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Thriller 25 is a 25th Anniversary special edition reissue of the Michael Jackson album Thriller, the world's best selling album. The prospect of a "second chapter" to Thriller was first publicly discussed on Access Hollywood in late 2006. Jackson said he would discuss the idea with collaborator will.i.am. It was released in Australia on February 8, 2008, then internationally on February 11, 2008 and the following day in the United States.

Thriller 25 was released by Sony BMG's re-issue division, Legacy Recordings. In the United Kingdom, the BBFC gave it a '15' certificate because it included the video for "Thriller". It is the first Jackson album with an age certificate. Along with the original material, the reissue contained remixes, new material, a DVD and collaborations with several contemporary artists.

Two singles, "The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" were released from the album to moderate success and a number of the other remixes charted, despite no physical release. Thriller 25 was a commercial success, selling 3 million copies worldwide in it's 12 weeks and was generally well received among critics, despite their view that the new material was not as inspiring as the original.

Context

Jackson released his sixth studio album, Thriller, on November 30, 1982. Selling estimates to over 100 million copies worldwide, Thriller became the best-selling album of all time; the album was the first in history to yield seven top-ten singles. The success of Thriller put Jackson into the dominating position of pop music, becoming an international pop-cultural icon.

Jackson was asked about a "second chapter" to Thriller on Access Hollywood in late 2006. He said he would discuss it with collaborator will.i.am but hadn't yet considered it:

Jackson served as executive producer; the album's release was announced in an Epic Records press release on November 30, 2007.

Content

Thriller 25 was released on CD and vinyl. Along with the original material there were seven bonus tracks. A new ballad called "For All Time", Vincent Price's voice-over and five remixes featuring contemporary artists like Fergie and Akon. It also includes a DVD featuring three award-winning music videos, the Emmy-nominated Motown 25 "Billie Jean" performance, and a booklet with a message from Jackson. "For All Time" supposedly dates from 1982, but leaks often credit it as being from Dangerous sessions. Despite this, a new bridge was used in the Thriller 25 release.

On the iTunes Store, Zune Marketplace, and Amazon MP3, a "Super Deluxe Edition" can be purchased which also features the bonus material from "Thriller Special Edition", "Billie Jean (Underground Mix)", an instrumental "Thriller" mix, an extended "Billie Jean" and a digital booklet. Copies bought in Target, Best Buy and Circuit City feature the bonus tracks "Billie Jean (1982 Club Mix)", "Thriller (1982 Def Remix)" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (1982 Dance Mix)" respectively. Sony also released a "fan pack" containing "Thriller 25" and the Number Ones DVD.

Track listing

  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" 6:02
  2. "Baby Be Mine" 4:20
  3. "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney) 3:41
  4. "Thriller" 5:57
  5. "Beat It" 4;17
  6. "Billie Jean" 4:54
  7. "Human Nature" 4:05
  8. "P.Y.T. " 3:58
  9. "The Lady In My Life" 4:59


  1. "Voice-Over Session from "Thriller" Vincent Price (Temperton) – 0:24
  2. "The Girl Is Mine 2008" with will.i.am (Jackson/will.i.am/Harris) – 3:11
  3. "P.Y.T. 2008" with will.i.am (Jackson/will.i.am/Harris) – 4:21
  4. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" with Akon (Jackson/Akon/Tuinfort) – 4:14
  5. "Beat It 2008" with Fergie (Jackson) – 4:12
  6. "Billie Jean 2008" Kanye West Remix" (Jackson) – 4:37
  7. "For All Time" (Sherwood/Porcaro) – 4:03
  8. "Got the Hots" (Jackson/Jones) – 4:27 (Released only in Japan)
DVD
  1. "Billie Jean"
  2. "Beat It"
  3. "Thriller"
  4. "Billie Jean" (live, Motown 25)


Thriller 25: Japanese Single Collection (Japanese exclusive)

In 2008 a limited edition of Thriller 25 was released in Japan.

