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.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.