TEXT OF STORY
Doug Krizner: Twenty-five years ago this week, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album hit store shelves. To date, it’s sold more than 104 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling album of all time. And as Stacey Vanek-Smith reports, it also left a major mark on the music business.
Stacey Vanek-Smith: Thriller exploded onto the music scene in 1982 and made Michael Jackson a superstar.
Bob Lefsetz: Thriller showed the power of MTV.
Music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz says the high quality of the Thriller album’s videos were a first in the music industry.
Lefsetz: Michael Jackson made these huge productions — whether it be Billie Jean, where he danced, or more importantly Thriller, which was almost 20 minutes long. It showed that TV could sell records.
Record numbers of records, Lefsetz says Thriller set a new standard for album sales. Music labels began expecting a hit record to sell 10 million copies.
Thriller lives on. It still sells about 60,000 copies a year.
I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.