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Thread: What made Thriller so popular?

  1. #1
    Rockin' Your World Naima's Avatar
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    Post What made Thriller so popular?

    What was it that made the Thriller the worlds best selling album?
    Was it Motown 25? The Thriller video? Or simply just the music?

    This is a serious question I have been wondering about. Becuse Thriller was in its peak after the Thriller video premiered in 1984 but I wonder why it became so epic. Was it becuse it had dancing zombies in it or that it was like a short movie.

    I dont understand what the 80s was all about though, becuse I'm a 90s child.

    Have you some ideas or facts on why it became so popular?

    PS. Maybe the those who lived during the thriller era can share their expierence.
    Last edited by Naima; 03-13-2010 at 06:13 AM.

  2. #2
    #winning SevenInches's Avatar
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    I think what made Thriller (the video, not the album) so popular is that it was a short film and a music video, which was unusual and practically unheard of at that time. Michael pioneered the way music videos are made today, and Thriller was the start of what helped pave the way for music videos. Also, the choreography is amazing, and the concept was very original at the time.

    As for the album, I think Billie Jean (Motown 25) and Thriller publicized the album, which lead more people to buy it. Plus, it helps that by that time he had already released OTW and he was well known for being the frontman of J5/The Jacksons; that also helped him gain attention from others. But then again, I'm a 90s kid too so I wouldn't really know. I'm saying all of this from observation.

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    Rockin' Your World Naima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevenInches View Post
    I think what made Thriller (the video, not the album) so popular is that it was a short film and a music video, which was unusual and practically unheard of at that time. Michael pioneered the way music videos are made today, and Thriller was the start of what helped pave the way for music videos. Also, the choreography is amazing, and the concept was very original at the time.

    As for the album, I think Billie Jean (Motown 25) and Thriller publicized the album, which lead more people to buy it. Plus, it helps that by that time he had already released OTW and he was well known for being the frontman of J5/The Jacksons; that also helped him gain attention from others. But then again, I'm a 90s kid too so I wouldn't really know. I'm saying all of this from observation.


    It kinda puts in perpective what people from the 80's were really into, because the Thriller video had no special effects compared to his older videos.

    It barely had to do with dance cause he only danced for about 2 min out of the 14 min video. He danced more and better during the Bad era and that album did worse. It was the fact that he told this amazing horror story and made a short film, it was more than a music video and I guess people from the 80's.

    I had always thought that Motown 25 was the main reason and that it was the succes behind it all. But Thriller only sold 12 millions based on the music and Motown 25. And rest was the Thriller video.
    Last edited by Naima; 05-31-2010 at 05:24 PM.

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    #winning SevenInches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naima View Post
    Thank you!

    It kinda puts in perpective what people from the 80's were really into, because the Thriller video had no special effects compared to his older videos, unless we're referring to the warewolf makeup.

    Michael found a way and he's a genious! It barely had to do with dance cause he only danced for about 2 min out of the 14 min video. He danced more and better during the Bad era and that album did worse. It was the fact that he told this amazing horror story and made a short film, it was more than a music video and I guess people from the 80's.

    I had always thought that Motown 25 was the main reason and that it was the succes behind it all. But Thriller only sold 12 millions based on the music and Motown 25. And rest was the Thriller video.
    Lol I know, that was just me being a dance geek.

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    Canadain "A" krvb's Avatar
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    I'm from the 80's and I remember the video being the biggest thing ever. Everyone would stay glued to mtv and hope they played the video. It was something never heard of then, to put so much time and money into one music video.

    SO TIRED OF WINTER.

  6. #6
    Rockin' Your World Naima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevenInches View Post
    Lol I know, that was just me being a dance geek.
    Nothing wrong being one.



    Quote Originally Posted by krvb View Post
    I'm from the 80's and I remember the video being the biggest thing ever. Everyone would stay glued to mtv and hope they played the video. It was something never heard of then, to put so much time and money into one music video.
    It was really a cultural phenomenom and I envy you for living during it.

    Why wasnt I born a little earlier

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    Posting 'Till The Break Of Dawn Beautifulsoul's Avatar
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    I think for me, it was the fact that it was so groundbreaking.I was totally intrigued by it. It wasn't just an ordinary music video.Besides being a short-film, it was just filled with so much creativity. The video didn't just project what the song was about, it added to the song and gave it a whole new new dimension. It was more than an extension of the song, it was a story, it "took" you into it, like you were a part of it.Going from the part of the "date" at the movies, and then taking you into the choreography/song part,then back to the "date". It had all the components of a good film.
    Beautiful in every way.

  8. #8
    Canadain "A" krvb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naima View Post
    Nothing wrong being one.





    It was really a cultural phenomenom and I envy you for living during it.

    Why wasnt I born a little earlier
    Well one thing for sure life was sure different then it is now. Music was big all we ever did was cruize up and down the main drag with it turned up loud. Now a days the streets are dead after 9pm.

    SO TIRED OF WINTER.

  9. #9
    Mojo Filter dreamer's Avatar
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    Gawd, tough question! I was young when it came out but I remember we had 'the making of Thriller' on video and everyone in our street used to watch together - A LOT! I think life was so different back then... I can't explain how but I remember it as just being a simpler time. (pardon my cliche) Now people are so venomous and concerned about what's hot and what's not - back then, it was kinda like everyone was on the same page. That is a WILD generalisation, I know, but there really didn't seem to be a person in the world (my world!) that didn't think Michael Jackson was the biggest legend in the universe.

    I also think the Motown performance had a lot to do with it - even though I only remember seeing it on a doco a few years later. But that was the moment the world saw the Moonwalk for the first time. I think that Michael created such solid moments that it's almost like he invented the wheel. I mean - when anyone slides across a floor, you know it's Michael Jackson's Moonwalk. When someone puts their hands like claws in the air, you know that it's Michael Jackson's thriller. When you see a fedora, it's Michael. A sparkly glove, Michael. A pair of black shoes up on their toes, Michael. His style and his ~moments~ are tangible and at that time, they were brand new and so effin cool you couldn't believe it!

  10. #10
    Stuck In The 80's Bekah's Avatar
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    I made it popular, you betches.

    No but really, there's a few factors in why it became so successful. That it was like a short movie and music video. They had everything, Vincent Price, the fantastic sets, the amazing makeup. The dancing was quite viral as well. That's one of the things Michael was good at, making people want to get up and dance. At the time Mtv had vids that were only a couple mins long and simple compared to Thriller. Thriller was definitely ahead of it's time and very very original, and imaginative.

    Also, it was by an artist who had recently broken the barriers of musical ignorance and prejudice. Back then mtv was only a few years old. They didn't air many black artists. Only a few. They began showing the vid Billie Jean and it had actually made MTV (who was struggling a bit)very popular. Billie Jean premiered the same year as Thriller but earlier in the year so you still have all the hype for Michael when Thriller came out.


    Edit* I just wanted to add in the first time I saw the vid. I don't remember much because it was in 1983 and I was only 3 years old. My mom told me about it though.

    My aunt had invited tons of people over to her house to watch the thriller premiere along with the making of thriller doc.
    It was a very big deal. There were tons of people there and we all were crammed into the living room with popcorn, the adults had margaritas, they were making ice cream sundaes.

    Back then, Michael was that popular. He was it. He was the biggest star. Everyone loved him.
    I miss those days.
    Last edited by Bekah; 03-13-2010 at 01:37 AM.

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