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Michael Jackson|Thriller 40

Thriller 40

Michael Jackson

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Forty years after its release on the 30th of November 1982, people still name Thriller as one of Michael Jackson’s greatest albums. To mark the occasion, Sony is rolling out the red carpet for the anniversary edition of this masterpiece, including 25 bonus tracks! For this record, which was released in the same year as the Compact Disc, the 24-year-old star once again teamed up with Quincy Jones. The era was also marked by the rise of MTV—which was only a year old at the time—and Michael dreamed of reaching funk lovers as well as rock and pop fans. However, Thriller became what we know it to be because it was essentially a compilation of strong, perfect songs. As Quincy would later say: 'If an album reaches number one, it’s because the songs are perfect to begin with!'


Emphasising the role of sound engineer Bruce Swedien and songwriter Rod Temperton, who’d already been involved in Off the Wall, the producer told Rolling Stone magazine in 2009: 'Michael didn’t create Thriller. It takes a team to make an album. He wrote four songs, and sang his ass off, but he didn’t conceive it. That’s not how an album works.' ‘The Girl Is Mine’, the duet with Paul McCartney, was released as a single on the 18th of October 1982, a good month after the album. By joining forces with the ex-Beatles member again, Michael Jackson showed the way. He broke down racial boundaries even further, building bridges between America and Europe and blurring the lines between musical genres. His label, Epic–like everyone involved–knew that this album was going to be unlike anything else the world had ever seen.


To link the album to Off The Wall, Thriller is logically opened by ‘Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'’. With its sample of Manu Dibango’s ‘Soul Makossa’ (the Cameroonian saxophonist would only claim royalties in 2008), it was the perfect way to satisfy Michael’s lifelong fans. However, the lyrics were already less smooth than they had been in the past, revealing that the star had hardened up and freed himself from his child-artist image. Of course, the heart of this colossal album is in its three major songs: ‘Thriller’, ’Beat It’ and ‘Billie Jean’. With creaking doors, werewolf screams, a long instrumental intro (Michael’s voice only appears at the one-minute mark) and a monologue by 50s, 60s and 70s horror star Vincent Price, ‘Thriller’ (and its video) remains a pop culture megalith. With a pyrotechnic guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen (who, according to legend, burned out the studio speakers during the recording), ‘Beat It’ is a relentless, ultra-rhythmic rock song, just what Quincy Jones was hoping for since he’d fantasised about placing a song similar to The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ (1979) at the heart of the album. However, the stand-out track from Thriller, of course, is the record-shattering hit ‘Billie Jean’. This is an excellent reissue of a true masterpiece.© Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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Thriller 40

Michael Jackson

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1
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
00:06:02

Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Michael J. Jackson, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Wolfer, Synthesizer - Bunny Hull, Background Vocal - Jerry Hey, Arranger, Trumpet, Fluegelhorn - James Ingram, Background Vocal - Louis Johnson, Bass - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer - Quincy Jones, Producer - LARRY WILLIAMS, Flute, Saxophone - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Michael Jackson, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - David Williams, Guitar - Oren Waters, Background Vocal - Maxine Waters, Background Vocal - Gary Grant, Trumpet, Fluegelhorn - Bill Reichenbach, Trombone - Julia Waters, Background Vocal - Becky Lopez, Background Vocal

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions, Inc.

2
Baby Be Mine
00:04:20

Humberto Gatica, Recording Engineer - Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards, Synthesizer - Rodney Temperton, Composer, Lyricist - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Jerry Hey, Arranger, Trumpet, Fluegelhorn - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Rod Temperton, Vocal Arranger - Louis Johnson, Bass - DAVID PAICH, Synthesizer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer - Quincy Jones, Producer - LARRY WILLIAMS, Flute, Saxophone - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Michael Jackson, Vocal Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - David Williams, Guitar - Gary Grant, Trumpet, Fluegelhorn - Bill Reichenbach, Trombone - Mark Ettel, Assistant Engineer - Steve Bates, Assistant Engineer - Matt Forger, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Chancler, Ndugu, Drums

