48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2006
most reviews on this board missed out one important item. the musicianship on this CD under QJ is tremendous. any jazz fan will easily recognise some of the names on the credit list. Jerry Hay on trumpet (this cat has long experience leading big bands and you can hear jerry from Chuck Mangione all the way to Dave Grusin's big band), Greg Phillanganes, another superb expert on synthesizer, Larry Williams on sax. Williams, in his own right is a fantastic tenor sax guy and you hear him very often on the GRP jazz label and then you have George Duke, man alive, here is a master of jazz who migrated through four generations from main stream jazz to fusion (rock) jazz and then collaborated a few funky jazz CD with bassist Stanley Clark.. then you have Paulinho da Costa, the famed Brazilian/American percussionist providing the beat, subtle but substantial. you can hear Paulinho from Dave Grusin to George Benson... in fact, Paulinho played with Jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Petersen...... with all these great cats. finally, what am i talking here, Quincy Jones HIMSELF was/is a jazz artist. those follow jazz will remember his days playing trumpet in the 60s and even 70s. QJ himself later was heavily involved with Duke Ellington and Count Basie in arranging the music. it is not surprising that he brought in the "musicians' musicians" to add some serious musicianship to this endeavor.
i regret that no reviewer has paid any attention on this fantastic line up of musicians behind this CD.
105 of 117 people found the following review helpful
These days Michael Jackson seems to be more of a cartoon character than a recording artist. His exploits get more than attention than his music. Forget that his best friend is a chimpanzee and he lives at a place called Neverland and just listen to the music. The album crosses across all music genres and gives the listener a little bit of everything. There's pop, rock, r & b and dance rhythms; slow, fast and midtempo songs. "Wanna Be Startin' Something" gets the album moving. It's a disco inferno and builds up to a chanting crescendo. The next two songs slow things down after the frenzied opening. One of the two non-singles, "Baby Be Mine" is a nice mid-tempo song and then comes the superstar duet with Paul McCartney "The Girl Is Mine". The song shows off both the artist's vocal talents as they trade verses fighting over a girl's affection. You can almost see the song as a passing of the torch from the Beatles to Jackson as the world's biggest act. The humorous "Thriller" follows and it contains Vincent Price's debut as a "rapper". "Beat It" is the song that pushed the album into the cultural phenomenon that it was. By employing guitar god Eddie Van Halen on the song, Jackson was able to break out of the mold of an R & B artist and reach a vast white audience. Jackson showed he was able to transcend all labels and reach listeners of all colors and musical tastes. The first number one song on the album follows. It was a searing performance of the song, "Billie Jean", on the Motown 25th anniversary special that helped show Jackson's amazing dancing abilities and push album sales into the stratosphere. It was also the first video by a black artist to gain major airplay on the predominately white MTV, setting the stage for other black artists like Prince to start reaching a more diverse audience. "Human Nature" is a pretty ballad and "P.Y.T." is has more of a a hard edge. His sister Janet sings back up on the tune. The album closes with another ballad "The Lady In My Life". This album went on to sell 25 million copies and for a long time was the biggest selling album in history. It almost single handily pulled the recording industry out of it late 70's, early 80's sales funk and made MTV into the marketing machine it is today. It takes a very special album to do that and this is exactly that.
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
The sound quality of the original CD release of "Thriller" was already pretty great (I remember it being used as a demo disc when I bought my first CD player in 1985), but it's been goosed and buffed up here a bit - mostly in the removal of background hiss, etc. The contents of the original album are well known enough to go without comment. The additions are not much of an attraction, however : 2 previously unreleased session songs and one home demo ("Billie Jean") that are interesting but don't shake the rafters. The rest are interviews (try listening to those twice) and the "missing" second verse of the "Thriller" rap by Vincent Price. Booklet does have some nice new notes, but if you have the original "Thriller" CD there really isn't much here to make this an essential purchase, just a luxury.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2001
The re-issued package includes a gold-pressed CD, a new booklet, and alot of bonus material:
1. interviews with co-producer quincy jones.
2. ***DEMO OF BILLIE JEAN***! AMAZING STUFF! you gotta hear it to belive it, there weren't any lyrics yet to the song, so MJ just hums and makes up words along the way! a classic!
3. a demo of Michael with Vincent Price, for the rap part of "Thriller". you can hear an entire new verse from the rap, never before released.
4. brand new song from the thriller era that was originally recorded for the album but was taken out (vinyl's time limitations, i guess). the song's called "Carousel". it very beautiful, although i'm a bit disappointed it wasn't the entire song (only 1:50 minutes).
