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Rediscovering "Thriller"!!!


sudeep

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Hi all,

 

i just bought the special edition of Thriller CD. And WOW...still blows me away. Thriller was the FIRST record my parents ever bought for me, I think i had to beg and beg my parents cos I was 7 years old. I had no idea who Quincy JOnes, Greg Philinganes, Steve Lukather or Rod Temperton were.

 

Just listening to it again I can get over how great an album it is, how awesome the keyboard, bass and guitar parts are...and Rod Temperton...WHATTA genius!!!

 

There are some great interviews with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton.

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MAN!!

That album is th ereason I record and perform music today!

Since then I 've gone to a conservatory,played in church,played with herbie and stevie, and now i produce hip-hop and soul music but I always come home and rediscover my favorite album and artist MJ.

The electric he put on Tv(Motown 25) gav eme goosebumps in 3rd grade! And the electric they put on a CD...genius oall of em..the producer/engineering gods were indeed smiling on that studio that warm summer day. The interviews are great.

As I study now in LA I always com eback to goosebumps...that's the whole point of music,songwriting, creating,mixing,producing,and performing. Goosebumps! Thriller!

The Bruces mixes still hold up today.

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Originally posted by Brent129:

I'm really sorry for being honest. But how about rediscovering Pink Floyd. Thriller is purely studio and click track.... Floyd is purely feeling.

 

Brent

This is simply sad. That a person who is cool enough to like Pink Floyd could be close-minded enough not to appreciate the groundbreaking production and arrangement of this pinnacle of pop music makes me shake my head. Yes, it's click-track and yes, it's studio, but have you ever tried to dance to Ummagumma? Just because something is pop and cliche now doesn't make it any less legitimate than Floyd.

 

Sorry for being honest.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Sorry;

 

I played "Thriller" tracks back in 1984. You're right about ground-breaking and danceable. It's not that I don't appreciate the work of art. My point of view is that: If I wanted to recreate the experience for an audience,.. I would have to play to a click track and sequence (as would Michael). That just doesn't spark any excitement in me. I can play "Comfortably Knumb" and recreate the experience for the audience.... yea I know I'm not the orchestra, but I'm playing the parts and conveying the emotion.

 

Brent

 

Besides... who's gonna recreate the dance like Michael. I'm taking on the point of view of the musician.

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I agree great groundbreaking production and creativity...Pink it's it's own thing, respectably.

Right now we are recognizing how ahead of it's time that record was....check it's influence,sale upwards of 100 million, incredible sound,songwriting!!

please don't hate on luck,genius, and god inspired timelessness. If you thought it was just dance tracks bro ..you should do some research.

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Originally posted by Brent129:

I'm really sorry for being honest. But how about rediscovering Pink Floyd. Thriller is purely studio and click track.... Floyd is purely feeling.

 

Brent

I agree. The songwriting is really good, very catchy pop songs and arranged to perfection. But musically it mostly seemed lame to me then and still does.
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Originally posted by Brent129:

Sorry;

 

I played "Thriller" tracks back in 1984. You're right about ground-breaking and danceable. It's not that I don't appreciate the work of art. My point of view is that: If I wanted to recreate the experience for an audience,.. I would have to play to a click track and sequence (as would Michael). That just doesn't spark any excitement in me. I can play "Comfortably Knumb" and recreate the experience for the audience.... yea I know I'm not the orchestra, but I'm playing the parts and conveying the emotion.

 

Brent

 

Besides... who's gonna recreate the dance like Michael. I'm taking on the point of view of the musician.

I had this gig where we were supposed to cover the Scissor Sisters version of Comfortably Numb. We couldn´t do it (on one keyboard player) without an arpeggiator running through the whole track, and the drummer playing to a click, so we decided not to do it. However, we´ve done versions of "Wanna be startin´something", "PYT" and "Billie Jean". Still being the only keyboard player, I was sweating, but the tunes are so strong they almost play themselves!

 

I was 5 years old when "Thriller" was released, and I can still remember the massive impact of hearing "Beat it" over the car stereo and seeing the video for "Thriller" the very first time. And Billie Jean... what a tune! And hearing Miles Davis do "Human Nature" in -89 or -90 was one of the first times I could relate to Jazz! Good call, Sudeep!

 

/J :D nas

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I'm sorry, maybe this side of the world is really different from over there, but Thriller never made such a huge impact over here neither then nor now, unless among proto-gay wannabe dancers, 13-year olds and the like. Same applies to everything Mr. Jackson did. How could it be otherwise when you're such a walking joke?
Max Ventura, Italy.
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We all have different musical roots.