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

3
The Girl Is Mine
00:03:41

Jeff Porcaro, Drums - Humberto Gatica, Recording Engineer - Michael J. Jackson, Composer, Lyricist - Dean Parks, Guitar - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - DAVID FOSTER, Synthesizer - Louis Johnson, Bass - Paul Mccartney, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal, with - DAVID PAICH, Piano - STEVE LUKATHER, Guitar - Quincy Jones, Producer, Vocal Arranger - Michael Jackson, Vocal Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Mark Ettel, Assistant Engineer - Steve Bates, Assistant Engineer - Matt Forger, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Michael Jackson with Paul McCartney, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

4
Thriller
00:05:57

Vincent Price, Rap - Humberto Gatica, Recording Engineer - Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Bruce Swedien, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer, AdditionalStudioProducer - Jerry Hey, Arranger, Trumpet, Fluegelhorn, Performance Arranger - Anthony Marinelli, Programmer - Brian Banks, Synthesizer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Rod Temperton, Composer, Lyricist, Vocal Arranger, Synthesizer, Performance Arranger - Quincy Jones, Producer - LARRY WILLIAMS, Flute, Saxophone - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - David Williams, Guitar - Gary Grant, Trumpet, Fluegelhorn - Bill Reichenbach, Trombone - Mark Ettel, Assistant Engineer - Steve Bates, Assistant Engineer - Matt Forger, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Bruce Cannon, AdditionalStudioProducer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

5
Beat It
00:04:18

Jeff Porcaro, Drums - Greg Phillinganes, Piano, Synthesizer - Bill Wolfer, Keyboards - Bruce Swedien, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Eddie Van Halen, Guitar - STEVE LUKATHER, Guitar, Bass Guitar - Quincy Jones, Producer - Paul Jackson Jr., Guitar - TOM BAHLER, Synthesizer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Percussion, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Steve Porcaro, Programmer, Synthesizer - Don Landee, Recording Engineer - GREG SMITH, Synthesizer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

6
Billie Jean
00:04:54

Jeremy Lubbock, Conductor - Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer - Michael J. Jackson, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Wolfer, Synthesizer - Bruce Swedien, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Jerry Hey, Performance Arranger - Louis Johnson, Bass - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal, Performance Arranger - David Williams, Guitar - GREG SMITH, Synthesizer - Ndugu Chancler, Drums

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

7
Human Nature
00:04:05

Jeff Porcaro, Drums - Humberto Gatica, Recording Engineer - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - DAVID PAICH, Arranger, Synthesizer - STEVE LUKATHER, Arranger, Guitar - Quincy Jones, Producer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Steve Porcaro, Composer, Lyricist, Arranger, Synthesizer - JOHN BETTIS, Composer, Lyricist - Mark Ettel, Assistant Engineer - Steve Bates, Engineer, Assistant Engineer - Matt Forger, Engineer, Recording Engineer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

8
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
00:03:58

Humberto Gatica, Recording Engineer - Howard Hewett, Background Vocal - Greg Phillinganes, Programmer, Synthesizer - Bunny Hull, Background Vocal - Bruce Swedien, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - James Ingram, Composer, Lyricist, Arranger, Keyboards, Clapping, Background Vocal - Louis Johnson, Bass Guitar, Clapping - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer - Quincy Jones, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Arranger - Paul Jackson Jr., Guitar - Michael Jackson, Clapping, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - JANET JACKSON, Background Vocal - Mark Ettel, Assistant Engineer - Steve Bates, Assistant Engineer - Ndugu Chancler, Drums - Steven Ray, Clapping - LaToya Jackson, Background Vocal - Matt Forger, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Becky Lopez, Background Vocal

