Thriller (Michael Jackson album)
|Studio album by Michael Jackson|
|Released||November 30, 1982|
|Recorded||April 14 – November 8, 1982|
|Michael Jackson chronology|
|Singles from Thriller|
Thriller is the sixth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982, in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records. It explores genres similar to Jackson's previous album, Off the Wall, including pop, post-disco, rock and funk. Recording sessions took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000. Quincy Jones produced the album and Jackson wrote four of its nine songs.
In just over a year, Thriller became and currently remains the world's best-selling album, having sold an estimated 66 million copies.[nb 1] It is the second best-selling album in the United States and was the first album to reach 30× multi-platinum, with U.S. shipments of 33 million album-equivalent units certified; only the Eagles' album Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) has sold more copies. The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year. It produced seven singles—"The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "Human Nature", "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)", and "Thriller"—all of which reached the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thriller broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson's appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs "Thriller", "Billie Jean", and "Beat It" all received regular rotation on MTV.
In 2001, a special edition reissue was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song "Someone in the Dark", a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, Thriller was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes with contemporary artists, previously unreleased songs, and a DVD with three music videos and Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" from the 1983 television special Motown 25.
In the same year, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame along with Off the Wall. In 2012, Slant Magazine named Thriller the best album of the 1980s". In 2003, Rolling Stone placed the album at number 20 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". The album was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at number three on its "Definitive 200" album list. Thriller was also included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of culturally significant recordings, and the Thriller music video was included in the National Film Preservation Board's National Film Registry of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films".
- 1 Background
- 2 Recording
- 3 Music and lyrics
- 4 Release and reception
- 5 Influence and legacy
- 6 Reissues and catalog sales
- 7 Track listing
- 8 Personnel
- 9 Charts
- 10 Certifications
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
Jackson's previous album Off the Wall (1979) received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide. The years between Off the Wall and Thriller were a transitional period for Jackson, a time of increased independence. The period saw him become deeply unhappy; Jackson said, "Even at home, I'm lonely. I sit in my room sometimes and cry. It's so hard to make friends ... I sometimes walk around the neighborhood at night, just hoping to find someone to talk to. But I just end up coming home."
When Jackson turned 21 in August 1979, he hired John Branca as his manager. Jackson confided in Branca that he wanted to be the biggest and wealthiest star in show business. He was upset about what he perceived to be the under-performance of Off the Wall, saying: "It was totally unfair that it didn't get Record of the Year and it can never happen again." He also felt undervalued by the music industry; in 1980, when Rolling Stone declined to run a cover story on him, Jackson responded: "I've been told over and over that black people on the cover of magazines doesn't sell copies ... Just wait. Someday those magazines are going to be begging me for an interview. Maybe I'll give them one, and maybe I won't."
Jackson reunited with Off the Wall producer Quincy Jones to record his sixth studio album, his second under the Epic label. The pair worked together on 30 songs, nine of which were included on the album. Thriller was recorded at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California, with a production budget of $750,000 (US$1,926,319.15 in 2017 dollars). The recording commenced on April 14, 1982 at noon with Jackson and Paul McCartney recording "The Girl Is Mine; it was completed on the final day of mixing, November 8, 1982. Several members of the band Toto were involved in the album's recording and production. Jackson wrote four songs for the record: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "The Girl Is Mine", "Beat It" and "Billie Jean". Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write these songs on paper. Instead, he dictated into a sound recorder; when recording he would sing from memory.
The relationship between Jackson and Jones became strained during the recording. Jackson spent much of his time rehearsing dance steps alone. When the album was completed, both Jones and Jackson were unhappy with the result and remixed every song, spending a week on each.
Jackson was inspired to create an album where "every song was a killer" and developed Thriller with that in mind. Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton gave detailed accounts of what occurred for the 2001 reissue of the album. Jones discussed "Billie Jean" and why it was so personal to Jackson, who struggled with obsessed fans. Jones wanted to shorten the long introduction, but Jackson insisted that it remain because it made him want to dance. The ongoing backlash against disco made it necessary to move in a different musical direction from the disco-heavy Off the Wall. Jones and Jackson were determined to make a rock song that would appeal to all tastes and spent weeks looking for a suitable guitarist for the song "Beat It". Eventually, they found Steve Lukather of Toto to play the rhythm guitar parts and Eddie Van Halen of the rock band Van Halen to play the solo.
When Rod Temperton wrote the song "Thriller", he wanted to call it "Starlight" or "Midnight Man", but settled on "Thriller" because he felt the name had merchandising potential. Wanting a notable person to recite the closing lyrics, Jones brought in actor Vincent Price, an acquaintance of Jones' wife; Price completed his part in two takes. Temperton wrote the spoken portion in a taxi on the way to the recording studio. Jones and Temperton said that some recordings were left off the final cut because they did not have the "edginess" of other album tracks.