 

I listened to the guitar solos on some of The Wall tracks the other day and was thinking, man I didn't appreciate Gilmour's control of tone enough. Synth players should study Gilmour. :thu:

 

So maybe it's time to put on Thriller and see if some 80's poly synths, masterful arranging by QJ, and even some fancy EVH fretboard work, would cause a similar flashback.

 

Best,

 

Jerry

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Originally posted by Max Ventura:

I'm sorry, maybe this side of the world is really different from over there, but Thriller never made such a huge impact over here neither then nor now, unless among proto-gay wannabe dancers, 13-year olds and the like. Same applies to everything Mr. Jackson did. How could it be otherwise when you're such a walking joke?

Dude, you must have been on another planet! :rolleyes:

When it comes to studio production, Thriller is one of the landmarks and believe me, if you weren't the first one to see the Thriller clip, you were definitely a square, also in Europe.

For me, Thriller is the ultimate proof that synth and computer pop are able to sound very musically.

It's really a shame that it went only donwhill afterwards, IMO.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Thriller- Greatest collection & use of MASTER musicians, writers, singers,engineer & producer Ive ever heard in pop music. Maybe in history.

 

Human Nature is timeless, PYT is as vastly underrated as it is funky. Billie Jean & Beat It speak for themselves.

 

And who really gives a shit what people in fano think about great american music anyway? Haven't seen to many internationally acclaimed releases coming from there of late, but I could be wrong...hold on let me grab a Billboard. :rolleyes:

TROLL . . . ish.
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Originally posted by meccajay:

And who really gives a shit what people in fano think about great american music anyway? Haven't seen to many internationally acclaimed releases coming from there of late, but I could be wrong...hold on let me grab a Billboard. :rolleyes:

:D
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Originally posted by Max Ventura:

I'm sorry, maybe this side of the world is really different from over there, but Thriller never made such a huge impact over here neither then nor now, unless among proto-gay wannabe dancers, 13-year olds and the like. Same applies to everything Mr. Jackson did. How could it be otherwise when you're such a walking joke?

I´m sorry, Max, Italian irony doesn´t seem to translate well over the internet, for this is an attempt at irony, right??? :idea:

 

/J :cool: nas, fellow european.

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This is just silly. I played in bands that performed material from Thriller and other of his stuff. You don't need a click-track, you just need a solid drummer. In fact, doing that stuff live was a gas! Our singer used to do his MJ impersonation - the crowds really dug it :)

 

As a *huge* Floyd fan, I'll say that you're casting a line of BS here. A good player can play both Floyd and Thriller, and do an awesome job on both. Sorry, just being honest. :D

 

Originally posted by Brent129:

[QB]Sorry;

If I wanted to recreate the experience for an audience,.. I would have to play to a click track and sequence (as would Michael).

Brent

[QB]

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by Brent129:

I'm really sorry for being honest. But how about rediscovering Pink Floyd. Thriller is purely studio and click track.... Floyd is purely feeling.

 

Brent

This seems a bit odd. Pink Floyd was major studio production. I remember when they only played a few cities because their stage set up was so hard to move and set up. Anyway, If MJ or QJ called I don't think anyone here would say no.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Well,

 

Max must have been the only person in Italy that didnt like Thriller. I just got finished looking at the international music charts for 1983, and I'll be damned, Thriller reached #1, guess where, in Italy!!!!! Still looking for exact sales figures will post them once I find them. Don't buy into Max's crap!!!

 

And guess what MJ was also named Artist of The Year, in Italy, in 1983. Either Max was hiding under a rock or his poor delusions prevent him from seeing the truth.

 

http://www.geocities.com/mjj_29/Awards/list.html

 

http://home.c2i.net/mjj/michael_jackson_albums_thriller.htm

 

just in case you asked me to prove it again Max, here is one of a ton of links.

 

Dallas

http://TrilogySound.com

 

Reading, PA

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Originally posted by Rabid:

Anyway, If MJ or QJ called I don't think anyone here would say no.

FWIW, there are several members at this site (including myself) who have worked for MJ; and I believe at least one who worked on "Thriller." I usually keep quiet about this; but as Dave Bryce mentions his involvement with ADAM while posting in ADAM related threads, I feel I should mention my involvement with various MJ projects when posting in MJ threads.

 

I rarely post in MJ threads, because I don't feel it's right for me to get involved in the many attacks I read about Michael Jackson. However, in this case, regardless of how you feel about MJ, I think his fans deserve the same respect as any other fans.

 

I don't get the point in raining on someone else's parade. This thread wasn't started as a critical comparison of MJ vs. the world; it was started as an appreciation of "Thriller."