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

9
The Lady in My Life
00:04:58

Jeff Porcaro, Drums - Humberto Gatica, Recording Engineer - Rodney Temperton, Composer, Lyricist - Bruce Swedien, Recording Engineer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer - Rod Temperton, Arranger - Louis Johnson, Bass - DAVID PAICH, Synthesizer - Quincy Jones, Producer - Paul Jackson Jr., Guitar - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Steve Porcaro, Synthesizer - Mark Ettel, Assistant Engineer - Steve Bates, Assistant Engineer - Matt Forger, Engineer, Recording Engineer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

10
Starlight
00:05:03

Rod Temperton, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2022 MJJ Productions Inc.

11
Got the Hots (Demo)
00:04:25

Rod Temperton, Composer, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

12
Who Do You Know (Demo)
00:05:22

Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2022 MJJ Productions Inc.

13
Carousel
00:03:39

Bruce Swedien, Mixing Engineer - Quincy Jones, Producer - MICHAEL SEMBELLO, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Don Freeman, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2001 MJJ Productions Inc.

14
Behind The Mask (Mike's Mix (Demo))
00:05:00

Ryuichi Sakamoto, Composer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - CHRIS MOSDELL, Lyricist

(P) 2022 MJJ Productions Inc.

15
Can't Get Outta The Rain
00:04:06

Quincy Jones, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

16
The Toy (Demo)
00:03:04

Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2022 MJJ Productions Inc.

17
Sunset Driver (Demo)
00:04:02

TBD, Composer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal

(P) 2004 MJJ Productions Inc.

18
What A Lovely Way To Go (Demo)
00:03:55

Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2022 MJJ Productions Inc.

19
She's Trouble (Demo)
00:04:12

Terry Britten, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Livsey, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Shifrin, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2022 MJJ Productions Inc.

20
Billie Jean (1981 Home Demo)
00:02:20

Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Quincy Jones for Quincy Jones Productions, Producer

(P) 2001 MJJ Productions Inc.

21
Billie Jean (Long Version)
00:06:20

Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

22
Billie Jean (2008 Kanye West Mix) (Thriller 25th Anniversary Remix)
00:04:35

Kanye West, Producer, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Bhasker, Keyboards - Alex Dromgoole, Engineer - Anthony Kilhoffer, Keyboards, Mixing Engineer - Anthony Caruso, Keyboards - Michael Jackson feat. Kanye West, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

23
Beat It (Demo)
00:02:03

Michael J. Jackson, Composer, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Producer, Performance Arranger - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Performance Arranger - Nelson Hayes, Assistant Engineer - Brent Averill, Engineer

(P) 2009 MJJ Productions Inc.

24
Beat It (2008 with Fergie Remix) (Thriller 25th Anniversary Remix)
00:04:11

Quincy Jones, Producer - Fergie, AssociatedPerformer, with - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - will.i.am, Drums, Keyboards, Re-Mixer - Michael Jackson with Fergie, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

25
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Demo)
00:05:42

Michael J. Jackson, Composer, Lyricist - Louis Johnson, Bass Guitar - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - David Williams, Guitar - Nelson Hayes, Assistant Engineer - Brent Averill, Engineer

(P) 2009 MJJ Productions Inc.

26
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Tommy D's Main Mix)
00:07:40

Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

27
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (2008 with Akon) (Thriller 25th Anniversary Remix)
00:04:14

Michael Jackson with Akon, AssociatedPerformer - Aliaune Thiam, Composer, Lyricist - Aliaune "Akon" Thiam, Re-Mixer - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Akon, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal, with - Mark "Exit" Goodchild, Re-Mixer - Giorgio H. Tuinfort, Composer, Lyricist, Co-Producer

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

28
Human Nature 7"
00:03:47

Steven Porcaro, Composer, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - JOHN BETTIS, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

29
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (Demo Version)
00:03:46

James Ingram, Composer, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2004 MJJ Productions Inc.

