Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' turns 30 - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' turns 30

Michael Jackson's album 'Thriller' was released 30 years ago. (Source: Amazon) Michael Jackson's album 'Thriller' was released 30 years ago. (Source: Amazon)

(RNN) – Even now, when it plays at a gathering, people raise their arms to the side in zombie-like manner, swing them back-and-forth and scream "'Cause this is thriller, thriller night …"

The classic Michael Jackson album turned 30 years old Friday.

(Editorial note: This writer is known to still do the full Thriller or Beat It dance at weddings or parties, and was a member of the Michael Jackson fan club when this album was released.)

The album, released Nov. 30, 1982, went on to be the best-selling album of all time in the U.S. (adding to that number after Jackson's death in 2009), peaked at No. 1 in eight countries and spawned seven Top-10 hits and won eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.

It also got millions singing "mama-say-mama-sah-ma-ma-coo-sah" without question.

Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean and other signature songs from the album even changed how MTV played music – back when they played music. Before Jackson, the young network was reluctant to showcase black artists.

Jackson broke that barrier and caused the industry to rethink how videos were made – high production values, dance numbers, special effects and even narratives became the norm.

The star power that went into making the album is stunning. Motown great Quincy Jones produced the album; former Beatle Paul McCartney sang the duet The Girl is Mine; Eddie Van Halen played guitar on Beat It.

Vincent Price, then known for his creepy voice and acting roles, recited a mini poem in the middle of the song Thriller.

The video for the title track became so popular, it spawned myriad tributes – like a viral video with hundreds of prisoners in the Philippines doing a reenactment with the lead dancer wearing Jackson's trademark red leather jacket and pants.

Another true sign of success was the many parodies Jackson's work spawned, including Eat it – one of the most famous hit by Weird Al Yankovic.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • WECT News Poll

  • What is your favorite song off Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin''
    8%
    6 votes
    'Baby Be Mine'
    1%
    1 vote
    'The Girl is Mine'
    1%
    1 vote
    'Thriller'
    22%
    17 votes
    'Beat It'
    17%
    13 votes
    'Billie Jean'
    19%
    15 votes
    'Human Nature'
    14%
    11 votes
    'P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)'
    10%
    8 votes
    'The Lady in My Life'
    8%
    6 votes

YOUTUBE: Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'

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