started making music, that’s what I aspired to, like any other musician,” Canadian hitmaker The Weeknd said recently. Much of the magic of "Thriller" can be attributed to producer Quincy Jones, although the record company Epic was not enthusiastic about it because Jones came from jazz, music whose sales were "peanuts" in the eyes of the music industry.
However, a collaboration developed between Jackson and Jones in which, in one case, sparks literally flew.
Threats to MTV
"Thriller", despite its huge success on the pop charts, did not initially manage to break through to the music channel MTV, which did not want to show the video for the second single from the album, the megahit "Billie Jean", with the explanation that black music "doesn't fit".
into his rock-dominated, white-dominated program. The head of Jackson's label, Walter Yetnikoff, threatened to publicly denounce MTV as racist and ban all musicians from the catalog, including rockers, from airing there. Yetnikoff won the battle with MTV, but soon clashed with Jackson himself because the singer wanted a million dollars to make a video for the last single from the album, a song called "Thriller".
Jackson wanted to work with acclaimed film director John Landis, while Yetnikoff felt that the whole story was pointless since the album had already been at number one for a long time.