30
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (2008 with will.i.am) (Thriller 25th Anniversary Remix)
00:04:21

Michael Jackson with will.i.am, AssociatedPerformer - Printz Board, Trumpet - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Keith Harris, Keyboards - will.i.am, Drums, Keyboards, Re-Mixer, AssociatedPerformer, with - Tim Izo, Saxophone - Chuck Prada, Percussion - Simone Battle, Background Vocal - Martii Garcia, Background Vocal

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

31
The Girl Is Mine (2008 with will.i.am) (Thriller 25th Anniversary Remix)
00:03:10

Michael Jackson with will.i.am, AssociatedPerformer - Michael J. Jackson, Composer, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Keith Harris, Keyboards - will.i.am, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Keyboards, Re-Mixer, AssociatedPerformer, with

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

32
Thriller 7" (Special Edit)
00:04:38

Jerry Hey, Arranger - Rod Temperton, Composer, Lyricist, Vocal Arranger - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1983 MJJ Productions.

33
Thriller (Def Thrill Mix)
00:07:22

Jerry Hey, Arranger - Rod Temperton, Composer, Lyricist, Vocal Arranger - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Jackson, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

34
Thriller (Megamix)
00:09:13

Jason Nevins, Producer, Mixing Engineer - James Ingram, Composer, Lyricist - Rod Temperton, Composer, Lyricist - Quincy Jones, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Michael Jackson, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2008 MJJ Productions Inc.

Album Description

Forty years after its release on the 30th of November 1982, people still name Thriller as one of Michael Jackson’s greatest albums. To mark the occasion, Sony is rolling out the red carpet for the anniversary edition of this masterpiece, including 25 bonus tracks! For this record, which was released in the same year as the Compact Disc, the 24-year-old star once again teamed up with Quincy Jones. The era was also marked by the rise of MTV—which was only a year old at the time—and Michael dreamed of reaching funk lovers as well as rock and pop fans. However, Thriller became what we know it to be because it was essentially a compilation of strong, perfect songs. As Quincy would later say: 'If an album reaches number one, it’s because the songs are perfect to begin with!'


Emphasising the role of sound engineer Bruce Swedien and songwriter Rod Temperton, who’d already been involved in Off the Wall, the producer told Rolling Stone magazine in 2009: 'Michael didn’t create Thriller. It takes a team to make an album. He wrote four songs, and sang his ass off, but he didn’t conceive it. That’s not how an album works.' ‘The Girl Is Mine’, the duet with Paul McCartney, was released as a single on the 18th of October 1982, a good month after the album. By joining forces with the ex-Beatles member again, Michael Jackson showed the way. He broke down racial boundaries even further, building bridges between America and Europe and blurring the lines between musical genres. His label, Epic–like everyone involved–knew that this album was going to be unlike anything else the world had ever seen.


To link the album to Off The Wall, Thriller is logically opened by ‘Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'’. With its sample of Manu Dibango’s ‘Soul Makossa’ (the Cameroonian saxophonist would only claim royalties in 2008), it was the perfect way to satisfy Michael’s lifelong fans. However, the lyrics were already less smooth than they had been in the past, revealing that the star had hardened up and freed himself from his child-artist image. Of course, the heart of this colossal album is in its three major songs: ‘Thriller’, ’Beat It’ and ‘Billie Jean’. With creaking doors, werewolf screams, a long instrumental intro (Michael’s voice only appears at the one-minute mark) and a monologue by 50s, 60s and 70s horror star Vincent Price, ‘Thriller’ (and its video) remains a pop culture megalith. With a pyrotechnic guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen (who, according to legend, burned out the studio speakers during the recording), ‘Beat It’ is a relentless, ultra-rhythmic rock song, just what Quincy Jones was hoping for since he’d fantasised about placing a song similar to The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ (1979) at the heart of the album. However, the stand-out track from Thriller, of course, is the record-shattering hit ‘Billie Jean’. This is an excellent reissue of a true masterpiece.© Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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