Songs recorded by Jackson for consideration included "Carousel" (written by Michael Sembello), "Got the Hots" (written by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones), "Nite Line" (written by Glen Ballard), "Trouble" (aka "She's Trouble", written by Terry Britten, Bill Livsey and Sue Shifrin) and "Hot Street" (written by Rod Temperton), also known as "Slapstick". Jackson also cut a version of "Starlight". Demos of all these songs exist and have leaked onto the internet. "Carousel", "Got the Hots" and "Hot Street" were completed, but left off of the final version of the album. A short clip of "Carousel" appeared as a bonus track on the 2001 reissue of the album; the full version was later released on iTunes in 2013 as part of The Ultimate Fan Extras Collection.
Music and lyrics
Excerpt of the album's title track and one of Jackson's signature pieces, "Thriller", released as a single in 1984. Jackson uses cinematic sound effects, horror film motifs and vocal trickery to convey a sense of danger.
"Human Nature", a top ten hit single in the US. It is the most notable ballad on the album, praised for its moody, introspective lyrics and sound.
Problems playing these files? See media help.
Thriller explores genres including pop, post-disco, rock and funk. According to Steve Huey of AllMusic, it refined the strengths of Off the Wall; the dance and rock tracks are more aggressive, while the pop tunes and ballads are softer and more soulful. The album includes the ballads "The Lady in My Life", "Human Nature" and "The Girl Is Mine". The funk tracks "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Something'", and the disco songs "Baby Be Mine" and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" have a similar sound to Off the Wall.
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" climaxes in an African-inspired chant (often misidentified as Swahili, but actually syllables based on Duala), giving the song an international flavor. "The Girl Is Mine" tells of two friends' fight over a woman, arguing over who loves her more, and concludes with a rap. The album's songs have a tempo ranging from 80 beats per minute on "The Girl is Mine", to 138 on "Beat It".
Thriller foreshadows the contradictory themes of Jackson's later works. With Thriller, Jackson began using a motif of paranoia and darker themes including supernatural imagery in the title track. This is evident on the songs "Billie Jean", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "Thriller". In "Billie Jean", Jackson sings about an obsessive fan who alleges he fathered her child; in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" he argues against media gossip. For "Billie Jean", Jones had Jackson sing overdubs through a six-foot cardboard tube and brought in jazz saxophonist Tom Scott to play the lyricon, a wind-controlled synthesizer. Bassist Louis Johnson ran through his part on a Yamaha bass guitar. The song opens with a long bass-and-drums introduction. "Thriller" includes sound effects such as creaking doors, thunder, footsteps, wind, and howling dogs.
The anti-gang-violence "Beat It" became a homage to West Side Story and was Jackson's first successful rock cross-over piece. Jackson later said of "Beat It", "the point is no one has to be the tough guy, you can walk away from a fight and still be a man. You don't have to die to prove you're a man". "Human Nature", co-written by Steve Porcaro of the band Toto, is moody and introspective, as conveyed in lyrics such as, "Looking out, across the morning, the City's heart begins to beat, reaching out, I touch her shoulder, I'm dreaming of the street".
By the late 1970s, Jackson's abilities as a vocalist were well regarded; AllMusic described him as a "blindingly gifted vocalist". Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden likened his vocals to the "breathless, dreamy stutter" of Stevie Wonder, and wrote that "Jackson's feathery-timbred tenor is extraordinarily beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that's used very daringly." With the release of Thriller, Jackson could sing low—down to a basso low C—but he preferred to sing higher because pop tenors have more range to create style. Rolling Stone critic Christopher Connely wrote that Jackson was now singing in a "fully adult voice" that was "tinged by sadness".
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)", credited to James Ingram and Quincy Jones and "The Lady in My Life" by Rod Temperton, both gave the album a stronger R&B direction; the latter song was described as "the closest Jackson has come to crooning a sexy, soulful ballad after his Motown years" by J. Randy Taraborrelli. The singer had already adopted a "vocal hiccup" (first used in 1973 on "It's Too Late to Change the Time"), which he continued to implement in Thriller. The purpose of the hiccup—somewhat like a gulping for air or gasping—is to help invoke a certain emotion, be it excitement, sadness or fear.
Release and reception
|Christgau's Record Guide||A|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||A–|
Thriller was released on November 30, 1982, and sold one million copies worldwide per week at its peak. Seven singles were released from the album beginning with "The Girl Is Mine", the duet with Paul McCartney which was criticized at the time as a poor choice for the lead release and led some critics to believe that the album would be a disappointment and to suggestions that Jackson was bowing to a white audience. "The Girl Is Mine" was followed by the hit single "Billie Jean", which made Thriller a chart-topper. Success continued with the single "Beat It", which featured guitarists Eddie Van Halen and Steve Lukather. The album's title track was released as a single and also became a hit internationally.
