Last week the Michael Jackson empire rolled out Thriller 25, a remastered anniversary edition of the best selling album EVER. It includes a bonus track recorded with in the original studio sessions but previously unreleased, titled For All Time, plus some songs reworked by artists inlcuding will.i.am, Fergie, Beyonce, Wyclef Jean, Akon, and Pharrell Williams. You can buy it here, if you want to assure yourself the cover art of your choosing, or here where you cans stream clips of the new songs to judge them for yourself.
The video here pimping Thriller 25 features some of the artists and Quincy Jones; it’s fun to watch.
The reviews are mixed, but the general consensus is that the new songs look pretty bad next to the nine tracks that the world knows so well. Gimmicks? Sure. But I’m strangely comfortable with it; I’m just glad they’re reason enough for another generation to get on board.
The best bonus of all on the 25 is hearing Vincent Price’s maniacal laugh: “Michael Jackson is the Thriller. Can you dig it? Ha ha ha….!”
Also, it’s imperative you watch MJ’s 1984 Grammys performance of Billie Jean on YouTube. Rolling Stone hails that song’s influential pop brilliance thus: “Madonna made her own version of ‘Billie Jean,’ retitled ‘Like a Virgin.’ Stevie Nicks called her version ‘Stand Back,’ Pat Benatar called hers ‘Love Is a Battlefield.’ Bob Dylan called his ‘Tight Connection to My Heart.’ Yet none of them could touch the original.”