Jackson Trader Dvd and Memorbilia Store
No 1 King of Pop store:
Michael Jackson Trader.
Music & Merchandise
Ordering Info
How To Order
Postal Orderform
Price Beater
Help & FAQ's

Info About Michael
World Tours
News Archive
Collectors Corner
Rarities New
Cd Singles Discography
Picture Discs
Other Site Features
About Us
Club Membership
Site Map

Michael Jackson Dvd, Music and Merchandise Store

The Michael Jackson Thriller Years

For the next project, the album "Thriller", which was originally going to be called "Starlight", Michael teamed up again with Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, and many of the musicians who played on "Off The Wall".
Michael: "I remember being in the studio once with Quincy and Rod Temperton while we were working on 'Thriller'. I was playing a pinball machine and one of them asked me, 'If this album doesn't do as well as 'Off The Wall', will you be disappointed?' I remember feeling upset - hurt that the question was even raised. I told them 'Thriller' had to do better than 'Off The Wall'. I admitted that I wanted this album to be the biggest-selling album of all time. They started laughing. It was a seemingly unrealistic thing to want."

Michael got together with Paul McCartney again; their collaboration produced "Say Say Say" and "The Girl Is Mine". Eventually, Quincy and Michael chose "The Girl Is Mine" as the obvious first single from "Thriller". #
"Not My Lover" was a title they almost used for "Billie Jean" because Q had some objections to calling the song "Billie Jean", Michael's original title. He felt people might immediately think of Billie Jean King, the tennis player. "A lot of people have asked me about that song, and the aswer is very simple. It's just a case of a girl who says that I'm the father of her child and I'm pleading my innocence because 'the kid is not my son'." "This kind of thing has happened to some of my brothers and I used to be really amazed by it. I couldn't understand how these girls could say they were carrying someone's child when it wasn't true. I can't imagine lying about something like that."

For "Beat It", Eddie Van Halen agreed to play the session for them and gave an incredible guitar solo.
But also Steve Porcaro [Toto], Steve Lukather, Greg Phillinganes, Louis Johnson and Vincent Price, to name but a few, collaborated with Michael on the album.

Eventually Michael and Q came under tremendous pressure from the record company to finish "Thriller". Michael: "When a record company rushes you, they really rush you, and they were rushing us hard on 'Thriller'. They said it had to be ready on a certain date, do it or die.

So we went through a period where we were breaking our backs to get the album done by their deadline. There were a lot of compromises made on the mixes of the various tracks, and on whether certain tracks were even going to be on the record. We cut so many corners that we almost lost the whole album.
When we finally listened to the tracks we were going to hand in, 'Thriller' sounded so crappy to me that tears came to my eyes. We had been under enormous pressure because while we were trying to finish 'Thriller' we also had been working on 'The E.T. Storybook', and there had been deadline pressure on that as well. All these people were fighting back and forth with each other, and we came to realize that the sad truth was that the mixes of 'Thriller' didn't work. We sat there in the studio, Westlake Studio in Hollywood, and listened to the whole album. I felt devastated. All this pent-up emotion came out. I got angry and left the room. I told my people, 'That's it, we're not releasing it. Call CBS and tell them they are not getting this album. We are NOT releasing it.' Finally I realized I had to do the whole thing - mix the entire album - all over again... When it was done - boom - it hit us hard. CBS could hear the difference too. 'Thriller' was a tough project."

On December 1, 1982 the album "Thriller" was released and has changed the history of music forever.
"Thriller" becomes the biggest-selling album of all time - selling over 51 million copies worldwide and providing a record of 6 Top Ten singles - the most ever from one album. Both records appear in The Guinness Book Of World Records and have never been broken up to this date!!!
"Thriller" [LP] held its number one position on the U.S. charts for an unrivaled 37 ! weeks during a 122 week residency.

Michael: "Ever since I was a little boy, I had dreamed of creating the biggest-selling record of all time. I remember going swimming as a child and making a wish before I jumped into the pool. Remember, I grew up knowing the industry, understanding goals, and being told what was and was not possible. I wanted to do something special. I'd stretch my arms out, as if I were sending my thoughts right up into space. I'd make my wish, then I'd dive into the water. I'd say to myself, 'This is my dream. This is my wish', every time before I'd dive into the water." Michael Jackson becomes the undisputed King of Pop and reigns over his title up to today - unrivaled!

