Monday, May 15, 2017

138. Michael Jackson - Thriller

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The King of Pop graces the cover of the best selling album of all time.

This is modest art for an album that sold over 72 million copies worldwide. The cover for Thriller features Michael Jackson in a white suit that belonged to
photographer Dick Zimmerman. 

"The day of the shoot arrive[d]. I hired one of the best fashion stylists in LA to gather a large variety of wardrobe, and we began the arduous
process of selecting attire for the cover and inside spread. After about an hour of weeding through the wardrobe, Michael couldn't find anything
he was crazy about. I started to panic. His eyes lit up when he noticed the white suit that I was wearing. He said, "That's the look I like, do we
have anything like that?" We didn't. Time was fleeting. I was concerned about having enough time to execute my cover ideas. I indicated that
we were about the same height and build and if he would like to wear mine. That was exactly what he wanted. Fortunately for the session and
the time involved, the suit fit like it was tailored for him.

During breaks Michael would stand in front of a full length mirror and practice continual spins. I was privileged to get a personal preview of those
legendary ones that are now so familiar to us all. He just would come alive in front of that mirror. It was fascinating, because he had such a shy
and subdued manner throughout the photo session, but in front of that mirror, dancing, he was electric and that was the first time that I realized
that I was witnessing something very special." The Creation of the Thriller Album Cover by Dick Zimmerman

This is the original album cover art design.

No. 1, Billboard, The 300 Best-Selling Albums of All Time; No. 4, Entertainment Weekly, 100 Greatest Albums Ever;
No. 20, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 28, Rate Your Music, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time;
No. 64, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000

Photo by Dick Zimmerman, album produced by Quincy Jones & Michael Jackson.
Epic, CBS, 1982.

Blender described Jackson as the "late 20th century's preeminent pop icon", while The New York Times gave the opinion that he was a "musical phenomenon"
and that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else". Jackson changed the way the industry functioned: both as an
artistic persona and as a financial, profitable entity. His attorney John Branca observed that Jackson achieved the highest royalty rate in the music industry
to that point: approximately $2 (US$4.61 in 2016 dollars) for each album sold. As a result, Jackson earned record-breaking profits from compact disc sales
and from the sale of copies of the documentary, The Making of Michael Jackson's Thrillerproduced by Jackson and John Landis. Funded by MTV, the film
sold over 350,000 copies in its first few months. In a market then driven by singles, Thriller raised the significance of albums, yet its multiple hit singles
changed perceived notions as to the number of successful singles that could be taken from an individual album. 

At the time of the album's release, a press statement from Gil Friesen, the then President of A&M Records, read that, "The whole industry has stake in this
success". Time magazine speculated that "the fallout from Thriller has given the [music] business its best years since the heady days of 1978, when it had an
estimated total domestic revenue of $4.1 billion". Time summed up Thriller's impact as a "restoration of confidence" for an industry bordering on "the ruins
of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop". The publication described Jackson's influence at that point as, "Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man
rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all
boundaries of taste and style and color too".

From the moment Thriller was released, it set the standard for the music industry: artists, record labels, producers, marketers and even choreographers. The
music video was ahead of its time and it is considered a monumental one—not only in Jackson's career, but also in the history of pop music. Epic Records'
approach to creating a song and video that would appeal to the mass market ended up influencing the way that professionals now market and release their
songs. John Landis's production of a mini-movie, rather than the usual short music video, would raise the bar for other directors and producers. wikipedia

(A) Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Baby Be Mine - The Girl Is Mine - Thriller

(B) Beat It - Billie Jean - Human Nature - P. Y. T. (Pretty Young Thing) - The Lady in My Life

"Thriller" official video from michaeljacksonVEVO on YouTube

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