Michael Jackson’s ever-iconic single ‘Thriller’ is still considered a masterpiece to this day. Even after 40 years after its release, the song is played frequently and even has 149 million views on YouTube currently. However, the back story of the production process of the song is filled with interesting events. The iconic music video almost did not happen at all and even the title of the song might have been a lot different. So what happened during the production of the song that resulted in what we see now? Scroll down to read the back story of the masterpiece called ‘Thriller’
Michael Jackson’s Iconic single ‘Thriller’
The iconic single is from the album of the same name. The ‘Thriller’ album was released on the second of December 1983. Most of the tracks in the album were hugely popular making it one of the best-selling albums. Although most music videos in the album have lots of views, one, in particular, has always been the most interesting and iconic one to this day. The dancing Zombies, horror plotline, and voiceover make the music video for ‘Thriller’ unforgettable.
Check out the music video
The music video is 14 minutes long and is more of a short musical horror film in a way. Currently, the song has 149 million views on YouTube even though it was released 40 years ago. It was directed by John Landis and the whole making of the video cost around half a million dollars making it the most expensive music video of all time. Furthermore, there are a lot of other interesting facts about the making of the whole video.
Thriller Might have Been Very Different than What it is.
Out of all the songs in the album, ‘Thriller’ is the only track that was not written by Michael Jackson. British songwriter Rod Temperton wrote the track. And at first, the title of the track was to be ‘Starlight’ or ‘Starlight Love’. However, to Producer Quincy Jones, the title somehow did not fit and he went to ask Temperton to make some changes.
Before finally coming to ‘Thriller’ as the title, the Songwriter shared that he listed about 200 different titles. One time he even decided to keep ‘Midnight Man’. He shared that the following day, the idea just struck him, he shared in an interview in 2009,
“I went back to the hotel, wrote two or three hundred titles, and came up with ‘Midnight Man.” And he added,
“The next morning I woke up and I just said this word [Thriller]. Something in my head just said, ‘This is the title”.
Additionally, the voice section of the song was Temperton’s idea. Horror movie actor Vincent Price voiced the section.
The whole idea of the music video was almost not taken up due to last-minute panic on Jackson’s side. At the time the King of Pop was a Jehovah’s Witness follower. and there the idea of having an occult-like music video scared Jackson.
Also after the teasers of the music video went public, some of the senior Jehovah’s witnesses warned Jackson that he might be kicked out of the religion.
Therefore, his manager John Branca came up with the step that the video should contain a disclaimer saying the artist was not endorsing any kind of belief in occult practices.
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