#20 on the Rolling Stone top 500 albums list.
"Thriller" was pretty much the high point of Michael Jackson's career. This was released back in 1982, when MJ was a talented black man, not a scary white man. It's the highest selling album of all time, with over 40 million sold. Seven out of the nine tracks on the CD were released as singles, and they ALL reached the top 10, which is just insane. Other than the obvious disco-ness of the album, it's aged pretty well - the songs are as catchy now as they were back then.
1) Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
A good start to the album, which gives a good feel of what the rest of the album will be like. It's funky, with drum machines keeping the beat. It also has a weird paranoid feeling, which is apparent in many of the other songs on the album too. One of the highlights of this album.
2) Baby Be Mine
I believe this was one of the 2 songs that weren't released as singles, and I can see why. It's filler, and I get bored long before it's finished. The chorus is kind of catchy, but that's just not enough dammit!
3) The Girl Is Mine
MJ's duet with Paul McCartney. The meeting of 2 legends of pop music. And it's reeealy cheesy. I mean, come on, "the dog-gone girl is mine"? And the spoken part at the end, my god. But it's kind of entertaining because of the cheesiness.
The title track is also kind of cheesy, but in a good way, and mostly on purpose. It's like the musical version of a b-grade horror movie, and it's very funky and fun. The bass line is cool, and a bit reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition". I should also mention the famous video for thriller, an epic (by music video standards) featuring dancing zombies and werewolf Michael.
5) Beat It
Everyone's heard this. Everyone. One of MJ's rockinest songs, with an anti-violence message. The rock factor is definitely helped by a memorable solo from guitar god Eddie Van Halen, who appeared on this track for free, because he was so honoured or something. Great song.
6) Billie Jean
Hey, everyone's heard this one too. A song about a woman claiming that he's the father of her child, but he's not. She's just a girl who says that he is the one. This song has the paranoia pumped up high. And it's one of the best pop songs of all time. Also, it was the first video by a black artist to get regular airplay on MTV.
7) Human Nature
A nice slow song. The best slow song on the album too. I don't really have a lot to say about it, other than it's a good song.
8) P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Of the 7 songs that were released as singles from this CD, this is the weakest. Well, “The Girl is Mine�? was crap, but at least that had Paul McCartney going for it. This has no particularly good hooks, and a weird chipmunk singing at the end, which is annoying. Very mediocre.
9) The Lady In My Life
A love song. I believe this was the other song that wasn't released as a single, and again, there's a good reason. It's better than the other non-single, but it's pretty boring, and the lyrics are really standard. Weak closer to a strong album.
It's a classic album of course, but there are too many weak tracks for it to be perfect. Based on the music alone I'd give it a 4/5... but then, it is still an essential album, just based on the sheer popularity and influence of it. So... 4.3/5