Essay / Culture

Thriller at 25

images 6  1 2Okay, I know he’s a little weird. But at the beginning of his solo career, that Michael Jackson was unstoppable.

His breathtaking Thriller turned 25 last week. He had already dropped a discofied Off the Wall, but Thriller was something else entirely. Take a look at the playlist:

Wanna Be Startin’ Something’
Baby Be Mine
Girl Is Mine
Thriller
Beat It
Billie Jean
Human Nature
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Lady in My Life

If you have owned a radio and are over the age of, say, 20, you know three or four of those right off the bat.

But watching the King of Pop was and is even more exciting than listening to him. No one dances like that. I watch Michael Jackson with the same jubilant awe that I have watching Gene Kelly.

For a sampling (including the first moonwalk) take a look at a performance of ‘Billie Jean’ for Motown’s 25th anniversary.

For a few comments on the place of Thriller in the pop pantheon, go here.

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