Thriller is Old: "[December 1] marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller. These days Jackson is more of a court jester, but for those of you who have forgotten (or never knew) that he once wore the "King of Pop" crown, one look at the Thriller tracklist will set you straight . . . . That's a murderer's row: seven top-ten singles out of nine tracks, back in the days when such things had meaning, and not a cheap one in the bunch. 100 million copies later, the music still matters." - Stereogum, in his own exercise of chronological snobbery, in "The Funk of 40,025 Years," Stereogum, 11/30/07.
Does the modern listener of music, too young to remember 1982, understand how huge Michael Jackson's Thriller was at the time? That the record was both made for and made MTV as a network? For those too young, or too pre-existent to recall, the record is a historical artifact parodied a myriad times over and over again. But before it became one with the pop culture landscape, and before its author became known for more sordid pursuits, Thriller was, well, Thriller. There was no comparison. To think now that Thriller has existed longer than a current college senior is baffling. But it has, and in its vain and overproduced glory, it rocks. No word yet on whether the upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary of "Say Say Say" will be similarly recognized, but really, it should be, shouldn't it?
Phil Spector Passes
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