For the first video, "Billie Jean", Steve Baron was chosen as director. For the first time in history of MTV, a music video told a story - and was not just a collage of images. "Billie Jean's" video made a big impression on the MTV audience and was a huge hit. It's also seen as a major breakthrough for black artists, who had previously been ignored by the channel. Michael Jackson was in fact the first black artist to be added the MTV's playlist! Before that, MTV refused to play videos by black artists. Michael has changed that forever...

On May 16, 1983 Michael performed "Billie Jean" on "Motown 25th: Yesterday, Today, Forever", a television special in honor of Motown's 25th anniversary. More than 47 million Americans saw that show. After that, many things changed. Wearing his now legendary glittery black jacket together with a black fedora for the first time as well as the already known white glove, Michael started to perform "Billie Jean" and showed the world for the first time ever what would become Michael Jackson's greatest trademark - the Moonwalk!
"I could tell that people in the audience were really enjoying my performance. My brothers told me they were crowding the wings watching me with their mouths open, and my parents and sisters were out there in the audience. But I just remember opening my eyes at the end of the thing and seeing this sea of people standing up, applauding." Some people in the audience said later it seemed as the whole world stood still when Michael performed the Moonwalk.

In their February 19th, 1999 issue, "Entertainment Weekly" described the historic performance: "One small step for man, one giant glide for pop culture: Michael Jackson unveils his physics-defying Moonwalk during the song 'Billie Jean' and leaves even rocket scientists scratching their heads." "We spent hours in the editing room discussing every shot", says Don Mischer, producer-director of the NBC special. "He had a great sense of theatre." Everyone was moonstruck!

It was clear to everyone that the next single and video should be "Thriller". Michael chose John Landis ( "An American Werewolf in London") to direct the video, knowing Landis would be perfect for it.
Furthermore, John Branca, Michael's attorney, came up with a great idea. He suggested they make a separate video about the making of the "Thriller" video. Michael: "It seemed odd that no one had ever done this before. We felt sure it would be an interesting documentary..."

In February of 1984 "Thriller" made its debut on MTV and it truly revolutionized the art of making music videos and forever changed the future of making videos. With the release of this music video, Michael Jackson made history and forever changed MTV! "Thriller" was the first music video produced completely and entirely to be a short film. At the end of the Millennium, "Thriller" will be chosen as the best music video of all time!

Michael: "My brother Jackie came to my house and said, 'Are you watching this show that's on TV? All they do is play music. It's MTV.' I put it on and thought the concept was interesting. What I didn't like were the videos that were a collage of images; I thought that if I were to do one, I would do something with a little more entertainment value. My dream was to make something with a beginning, a middle and an ending, like a short film."

After the video debuted on MTV, CBS [Epic] released "Thriller" as a single and sales of the album went crazy. According to statistics, the "Thriller" film ( "The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller") and the release of the single resulted in 14 million additional album and tape sales within a 6 month periode. At one point in 1984, they were selling one million records a week.

On March 30, 1984 the video "The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller" was released and becomes the biggest-selling music video of all time. Michael: "The success of 'The Making of Thriller' was a bit of a shock to all of us." This record will later only be broken once... Guess by whom.

On January 16, 1984 Michael Jackson won for the first time in the history of the American Music Awards 8 of the desirable trophies.

But most important, the 26th Annual Grammy Awards were to be chosen. On February 28, 1984 Michael won 8 ! Grammys in ten categories: Album Of The Year ( "Thriller"), Best Pop Male Vocal ( "Thriller" LP), Record Of The Year ( "Beat It"), Best Rock Male Vocal ( "Beat It"), Best R&B Male Vocal ( "Billie Jean"), Best New Song Of The Year ( "Billie Jean"), Producer Of The Year (with Quincy Jones) and Best Children's Recording ( "E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial" with narration by Michael Jackson).

Michael's date for the evening was Brooke Shields. It is the most ever won in a single year and entered The Guinness Book of World Records. On February 23, 2000 Carlos Santana tied Michael's 17 year [the Grammy's for 1983 were chosen at the beginning of 1984] record for winning the most Grammy's in one year when he won 8 Grammy's for his album "Supernatural". Thus, these two artists now share the distinguished record for winning most Grammy Awards in one year. Santana told reporters backstage that it was "a real honor'' to tie Michael Jackson's record.

