Things You Probably Didn't Know About Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Album

Things You Probably Didn't Know About Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Album

Krista B.
12/04/2023 07:05 PM EST

Michael Jackson’s Thriller is arguably one of the greatest albums of all time. The album to date has sold over 70 millions copies.

Thriller has given fans classic hits such as “Wanna Be Starting Something,” “Human Nature,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” and so much more. In the new documentary, “Thriller 40”, director Nelson George takes a deeper drive into the creation of this album.

He also speaks to artists and entertainers including Mary J. Blige, Usher, Maxwell, Brooke Shields, and people who worked closely with the King of Pop who were impacted by this album.

Here’s some things that we’ve learned from watching this documentary.

Collaboration Between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney was born

Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson came together to record the song “Girl Is Mine." Many people believed that the song was written by McCartney, however it was composed by Michael Jackson. This was also the first single from the album. Jackson used this song to be on the pop and R&B charts.

The two legends would go on to record another hit single, “Say, Say, Say,” that would be on McCartney’s album.

Walter Yetnikoff’s Fight With MTV To Have Michael Jackson’s Music Played

We’ve all heard the stories of how MTV allegedly refused to play any Black artists on their network because they were solely a rock station. However, Walter Yetnikoff, who was CBS’ Group President during that time, fought to have Jackson’s and other Black artists played on their network. He threatened if they didn’t then he would pull other big artists such as Billy Joel from the network. After coming to an agreement, Jackson and other artists such as Whitney Houston, Prince, Lionel Richie, and Tina Turner were played on MTV.

ET: Storybook Album Controversy

While recording “Thriller”, Michael Jackson was asked to narrate the “ET: Storybook Album” as well as create a song for it. However, the rights for the songs were not cleared by Walter Yetnikoff and he filed an injunction to have the album taken out of stores. Yetinkoff would later sell Michael Jackson all of his masters to end the beef between them.

Human Nature Almost Didn’t Make The Album

Can you imagine the “Thriller” album without “Human Nature” on it? Well it almost happened. Quincy Jones explains that there was room for one more song and it was going to be “Carousel.” That song was replaced by “Human Nature” after a group by the name of Toto sent over the song for MJ to record.

“Thriller” Is The Only Michael Jackson Concert That Didn’t Get Its Own Tour

When this album was released, The Jacksons began on their “Victory Tour” so Michael never had a solo tour to promote his album. He would sing a lot of his solo songs from that album on that tour.

For more things that you have never known about the creation of this album, “Thriller 40” is now streaming on Paramount+.