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 Startinâ€™ Somethingâ€™
Baby Be Mine
Girl Is Mine
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 â€˜Billie Jeanâ€™ for Motownâ€™s 25th anniversary.
For a few comments on the place of Thriller in the pop pantheon, go here.