On January 24, 1984 the shooting of the first Pepsi commercial began. The US$ 5 million endorsement contract was signed on November 11, 1983 between Michael Jackson, The Jacksons and Pepsi-Cola, involving sponsorship of the "Victory Tour" and two TV commercials. During the filming of the second Pepsi commercial on January 27, 1984 Michael suffered second and third degree scalp burns as sparks from the bombs [for pyrotechnical effects] set his hair on fire.

Miko Brando (Marlon Brando's son and Michael's personal secretary) was the first person to reach Michael and he was the one who did smother the flames with his hands. Michael was rushed to Cedar Sinai Medical Center and was later moved to Brotman Memorial Hospital for treatment. The next day, January 28, 1984, Michael was released from hospital. Later, Michael received US$ 1'500'000.-- from Pepsi which he immediately donated to the Michael Jackson Burn Center.

On February 27, 1984 MTV previewed the two 60 second commercials free of charge.
The next day, February 28, 1984, at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards, The Jacksons' Pepsi commercials were aired during the telecast and are amongst the most successful and most popular ads ever, and the first and only set of advertisements ever to be included in the weekly "TV Guide" listings.

On July 2, 1984 "Victory", by the Jacksons, was released. The album became a hit and was also the last album of The Jacksons as a group.

On July 6, 1984 The Jacksons' "Victory" tour's opening concert was performed at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Reunited with Jermaine, The Jacksons did 55 shows over the course of 5 months, criss-crossing America and Canada with the most ambitious design and execution ever created for the concert stage. It took 4 months to construct it.

On December 9, 1984 the group performed the last concert of the "Victory" tour. During "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)", Michael announced his split from The Jacksons.

The tour grossed a record of US$ 75 million and was the biggest tour any group had ever done, in huge outdoor stadiums. Over 2 million people came to see The Jacksons. And thanks to Michael Jackson, for the first time Pepsi-Cola overtook their arch-rivals, Coca-Cola.

Michael donated all his performance money from this tour to charity. "For me, that was what the 'Victory' tour was all about - giving back", he says later.

On November 20, 1984 Michael was honored with a star on the Walk Of Fame [Hollywood Boulevard] in front of the Mann's Chinese Theatre. His star, which has the number 1'793, is between the stars of country singer Lefty Frizzell and actress Lupe Velez.

Michael becomes the first celebrity to have 2 different stars dedicated to him, having first received one as a member of The Jacksons in the 70's.

Two hours after the 12th Annual American Music Award ceremony on January 28, 1985 Michael and 44 other artists gathered secretly for 10 hours at A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles to record "We Are The World". The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie at Michael's home in early 1985.
Michael: "I wrote the song with Lionel Richie after seeing the appalling news footage of starving people in Ethiopia and the Sudan."

On March 7, 1985 "We Are The World" was released and made music history.
On April 5, "Good Friday" and "We Are The World" was broadcast simultaneously by over 8'000 radio stations around the world.

The song created recording history by becoming the first ever Multi-Platinum single and being certified in all categories (Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum) within the space of one month. The single is the industry's first ever Multi-Platinum single!

"We Are The World" entered the Guinness Book Of World Records as the biggest-selling single of all time and stayed at the top position until in 1997 Elton John's tribute song to Princess Diana, "Candle In The Wind '97 / There's Something About The Way You Look Tonight", becomes the biggest-selling single of all time.

Today, "We Are The World" still is the second biggest-selling single of all time and with absolutely no doubt is and will probably forever be THE number one world hymn! "We Are The World" won 4 Grammy Awards for Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group, and Best Music Video [Short Form].

"USA for Africa" ["United Support of Artists for Africa"] raised a record of US$ 200 million. The money was given to Ethiopia to fight famine.

In August of 1985 Michael Jackson purchased the "ATV Back Catalogue" for US$ 47.5 million. The catalogue [publishing rights], today worth 3 times as much, comprises over 4'000 compositions, including 251 songs by The Beatles as well as hits by Pat Benatar, Little Richard, The Pointer Sisters and The Pretenders. Michael already owns the publishing rights to the Sly Stone collection as well as a collection of 60's hits. Michael rewarded his attorney John Branca and then-manager Frank Dileo each with a Rolls Royce for their help in negotiating the "Beatles deal".

Back to the Michael Jackson Biography Index.

Or choose go direct to the

Jackson 5 Era
Jacksons Era
Thriller Era
Bad Era
Dangerous Era
HIStory Era
Blood On the Dancefloor Era
Invincible Era




Content Copyright 2002-2006 Michael Jackson Trader. All Rights Reserved