Thursday, February 28, 2008

508. Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982)

Track listing

1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
2. Baby Be Mine
3. Girl Is Mine - Jackson, Michael & Paul McCartney
4. Thriller
5. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
7. Human Nature
8. PYT (Pretty Young Thing)
9. Lady In My Life


After such a promising album with Off The Wall Michael Jackson brings us the begging of the end. In this album you can start to see Jacko's sanity mask starting to slip. Unfortunately Jacko is not going crazy in an interesting way, in fact he is simply becoming detached from reality and increasingly childish.

If that was all we could have a good album, but this mostly grates on my nerves. The lyrics are beyond the pale, from Terry Schiavo love song Wanna Be Starting Something, to creepy in hindsight P.Y.T. complete with use of chipmunk voice, going through the horrible The Girl is Mine (has McCartney ever done a worthwhile collaboration?) it is all pretty bad lyrically. Then you have two special cases, Billy Jean tries to make you sympathise not with a single mother, but with the rich pop-star, and it feels wrong. Then Thriller is HORRIBLE but not in the way intended, the lyrics are horrid, and Vincent Price's monologue which attempts and fails to rhyme blood with neighbourhood is particularly grating.

And to think I gave a high grade to Off The Wall, this is lowest common denominator pop, even if it has a couple of good catchy tunes, its failings are such that I do not want to listen to this again. It has also dated terribly this album when compared to the previous one, this might have to do with the popularity of the songs but the arrangements are equally a problem.

Track Highlight

1. Wanna Be Starting Something
2. Beat It
3. Human Nature
4. Billie Jean

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Thriller is one of only three albums to remain in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for a full year, spending 80 consecutive weeks there, 37 at #1. It was the first of three albums to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top-ten singles and the only album to date to be the best-seller of two years (1983-1984) in the USA. It still sells an estimated 130,000 units in the USA per year. In 2008, the Thriller album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Have to put Thriller on here, just because of its iconic powers. I would also like to know what the fuck is meant by Thriller here? Horror? Half-zombie, half-werewolves? Stupid, stupid lyrics. Oh and Vincent Price mentions the 'Thriller' goes out in search for blood, so a Vampire zombie Wereworlf? I quit:


Unknown said...

Yeah it's not that good, but it has "Beat It" and that's really enough.

Anonymous said...

ouch man... i mean obviously it does have quite a few crap tracks, but Beat It and Billie Jean are really catchy, if you gave this a 6, then what will you give Bad?

Rod McBan said...

The hell? Yes, it's wide-appeal, not-very-bright pop-music. But, with the exception of "The Girl Is Mine", it is fucking good wide-appeal, not-very-bright pop music.

Fair enough, I guess.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

funny. this would easily make my top ten of greatest records ever made.