In short? a must have. needless to say, all the wonderful tracks have been remastered by engineer Bruce Sweiden, under the direction of Michael himself.
Enjoy the King of Pop!
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2002
Thriller is absolutely a trmendously creative album in MJs catalog. No wonder it became the biggest selling album of all time selling 47 million copies worldwide!
Noone will ever forget the incredible title track with the Vincent Price narration and the timeless video. The same goes for the tile glowing video 'Billie Jean' or the angsty 'Beat It'. MJ really expresses a "don't mess with me" attitude with class. Beat It will last forever.
Most of the rest of Thriller to me is similar to Quincy Jones' 'The Dude' LP.
In fact I often enjoy the lesser known songs on Thriller a bit more. Human Nature is absolutely a lovely song and is almost opposite to Thriller. I consider this one of my favorite love songs of my lifetime. Lady In My Life is my other favorite song on Thriller. Sorry dudes but while the whole album is great, The Lady In My Life and Human Nature share the crown as my top favorite songs.
The remastered edition includes new liner notes, interviews about the albums making, and a few bonus songs. Someone In The Dark is a very beautiful song although the E.T. singing was a bit jarring. There is a demo version of the huge hit 'Billie Jean' that was recorded before the regular version was eventually made. The last bonus track Carasoul is a bit dissapointing. It's only one and a half minutes long. The song should have been at least three and a half minutes long. Oh Well.
At least there are great new liner notes, and great photo stills taken from the video and behind the scenes.
Although the remastered edition could have been better this CD is absolutely incredible.
It's a shame that so many people my age completely missed this album during it's heyday although it's still immensely popular. I was only about 4 weeks old when it came out but it is one of the earliest memories I have of listening to music.
Thriller I bet will more than likely be still available in 2082, 100 years after it's release. It's that good. This CD is timeless.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2002
"Thriller" isn't simply the greatest selling album of all time. To evaluate an album of this magnitude solely on sales doesn't begin to do it justice. It literally turned the music industry on its head, and it ignited a cultural revolution I haven't seen in my 30+ years on this earth. "Thriller" changed the way we listen to music, it jumpstarted MTV culture, and it took Michael Jackson's celebrity to astonishing heights that not even he could handle. But on its very own merits, "Thriller" is still an excellent album flawlessly crafted by producer Quincy Jones and Jackson. The opener, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," the crossover rock jam "Beat It," the funky "P.Y.T.," the signature hit "Billie Jean," and the stomping title track are nothing short of perfect. Even the somewhat sappy duet with Paul McCartney "The Girl Is Mine" has a playful sweetness that you can't resist. But I think "Thriller"'s most underrated track is the closing ballad "The Lady in My Life," an album cut that's just as good as the seven (yes, seven) tracks that were released as singles. In 2001, Sony reissued "Thriller" as a "special edition." While this release is said to be remastered, the sound quality is virtually identical to the previous CD version, and that's not a bad thing. For a 1982 album, both versions project remarkably well, with booming bass and impressive clarity. But what really sets this "special edition" apart is the bonus material that follows this album which clocks at over 70 minutes. We get interviews with Quincy Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton who discuss "Thriller"'s making, the conception of certain tracks, and so forth. Some comments are more useful than others, but I thought both Jones and Temperton helped provide a somewhat intimate look at the making of this recording. Also, we get some additional tracks. "Someone in the Dark" is a ballad that I personally thought was pretty forgettable. We also have a rough demo version of "Billie Jean" with slightly different lyrics. Vincent Price also drops by in the form of a voice-over session for the song "Thriller." The last track is "Carosel," originally recorded for the album but was eventually dropped. It's actually a pretty decent tune, and I personally believed it would have fit into the rest of the album nicely. Sony clearly gave this album the royal treatment, and deservedly so since it is a definite and untouchable 1980s classic. While Jackson would suffer a slow and steady transformation into self-parody, there's no denying his status as a legend. This album, even after 20 years, remains a thriller.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2006
Jazz, R&B, Rock, Soul, Funk, and Pop music had all existed before 1982, but when this album came out, it literally combined all the elements and paved the way for what music is today. From recordings to performances to worldwide sales and recognition, Jackson set the standards for it all. Hundreds of years from now, this will still be looked back on as quite possibly one of the finest albums ever recorded.
While Quincy maintained his masterful touch on all the recordings, Jackson lent his to the timeless compositions of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "Beat It", and "Billie Jean", songs that have literally become signature songs of the 1980s, and showed the world just how musical Michael could be. Aside from those recordings, master songwriter Rod Temperton ("Rock with You", "Off the Wall", "Always and Forever") and R&B soulman James Ingram contributed their own unique tracks, as well. From "Thriller" to "P.Y.T.", every song here literally changed the course of music as a whole.