CD 1
  1. "The Girl Is Mine"
  2. "Can't Get Outta the Rain"


CD 2
  1. "Billie Jean"
  2. "It's the Falling in Love"


CD 3
  1. "Beat It"
  2. "Get on the Floor"


CD 4
  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
  2. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (Instrumental)


CD 5
  1. "Human Nature"
  2. "Baby Be Mine"


CD 6
  1. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
  2. "Working Day and Night" (Live recording, from the 1981 album The Jacksons: Live)


CD 7
  1. "Thriller"
  2. "Things I Do for You" (Live recording, from the 1981 album The Jacksons: Live)


Promotion

To help promote the album, Jackson's website was recreated and accounts on networking websites like MySpace and Facebook were set up. On February 3, 2008 a Sobe advertisement was aired during Super Bowl XLII to over 95 million Americans, with Naomi Campbell and CGI lizards dancing to "Thriller". The ad aired again at the Grammys on February 10, 2008. In the United Kingdom, Odeon Cinemas ran free "Thriller" viewings on February 8 and February 9, 2008 and television adverts announcing the release were aired throughout Europe.

"The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" were the first singles taken from the album. "The Girl Is Mine 2008" reached number two in Japan, three in Mexicomarker, six in the Netherlandsmarker and the top twenty positions in the major European markets. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" reached number three in Swedenmarker, four in New Zealand, eight in Australia, ten in France and thirty-two in Canada, but had disappointing sales in America. These were Jackson's first singles since "One More Chance" in 2003.

The album track "Beat It 2008" also began charting in European countries, reaching number 26 in Switzerlandmarker, 31 in Denmarkmarker, 43 in Swedenmarker, 60 in Japan, 74 in Germany, 75 in Austriamarker, and 77 in Canada. as did "Billie Jean 2008", reaching 91 in Germany.

Reception

Critical

Critics reacted positively to the album, much like their review on the original. All reviews noted that the album is still enjoyable, twenty-five years on. Allmusic explains, "... 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'' and 'Billie Jean' remain startling in their futuristic funk and 'Baby Be Mine' ... sounds positively incandescent ..." Rolling Stone gave it a full five stars while giving the original only four saying: "Thriller [25] has MJ at his breathiest and most salacious ('PYT'), and his most beautifully fragile ('Human Nature', so open and brave it makes 'She's out of My Life' seem phony)".

MTV says, "... it's pretty rare to see a reissue loaded with as much contemporary appeal as this one", and reacted positively to the new tracks, calling them "silver bars". The new material received further praise, with the ballad "For All Time" being described as "perfectly fine" by Allmusic. Rolling Stone described the new version of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" as "actually kind of great — he [Akon] slows it down into a piano ballad, lingering over the easily obscured lyrics." Pop Matters stated that the new version of "The Girl Is Mine" is better than the original, not losing anything with the removal of Paul McCartney.

However, most critics agreed that the new versions were not as inspiring as the originals; some even said that the guest artists were the wrong choice. Allmusic notes, "for whatever reason, such Michael-mimicking superstars as Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown did not participate, but Akon, Fergie, and will.i.am did."

Commercial

Thriller 25 was a commercial success, doing particularly well as a re-issue. It peaked at number one in eight countries and Europe. It peaked at number two in the United States, number three in the United Kingdom and reached the top ten in over thirty national charts. Thriller 25 spent three weeks at number one in France and two weeks at number one in Belgiummarker.

It has been certified gold in eleven countries, including the UK. In Poland, the album was certified gold, reaching number six on the chart on its release day, and is Jackson's highest charting album in Norwaymarker. In France Thriller 25 received a 2x Gold certification, and in Polandmarker it was certified platinum.

