35 Years of the “Thriller” Video
The terms “groundbreaking” and “game-changing” are thrown around pretty loosely these days, but this is an instance where they truly apply. Today in 1983, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video premiered on MTV, and just like that, nothing was the same.
The “Thriller” video revolutionized show business as we know it by demonstrating the possibilities of a well-executed visual. At the time of the video’s release, the Thriller album was over a year old and already the best-selling album of all time; the week after the video’s premier, the album sold an additional one million copies — a big number for any era but astronomical for that time. Over the next few months, the Thriller album would doubled its sales. King shit.
The success of “Thriller” established music videos as an essential promotional tool. It also changed the face of MTV, which began playing more music videos by black artists due to MJ’s popularity. I could go on and on and on, but I’ma stop right here. Watch the “Thriller video — in all of its 14-minute glory — below.