Number 10: ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson
Well, that selection might have surprised you but, honestly, it’s a super album. I’d been aware of Michael Jackson and his brothers from his singing days with the Jackson 5. They produced some great hits, but it was when Michael became a solo artist that I really sat up and took notice.
Up until ‘Thriller’ the only album of his I had in my record collection was ‘Off the Wall,’ which is well worth a listen if you haven’t already heard it.
It’s fair to say Jackson owned the airwaves with ‘Thriller.’ The album saw the release of seven singles, an unheard of series of hits that you couldn’t get away from, a bit like ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ To date the album, according to Wikipedia, has sold a phenomenal 66 million copies, half of them in the US.
My two favourites were the sensational ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat It,’ and ‘Thriller’, which were accompanied by amazing videos. The only song that grated was his duet with Paul McCartney, ‘The Girl is Mine,’ which was a bit too cheesy for my tastes.
The album came out in late 1982 and coincided with a rather turbulent time in my life. I had reached a crisis point and Jackson’s music helped provide a backdrop to it all. They lifted me at just the right time.
In 1988 Michael Jackson, by then at the height of his powers, graced us with two concerts in Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork, and I was there with my nieces Andrea and Gillian. It was a beautiful day and Jackson was as good as I expected him to be. What a dancer. What a singer. What a performance.
Jackson is dead now. His reputation suffered greatly over allegations of child sex abuse, and some radio stations refuse to play his music. Still, while writing this I played the album again and it still sounds terrific.
And that, folks, is the end of my series. Thanks for reading.