 

Basking in the enjoyment of something you like is a far different activity than a critical comparison. Both are valid pursuits, but they don't necessarily belong in the same thread.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

Originally posted by Rabid:

Anyway, If MJ or QJ called I don't think anyone here would say no.

FWIW, there are several members at this site (including myself) who have worked for MJ; and I believe at least one who worked on "Thriller." I usually keep quiet about this; but as Dave Bryce mentions his involvement with ADAM while posting in ADAM related threads, I feel I should mention my involvement with various MJ projects when posting in MJ threads.

 

I rarely post in MJ threads, because I don't feel it's right for me to get involved in the many attacks I read about Michael Jackson. However, in this case, regardless of how you feel about MJ, I think his fans deserve the same respect as any other fans.

 

I don't get the point in raining on someone else's parade. This thread wasn't started as a critical comparison of MJ vs. the world; it was started as an appreciation of "Thriller."

 

Basking in the enjoyment of something you like is a far different activity than a critical comparison. Both are valid pursuits, but they don't necessarily belong in the same thread.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

Good call, Geoff!

 

Also, if we don´t separate the music from the person, we might as well ban all threads mentioning other musicians suspected of crime; Ray Charles, James Brown, Sisqo, gangster rap in general, Billy Preston, Bud Powell, Jimi Hendrix - the list goes on - and most of these have been found guilty of the charges they faced. There´s no need for all this negative energy in an album appriceation thread.

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I think its a killer album, but still insist that Thriller the song has the weakest snare-drum sound ever recorded.

 

(Please Geoff, don't tell me you were the snare drum recording engineer on that session! :eek::o:D )

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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Originally posted by Botch.:

I think its a killer album, but still insist that Thriller the song has the weakest snare-drum sound ever recorded.

 

(Please Geoff, don't tell me you were the snare drum recording engineer on that session! :eek::o:D )

:P

 

Nope, not only was I not involved then, but my engineering background is pretty limited - not Michael caliber anyway. However, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of that engineer either posting or lurking at this site...

 

But I don't want to derail this thread with that kind of stuff either... ;)

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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ok, well, scratch my earlier post...I was just being lazy

 

Truth is I just never liked this album...Beat It, Billy Jean and Human Nature are great songs, excellent songwriting but the vocal/musical performances are mostly crap IMO...popular doesn't always equal good. Of course, my opinion doesn't always equal right, or even close to right so whatever.

 

I haven't really enjoyed much of anything Michael has been a part of for the last 20+ years. Teddy Riley did some nice stuff on "Dangerous" but other than that I just don't get the love for Michael's music.

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Very interesting Reading.

 

While writing the initial post I was going to actually add that I am not really that huge a fan of MJ, its just those first two albums that have influenced me so much.

 

Its very interesting that you mention the Floyd cos they are actually my favourite band of all time. Jerry, great call about keyboardsts learning Dave Gilmours solos, personally i think more GUITARISTS should learn Daves solos. There was a time when i could play almost every DG solo (my favourite being "Mother" on guitar, and then i relearned them on the keys.

 

But comparing MJ to PF i guess is a bit fruitless. They are both so different, and there is so much to learn from both.

 

I recently played Human Nature as a piano/vocal duo, and it is such a strong song (Steve Porcaro is a such a legend). Through Thriler, I rediscovered Rod Temperton and his other songs (Brothers Johnston, George Benson etc),Quincy JOnes' jazz stuff, Toto, David Foster and Greg Phillinganes...the list just goes on.

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Originally posted by Botch.:

I think its a killer album, but still insist that Thriller the song has the weakest snare-drum sound ever recorded.

You know with an album like this that everthing is exactly as they wanted it. I read somewhere that there over 100 mixes of "Billie Jean" before they were happy.
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Well,

 

What i find so funny, are the constant claims about that this Pop and R&B stuff is so mundane, lacks this or that, or is so easy to play. This cant be the case, cause 99% of the cover bands out there aren't playing the stuff correctly. Wrong key, wrong voicings, yea you can tell what song they're trying to do, but they're still far away from playing it correctly. I've proven this time and again, take an old james brown tune, most of us will get a headache before we really start playing it correctly.

 

Dallas

http://TrilogySound.com

 

Reading, PA

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In reflecting on all this Hoopla (actually, debate is rather enlightening and entertaining), I guess... we all have our preferences in musical style. I just happen to "listen" to the lyrical message and how it is enforced in the musical "production" and not visa-versa.

 

Come on... "Thriller" is like a "scooby-doo" tale backed up by an excellent arrangement. But maybe that's his life experience. Floyd, on the other hand, writes lyrics based on their life experience and backs it with great arrangement and feel. Ohh... Ohhh... That it!!!! Now we get a back-stage pass on MJ's life experience!!

