Nancy Griffin has a great article in Vanity Fair this month on the making of the “Thriller” music video. I was too young (the video debuted on MTV in December of 1983), but many remember the impact, and how over the subsequent year, this thing was huge:
“There was a month when you couldn’t turn the television on and not see ‘Thriller'” says [Director John] Landis.
The video sent the album’s sales back into the stratosphere, with Epic shipping a million copies a week; by the end of 1984, the album had sold 33 million copies in the U.S. Since then, Thriller has remained unchallenged as the No. 1 album of all time (current sales worldwide: an estimated 110 million).
Griffin talks about the already-fragile state of MJ’s psyche at the time and how Thriller‘s success would tragically become a source of great pressure for him over the years to come.
“There ain’t no second chance against the thing with forty eyes, girl.”