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Thriller is the sixth studio album by the American singer Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records. The follow-up to Jackson’s successful previous album, Off the Wall (1979),Thriller explores genres similar to those of its predecessor, including pop, post-disco, rock and funk. Recording sessions for Thriller took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000 (US$1,861,293 in 2016 dollars). Quincy Jones produced the album, while Jackson wrote four of its nine songs.
In just over a year, Thriller became—and currently remains—the world’s best-selling album, with estimated sales surpassing 65 million copies. It is the best-selling album in the United States and the first album to be certified 33x multi-platinum, having shipped 33 million album-equivalent units. The album won a record-breaking number of eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year. Seven singles were released from the album, all of which reached the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thriller also enabled Jackson to break down racial barriers in pop music, via his appearances on MTV and meeting with the then-President of the United States, Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs “Thriller”, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” all received regular rotation on MTV. In 2001, a special edition reissue of the album was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song “Someone in the Dark”, which was a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, the album was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes that feature contemporary artists, a previously unreleased song and a DVD, which features the short films from the album and the Motown 25 performance of “Billie Jean”. That same year the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, along with Jackson’s Off The Wall album. In 2012, Slant Magazine placed Thriller at number one on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980s”. In 2003, Rolling Stone placed the album at number 20 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. The album was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandiser sat number three on its list of the “Definitive 200 albums of all time”. Thriller was also included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of culturally significant recordings, and the Thriller music video was included in the National Film Preservation Board’s National Film Registry of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films”.