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Music is so subjective

The album is hot! especially if your of the soul, R&B persuasion,especially! if you are american!

"Sometimes" when your from another upbringing/culture(not black or white, but musical backround,neighborhood,social class,experiences, yadayada) you don't see the great things as clearly or as quickly as those who have been totally engulfed in a particular idiom. For example:

It took me years to appreciate the genuis of Charlie Parker,Trane,Pops,Duke etc. and I didn't appreciate Pink Floyd until this year. Certainly people who are not hip to 70's rock would say there is no comparison between John Coltrane and Pink. They would say Pink is BS and Trane is god-like. I know better and consider myself lucky. At age 10 I fell in love with Mahler,Palestrina,Bach, Tchaik,Strav ect. and was always taught it was the highest level of music. I knew that wasn't true when I learned to play jazz. I fell in love with Biggie,pac, Nas, and jay-z, at age 18, and still am amazed at how many different levels and qaulities of genuises there are in the world.

A real deep feeling musician can appreciate great things despite culture, and if he is not able to he will investigate, for a long time, why something is hailed as great in a particular genre/culture or sub-culture. Do that and you will be very blessed!

MJ is a genius , hands down. He can dance better than anyone... save his idol James, and that is one of the things that made thriller AMAZING when I was 8 yrs old! It then became,ground breaking to me as I started studying mixing last year. MJ was a child prodigy like a Lee Morgan, Mozart, in that the soulfulness,sencerity,phrasing,dynamics,delivery,breath control etc. of the child singer is untouchable for a 12 year old. Even today!

The greatness of thriller the album is a product of that, no he didn't sing with the virtousity of 10 year old Michael, but you still appreciate his style, maturity and emotion. Shit Miles didn't play the same later, but you either love/appreciate is gift from god or you don't.

My point is....Thriller is not just a POP album it "is" a great offering, whether you agree or not, as is all of the music mentioned by the deeply feeling artists on this thread. So if you don't like it ,cool, but if you thing it is "low art/bubble pop" you need to do some re-investigation. There is a world of beauty waiting for you should you choose to indulge in MJ's early music.

Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and give a genre the benefit of the doubt, I have and because of it have been tremendously enriched.

I LOVE country, and blues, and I love the feeling I get from listening to hardcore RAP, it makes me feel like hardcore metal,punk, and how stravinsky makes me feel...I am a 29 yr old conservatory classically trained, rapper,jazz trumpeter who is just getting into rock, and mixing. I made sure to tell my friends to hip me to the greats, and it will be up to me to dig and find out what made them so hot(Led,Pink,Beatles,System,chicago,Yes,Van,Soundgarden,Jimi, Al schmitt,Alan, Bruce,Dexter,Dave,George,etc. My next adventure will be reggae. Sure I heard it, but I have not committed time to studying it.

When thriller came out it was as hard/street/edgey in it's day as listening to a 2pac album in 1996! Nay-sayers Give it another listen.

MJ was hard and if you know it your lucky!God bless.

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this is a fun thread...

 

I agree that the bashing of MJ seems a little unecessary and the comparison of him to pink floyd seemed really random. I'm not a defender of his music or anything though, but I did like it when I was a kid.

 

There is one argument I disagree with. The whole, "You don't understand the genre" or "all music is equally valid" kind of thing really bugs me. ESPECIALLY when one of the premises used is, "Music is subjective." Now I can agree to some extent that music is subjective, but why does that make all music good? Since it is subjective, couldn't I also say all music is bad?

 

To me, the argument shouldn't be whether or not music is good or bad, but to what level it is intellectually and artistically challenging. Yes, I do consider thriller to be low brow simply because it doesn't challenge me. Most of it is all dance music and the rest are straight forward ballads. The music is all tonal and the chord progressions are pretty standard. The timing is all pulsed (as opposed to free movement, not a click track) and if I remember correctly, it's all in 4/4 which means there aren't any time sig changes. Even with these limitations, it fails to challenge standards of song structure.

Overall, this album just screams simplicity. There aren't any songs you have to get used to, or try and figure out. The rhythms are designed to instantly make you tap your foot and I can't see an average listener ever getting lost in it. Even on an artistic level, it's not challenging or innovative. There are ways of writing challenging music while still using triads and a click to 4/4. I think gary numan, aphex twin, coil and even depeche mode are great examples of this. Now I'm not saying all music has to be stockhausen and I like my pop, but to put Thriller on the same intellectual and/or artistic level as albums like Low, The Wall, Here Come the Warm Jets, and countless prog/art rock albums seems pretty assinine.

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