My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
I’ve decided that if I need a break from going in the order of the book (chronological), I will open to a random album. That is the case here.
Brief Background: Thriller was recorded in 1982 and released in November the same year. Seven of the nine tracks on the album were released as singles (“Baby Be Mine” and “The Lady in My Life” are the exceptions). Jackson also wrote about half of the songs on the album (which include all of the “big” singles from the album except for “Thriller”). World-wide, this is the best selling album of all time with somewhere around 60 million copies being sold. The album would go on to win the Grammy for best album in 1982.
What I liked: The funny thing about this album is as song like “Baby Be Mine” starts off as a standard slow jam. This makes me think, “ughhh, not my thing”, then the chorus comes in an all is forgiven and forgotten. Even the spoken portion of “The Girl is Mine”, which is extremely sappy somehow works. I absolutely love the outro to “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, it makes the hair on my head stand on ends every time I hear it and overall my favorite song on the album has to be “P.Y.T.”, as a pop song goes, it may be the best ever.
What I Didn’t Like: It’s hard to listen to this album without images from the music videos popping into my head. All this time later, I think that cheapens the experience a little. I want to be able to listen to the music on its own and feel I’ve been somewhat robbed. I also think “The Lady in My Life” is a weak closer to the album as it seems like a throwaway (the only one here) track. I really like the closing track to grab you and make you want to listen through a second time, this one just tells me it’s time to move on.
My Overall Thoughts: It’s great! The funk and disco aren’t my normal cup of tea, but the songs are infectious enough to override that.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? There is a question with this one. Not only is this one of the best albums ever, it is a cultural milestone. It broke down racial divides, it and its creator were everywhere for years and it was the last look at its Jackson from a seemingly un-flawed perspective as the world descended upon him.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (18/20)