Thriller – Michael Jackson

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………on March 4th of 1984 Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” LP becomes the first album to reap seven Billboard Top Ten hits when the title track reaches #4. A British songwriter named Rod Temperton wrote “Thriller”. He was the main songwriter in his band Heatwave, which he formed with two Americans. After their song “Boogie Nights” took off in 1977, Jones asked Temperton to write songs for Jackson, resulting in “Rock With You” and “Off The Wall,” which became the title track to Jackson’s 1979 album. When it came time for Jackson’s next album, Temperton again delivered the title track, this time the song “Thriller.” Temperton also wrote two other songs on Thriller: “The Lady in My Life” and “Baby Be Mine.” Those were the only songs on the album that weren’t released as singles. This was the last of seven US Top 10 hits from the Thriller album. The first single from the album, “The Girl Is Mine,” reached its peak chart position of #2 on January 8, 1983. The song “Thriller” was released over a year later, on January 23, 1984, peaking at #4 on March 3. This lifespan of chart singles from one album was unprecedented, but so was the video for “Thriller.” The clip was so effective that after six singles and a year of release, it boosted yet another track from the album into the Top 10. It also brought the album back to #1 on December 24, 1983 – it lost the top spot on September 17 to Synchronicity by The Police. Thriller held the peak position until April 21, 1984, over a year after it first went to #1 on February 26, 1983. This is a rare pop song with a horror theme. Halloween novelty songs like “Monster Mash” had been around for a while, but this was the first hit song with year-round appeal containing lyrics about creatures of the night who terrify their victim. Vincent Price, an actor known for his work on horror films, did the narration at the end of the song, including the evil laugh. The song peaked at #10 in the UK.