The cover for Thriller features Jackson in a white suit that belonged to photographer Dick Zimmerman. The gatefold sleeve reveals a tiger cub at Jackson's leg, which Zimmerman reported the singer mostly kept away from his face fearing he would be scratched. Another picture from the shoot, with Jackson embracing the cub, was used for the 2001 special edition of Thriller.
In a contemporaneous review for Rolling Stone, Christopher Connelly called Thriller "a zesty LP" with a "harrowing, dark message". He compared the songs on the album with the life challenges that the 24-year-old Jackson had faced since Off the Wall, while observing that he "dropped the boyish falsetto" and was facing his "challenges head-on" with "a feisty determination" and "a full, adult voice". John Rockwell wrote in The New York Times that perhaps Jackson was a "sometimes too practiced ... performer", that at times Quincy Jones may "depersonalize his individuality" with his "slightly anonymous production", and that Jackson may be hiding his true emotions behind "layers of impenetrable, gauzy veils".
Rockwell nonetheless deemed Thriller "a wonderful pop record, the latest statement by one of the great singers in popular music today" and that there are "hits here, too, lots of them". Rockwell believed it helped breach "the destructive barriers that spring up regularly between white and black music", especially as "white publications and radio stations that normally avoid black music seem willing to pretend he isn't black after all". In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said "this is virtually a hits-plus-filler job, but at such a high level it's almost classic anyway". He later wrote in Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (1990), "what we couldn't know is how brilliantly every hit but 'P.Y.T.' would thrive on mass exposure and public pleasure."
A year after the album's release, Time summed up the three main singles from the album, saying, "The pulse of America and much of the rest of the world moves irregularly, beating in time to the tough strut of 'Billie Jean', the asphalt aria of 'Beat It', the supremely cool chills of 'Thriller'." In 1989, Toronto Star music critics reflected on the albums they had reviewed in the past ten years in order to create a list judging them on the basis of "commercial impact to social import, to strictly musical merit." Thriller was placed at number 1 on the list, where it was referred to as his "master work" and that "commercial success has since overshadowed Jackson's artistic accomplishments on Thriller, and that's a pity. It was a record for the times, brimming with breathless anticipation and a dread fear of the adult world, a brilliant fantasy that pumped with sexual heat, yet made room for serious reflection".
The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year. Jackson won seven of the Grammys for the album, while the eighth Grammy went to Bruce Swedien. That same year, Jackson won eight American Music Awards, the Special Award of Merit and three MTV Video Music Awards. Thriller was recognized as the world's best-selling album on February 7, 1984, when it was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records. It is one of four albums to be the best-seller of two years (1983–1984) in the US.
On December 16, 2015, Thriller was certified 30× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least 30 million units in the US. After the inclusion of streaming and tracks sales into the RIAA album awards in 2017, Thriller was re-certified 33× platinum for a total of 33 million album-equivalent units. The album topped the charts in many countries, sold 4.2 million copies in the UK, 2.5 million in Japan, and was certified 15× Platinum in Australia. Still popular today, Thriller sells an estimated 130,000 copies in the US per year; it reached number two in the US Catalog charts in February 2003 and number 39 in the UK in March 2007.
Influence and legacy
Blender described Jackson as the "late 20th century's preeminent pop icon", while The New York Times gave the opinion that he was a "musical phenomenon" and that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else". Jackson changed the way the industry functioned: both as an artistic persona and as a financial, profitable entity. His attorney John Branca observed that Jackson achieved the highest royalty rate in the music industry to that point: approximately $2 (US$4.71 in 2017 dollars) for each album sold.
As a result, Jackson earned record-breaking profits from compact disc sales and from the sale of copies of the documentary, The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller, produced by Jackson and John Landis. Funded by MTV, the film sold over 350,000 copies in its first few months. In a market then driven by singles, Thriller raised the significance of albums, yet its multiple hit singles changed perceived notions as to the number of successful singles that could be taken from an individual album. The era saw the arrival of novelties like the Michael Jackson doll, that appeared in stores in May 1984 at a price of $12 (US$28 in 2017 dollars). Thriller retains a position in American culture; biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli explains, "At some point, Thriller stopped selling like a leisure item—like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie—and started selling like a household staple".
At the time of the album's release, a press statement from Gil Friesen, the then President of A&M Records, read that, "The whole industry has a stake in this success". Time magazine speculated that "the fallout from Thriller has given the [music] business its best years since the heady days of 1978, when it had an estimated total domestic revenue of $4.1 billion". Time summed up Thriller's impact as a "restoration of confidence" for an industry bordering on "the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop". The publication described Jackson's influence at that point as, "Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business. A songwriter who sets the beat for a decade. A dancer with the fanciest feet on the street. A singer who cuts across all boundaries of taste and style and color too".
