Thriller is the sixth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released on November 30, 1982, in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records. The recording sessions took place from April to November, 1982, at Westlake Recording Studio in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000. Take a look below for 25 more fun and interesting facts about Michael Jackson’s Thriller album.
1. It’s the best selling album of all time, with sales of at least 65 million units, with possibly more than 100 million units if you count all of the pirated copies.
2. Thriller spent 122 weeks on the Billboard 200.
3. Not only was it the biggest commercial release of all time, it was critically acclaimed and won 8 Grammy awards, including the 1984 Album of the Year award.
4. At its peak, Thriller sold 1 million copies worldwide per week.
5. Seven singles were released from the album, all of which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
6. Michael Jackson’s originally working title for the album was Starlight, however, songwriter Rod Temperton eventually came up with Thriller.
7. When the album’s 9 songs were finished, both the producer Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson weren’t happy with the result and remixed every song. They spent a week on each song.
8. The famous video for the song “Thriller” wasn’t released until a year after the album had been released.
9. At the very height of “Thriller’s” popularity, MTV would run the 14 minute video twice an hour.
10. Horror movie legend Vincent Price was paid $1,000 for voicing the iconic intro to “Thriller.”
11. The “Thriller” music video played in a movie theater in California for a week so that it could qualify for an Oscar.
12. The album broke down barriers as the song “Beat It” made it onto “white” radio stations due to Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo on the track, which Eddie recorded free of charge.
13. The biggest number of people doing the “Thriller” zombie dance routine, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is 13,597.
14. Quincy Jones wanted “Billie Jean” to be titled “Not My Lover,” so people wouldn’t think that the song was about the famous tennis player Billie Jean King.
15. It’s speculated that Michael Jackson got the inspiration for the song “Billie Jean” after a female fan alleged that Jackson, or one of his brothers, had fathered one of her children. However, Jackson refuted this and stated that the song is based on a few groupies that he encountered during performances.
16. Michael Jackson did his famous moonwalk for the first time while performing “Billie Jean” in the 1983 television special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.”
17. His sisters Janet and LaToya sang backup vocals on “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” They were the only Jacksons to appear on the entire album.
18. On June 27, 2011, the red leather jacket from the “Thriller” video sold for $1.8 million at Julien’s Auctions.
19. Michael Jackson achieved one of the highest royalty rates in the music industry to that point for Thriller. He was given $2 for each album sold.
20. Thriller was reissued on October 16, 2001, in an expanded set titled Thriller: Special Edition. The original tracks were remastered and the album had a new booklet and bonus material, including the songs “Someone in the Dark,” “Carousel” and Jackson’s original “Billie Jean” demo.
21. The music video for “Thriller” cost half a million dollars, making it, at the time, the most expensive music video ever made.
22. The opening title card for the “Thriller” song, which stated, “Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult, was inserted due to Jackson’s Jehovah’s Witness faith.
23. After the success of the “Thriller” video, a Hollywood production company began serious work on turning “Billie Jean” into a feature movie.
24. Michael Jackson’s girlfriend in the “Thriller” video, Ola Ray, was Playboy magazine’s Miss June in 1980.
25. After Jackson’s death in June, 2009, Thriller set additional records. It sold more than 100,00 copies, placing it at number 2 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart.