Going platinum in the music industry is certainly a celebratory milestone…but going thirty times platinum? We’ll leave that up to the King of Pop.
On Wednesday, the RIAA reported that Michael Jackson’s Thriller became the first album in history to go platinum thirty times in the United States. With over 100 million sales in the United States alone, Thriller’s worldwide sales are estimated to have hit one billion, making it the top selling album of all time.
In honor of this incredible milestone, we thought we’d hash out a few fun facts behind one of Michael Jackson’s greatest masterpieces, Thriller.
We can thank Janet and La Toya for “P.Y.T.” Although Michael had been known to harmonize his own songs, he tapped his sisters to sing back up on “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing). When you’ve got a musically gifted family, why not use your sisters for a little bit of creative input?
We can also thank Eddie Van Halen for that mean guitar solo Eddie Van Halen provided that now-famous 20-second guitar solo for the album’s third single, “Beat It.” It took him about a half and hour to record, and he did it free of charge as favor to the album’s producer, Quincy Jones. “I said to myself, ‘Who is going to know that I played on this kid’s record, right? Nobody’s going to find out.’ Wrong!” he told CNN in an interview. “Big-time wrong. It ended up being Record of the Year.” The album was meant to combat disco Quincy Jones claimed that Thriller was intended to shift the world from the disco-dominated ’70s into a newer sound. “Our underlying plan was to take disco out. That was the bottom line,” he said in an interview. “I admired disco, don’t get me wrong. I just thought that it had gone far enough,” he said. “We needed to go someplace else.”
Michael wrote about half of the album by himself The writing credits for “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “The Girl Is Mine,” “Beat It,” and “Billie Jean” all belong to Michael Jackson. Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, James Ingram, Steve Porcaro, and John Bettis helped contribute to the remaining five songs on the album.
Anyone else itching for a “Thriller” dance party? Say no more!
(Image via Epic Records)