While some have maintained that there are far better albums in music history's catalogue, I have yet to come across any with as much quality, energy, diversity, and versatility as this one. A masterpiece.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2005
Stop giving Michael Jackson's albums bad reviews because of his trial. Review it because of the music.
Anyway back to the album.
Wanna Be Startin' Something- Has a great sound. A classic. 5/5
Baby Be Mine- A good song. 5/5
The Girl is Mine- another okay song. 4/5
Thriller- the best song with an even better video. The grand daddy of them all. A true MJ classic. 5/5
Beat It- Another MJ classic. The Guitar solo is awesome! 5/5
Billie Jean- The other MJ classic. Shows his true talent. Especially at Motown 25 with his first moonwalk. 5/5
Human Nature- A nice slow ballad. 5/5
P.Y.T- a catchy beat. I love it!- 5/5
Lady in my Life- A nice slow way to end the album. 5/5
The #1 selling album is also the greatest. Buy this and you won't regret it!!!!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2002
Thriller provides such a refreshing sound as opposed to Michael's new, angrier, more intense music. Don't get me wrong, I may be his biggest fan, but it is nice to pop in this CD and hear his innocence. Let the reviewing begin.
1. Wanna Be Startin Somethin- This track is an obvious hit, it has a cool African beat and chant, and Michael does some interesting vocals.
2. Baby Be Mine- A suprising discovery on this album. I really really enjoy this song. It is so completely soul and groovy. Michael goes all out on this one.
3. The Girl Is Mine- Cute, sweet, innocent, a fantastic collaboration between possibly the two best musicians on this earth.
4. Thriller- Great effects, great "rap" by Vincent Price, and great vocals by the NOT SELF-PROCLAIMED King of Pop. This song is thrilling and nostalgic.
5. Beat It- A classic rock song of the eighties. This song foreshadows all of Michael Jackson's great variety of music. Incidentally, I love the dancing on this video.
6. Billie Jean- No matter how much I hear this song (and I've heard it A LOT) I can't get tired of it. It is all-around a perfect song. The beat, the lyrics, the vocals, the dance moves. One of his best ever.
7. Human Nature- This is my favorite on the album, if I must choose. I absolutely love every second of it. It's sexy yet innocent (I think I'm going to overuse this word). This song is mysterious, and it gets all of your senses going. Listen to it loudly.
8. P.Y.T.- My second favorite. It's so groovy and youthful. The beat and vocals make your shoulders move and your feet tap. It helps to know that Janet is a background singer.
9. The Lady In My Life- I didn't like this song as much as the others at first. But then I was reading Jackson's biography, and I read what he said about this song. Quincy Jones told him to "beg" on it. So he had the lights turned off so no one could see him (he was embarrassed), and he "begged." So I listened for the begging, and it's there. I now love this song.
That concludes the original length of the album. Next we have commentary and bonus tracks.
10. Quincy talks about Someone In The Dark (a song on the ET Storybook) and how busy that time was.
11. Someone In The Dark- This is a sweet, loving, innocent (sorry) song. Michael's inner child shines through in the song. ET makes a guest appearance.
12. Quincy talks about the role of the producer, and about several of the hits on the album.
13. This track is the home demo of Billie Jean. The lyrics aren't finalized, or even close to the finished product. This is a really interesting look at what happens to prepare for an album.
14. Quincy talks about Beat It in detail, and MTV.
15. Rod Temperton talks about Vincent Price's role in Thriller.
16. Quincy talks about Vincent Price.
17. Behind the scenes of the voice-over session with Michael and Vincent. You also hear the never before released 2nd verse of the "rap."
18. Rod Temperton talks about Carousel, a track recorded, but not kept on the final album.
19. Quincy talks about Carousel.
20. Carousel- An almost sickly sweet song about a girl from a different kind of world. He pulls it off though.
21. Quincy Jones says his final thoughts on Thriller.
This is an amazing album. The added commentary and tracks are sooooo interesting. And the first nine tracks are in tact, they're beautiful, and they're sung and mainly written by an amazing artist. Buy this album, it is the best selling one, shouldn't everyone own it?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2006
What more can be said about this album? Every song is worth hearing so many times that it's just nearly impossible to get tired of it. SEVEN of its 9 songs charted at number 10 or better, and even "Baby Be Mine" was getting a fair amount of airplay well over a year after the album was released. Personally, though, my favorite song from the album is "PYT" even though songs like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" were more successful. Even if he comes to be regarded as the strangest person ever to walk the earth, this album should still be treated like royalty.