On the 30th November 1982, Michael Jackson released the album Thriller, which went on to become the best-selling album of all time. As well as being certified 29x platinum for its 29 million sales in America, it has sold in excess of 20 million copies internationally and continues to sell over 100,000 copies every year in the US alone.
Michael Jackson released his first solo album, Off The Wall, in 1979. Despite its critical and commercial success, Jackson felt that the album did not gain the recognition it deserved saying that, “It was totally unfair that it didn’t get Record of the Year and it can never happen again”. Consequently he set about making an album on which “every song was a killer” and would help him achieve his aim of becoming the biggest star in show business.
Quincy Jones worked with Jackson to produce the album, with recording starting on the 14th April 1982. The album was released just three weeks after mixing was finished and was selling a million copies a week at its height. In addition it won eight Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards.
Seven of the nine songs on the album were released as singles, with the music videos for Billie Jean, Beat It, and the title track itself becoming MTV staples. The Thriller video was directed by acclaimed film director John Landis and was described as “a watershed moment for the [music] industry” for merging filmmaking and music. It also went on to win a raft of Grammy and MTV awards.