In Rolling Stone’s ranking of the top 500 albums of all time, “Thriller” checked in at No. 20. That’s absurd. It’s No. 1. I’m not a Michael Jackson apologist by any means, but seriously. Best... album... ever.
The 25th anniversary edition came out, and I purchased it on iTunes, mostly because it comes with 4 music videos, including the incredible “Billie Jean” performance at Motown 25.
So which 5 songs am I going to spin the most on my record player (if, um, ya know, any of that stuff actually happened anymore)?
Did you know there were only 9 songs on the original release of “Thriller”? 7 of them were released as singles. This one hit No. 7 on the Billboard charts, the 6th-best charting position of the album’s 9 songs. It’s a nice song, it’s got a good melody, and was sampled in one of my favorite SWV songs in the early 90s.
4.Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Sure, this song is a little too long (6:02), which is probably what prevented it from reaching any higher than No. 5 on the charts, but it’s a fun song. Worth mentioning: the Deluxe 25th Anniversary album has a 2008 remix of this song with Akon, which is a pretty good listen.
OK, now we’re into the best of the best. The next 3 songs on this list are all all-time classics. Who doesn’t, to this day, sing along to the chorus of “Beat It” when the song comes on the radio (or iPhone, or iPod, or other iDeviceToBeDetermined). It’s got the right mix of rock and pop, and the video, as cheesy as it seems now, was legendary back in the day.
Yes, that’s right, “Thriller” isn’t even my top song off of “Thriller”. If we were ranking this strictly on music videos, then “Thriller” would be all 5 of the Fave 5. It’s a freakin’ masterpiece. As for the song, it’s really good. It’s fun to sing along with, and really shows of Jackson’s vocal range.
This might be one of my favorite songs of all-time. Like Fave 5 for that list. There’s a 2008 remix with Kanye West, but don’t worry about that. What I’m happiest about with the Deluxe Version (aside from the Motown 25 performance) is that it has the long version of the song. Clocking in at 6:25, the “Billie Jean” long version is longer than any song on the original version of “Thriller” and significantly better too. Also, while the Thriller music video is regarded as the best ever, the Billie Jean video is pretty damn good too. However, I’ll leave you with the aforementioned Motown 25 performance. Enjoy.