In the United States, Thriller 25 was the second best-selling album of its release week, selling one hundred and sixty six thousand copies, just fourteen thousand short of reaching the number one position. It was ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart as a re-release but entered the Pop Catalog Charts at number one (where it stayed for ten non-consecutive weeks), with the best sales on that chart since December, 1996. With the arrival of Halloween that November, Thriller 25 spent an eleventh non-consecutive week atop the US catalog chart. This brought US sales of the album to 688,000 copies, making it the best selling catalog album of 2008. To date sold 774,000 copies in the US. This was Jackson's best launch since Invincible in 2001, selling three million copies worldwide in 12 weeks.

Charts, certifications and sales

Chart Peak
position
Certification Sales
Austriamarker 5
Australia 2 Gold 35,000+
Brazil Top 10 CD 2 Gold 50,000+
Belgiummarker 1 Gold 15,000+
Canada 2 Gold 50,000+
Colombiamarker 1
Czech Republicmarker 6
Denmarkmarker 2
Europe 1
Finlandmarker 5
France 1 2 x Gold 240,000+
Germany 2
Greecemarker 7
Hong Kongmarker 7
India 1 Gold 5,000+
Ireland 2 Gold 7,500+
Italy 6 Gold 35,000+


Chart Peak
position
Certification Sales
Japan 8
Koreamarker 1
Mexico 1 2x Platinum 200,000+
Netherlandsmarker 2
New Zealand 1
Norwaymarker 1 Gold (CD), Platinum (DVD) 15,000+
Polandmarker 1 Platinum 20 000+
Portugalmarker 2 Gold 10,000+
Spain 2 Gold 40,000+
Swedenmarker 2 Gold (CD), Platinum (DVD) 20,000+
Switzerlandmarker 2 Gold (CD), 2 x Platinum (DVD) 15,000+
Thailandmarker 1
UK 3 Platinum 300,000+
U.S. Catalog 1 774,000+
U.S. Comprehensive 2
World Sales 3,000,000+


End of year charts

Year Country Chart Ranking
2008 Australia ARIA 37


Credits

  • Executive producer: Michael Jackson
"The Girl Is Mine 2008"
  • Keyboards and synths: Harris
  • Producer/engineer/mixer/drums/keys: will.i.am
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008"
  • Keyboards and synths: Harris
  • Saxophone: Izo
  • Trumpets: Board
  • Background vocals: Garcia/Battle
  • Producer/engineer/drums/keys: will.i.am
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008"
  • Instrumentation and programming: Akon/Tuinfort
  • Tracking Engineer: Padraic Kerin
  • Mixer: Dylan "3-D" Dresdow
  • Producers: Akon/Jackson/Tuinfort
"Beat It 2008"
  • Producer/drums/synths/keys: will.i.am
  • Engineers: Padraic Kerin/Dylan "3-D" Dresdow/will.i.am
"Billie Jean 2008"
  • Engineers/mixers: Kilhoffer/Dresdow/Dromgoole/Hertwech/Wheeler/Houge
  • Keyboards: Bhasker/Kilhoffer/Caruso
  • Producers: West/Kilhoffer
"For All Time"
  • Recorded by Bruce Swedien
  • Keyboards: Porcaro/Paich
  • Guitar: Lukather
  • Drums: Porcaro
  • Mixer: Guzauski/Bender
  • Producer: Jackson


Release history

  • February 8, 2008
  • February 11, 2008
  • February 12, 2008
  • February 15, 2008
  • February 20, 2008
  • March 11, 2008
  • March 28, 2008


References

  1. July 6 - July 12, 2009
  2. http://www.abpd.org.br/certificados_interna.asp?sArtista=Michael%20Jackson
  3. http://charts.org.nz/showitem.asp?interpret=Michael+Jackson&titel=Thriller+25&cat=a
  4. http://olis.onyx.pl/listy/index.asp?lang=pl
  5. [1]
  6. BPI certification search engine
  7. http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-100-albums-2008.htm
  8. Jackson, Michael. Thriller 25 booklet.



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