When Thriller and "Billie Jean" were searching to reach their market demographic, MTV and cable TV had a smaller market share than the much larger reach of broadcast television stations in the United States. A national broadcast TV audience on ABC, NBC and CBS affiliate stations, as well as major independent TV stations, was desired by CBS/Epic Records to promote Thriller. The national broadcast TV premiere of the Thriller album's first video, "Billie Jean", was during the week of Halloween in October 1984 and was the idea of Video Concert Hall executive producers Charles Henderson and Jerry Crowe. Video Concert Hall, the first nationwide music video TV network, taped the one-hour special in Hollywood and Atlanta, where the TV studios of Video Concert Hall were located. The Thriller TV special was hosted by Thriller video co-star Vincent Price, distributed by Henderson-Crowe Syndications, Inc. and aired in the top 20 TV markets and much of the United States, including TV stations WNEW (New York), WFLD (Chicago), KTTV (Los Angeles), WPLG (Miami), WQTV (Boston) and WXIA (Atlanta), for a total of 150 TV stations.
From the moment Thriller was released, it set the standard for the music industry: artists, record labels, producers, marketers and even choreographers. The music video was ahead of its time and it is considered a monumental one—not only in Jackson's career, but also in the history of pop music. Epic Records' approach to creating a song and video that would appeal to the mass market ended up influencing the way that professionals now market and release their songs. John Landis' production of a mini-movie, rather than the usual short music video, would raise the bar for other directors and producers.
Music videos and racial equality
Before the success of Thriller, many felt Jackson had struggled to get MTV airing because he was black. In an effort to attain air time for Jackson, CBS Records President Walter Yetnikoff pressured MTV and declared, "I'm not going to give you any more videos and I'm going to go public and fucking tell them about the fact you don't want to play music by a black guy."
His position persuaded MTV to begin airing "Billie Jean" and later "Beat It", (along with Prince's "Little Red Corvette") which led to a long partnership and later helped other black music artists to gain mainstream recognition. MTV denies claims of racism in their broadcasting. The popularity of his videos, such as "Beat It" and "Billie Jean", helped to place the young channel "on the map" and MTV's focus shifted in favor of pop and R&B. Jackson transformed the medium of music video into an art form and promotional tool through the use of complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and cameo appearances by well known personalities.
When the 14-minute-long Thriller video aired, MTV ran it twice an hour to meet demand. The short film marked an increase in scale for music videos and has been routinely named the best music video ever. The popularity of the video sent the album back to number one in the album chart, but Jackson's label did not support the release of the third music video from the album. They were already pleased with its success, so Jackson convinced MTV to fund the project.
Author, music critic and journalist Nelson George wrote in 2004, "It's difficult to hear the songs from Thriller and disengage them from the videos. For most of us the images define the songs. In fact it could be argued that Michael is the first artist of the MTV age to have an entire album so intimately connected in the public imagination with its imagery". Short films like Thriller largely remained unique to Jackson, while the group dance sequence in "Beat It" has been frequently imitated. The choreography in Thriller has become a part of global pop culture, replicated everywhere from Bollywood to prisons in the Philippines.
For a black artist in the 1980s to that point, Jackson's success was unprecedented. According to The Washington Post, Thriller paved the way for other African-American artists to achieve mainstream recognition, such as Prince. Christgau credited "The Girl Is Mine" for giving radio exposure to the idea of interracial love. Time noted, "Jackson is the biggest thing since the Beatles. He is the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley. He just may be the most popular black singer ever".
Today, Thriller is still viewed in a positive light by critics some three decades later. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that the record had something to interest everyone. He believed it showcased harder funk and hard rock while remaining "undeniably fun". He went on to compliment "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and said, "The record's two best songs: 'Billie Jean, ... and the delirious 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'', the freshest funk on the album [but] the most claustrophobic, scariest track Jackson ever recorded." Erlewine gave the opinion that it was an improvement on the artist's previous album, although he was critical of the title track, describing it as "ridiculous" and as having the effect of "arriving in the middle of the record and sucking out its momentum".
In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Jon Pareles commented that Jackson "doubled his ambitions and multiplied his audience" with the album and wrote of its legacy, "Thriller had extramusical help in becoming the best-selling noncompilation album of all time: Jackson's dancing feet and dazzling stage presence, amplified by the newfound promotional reach of music video and the Reagan era's embrace of glossy celebrity. But especially in the album's seven hit singles (out of nine songs), the music stands on its own."
Sputnikmusic reviewer Tyler Fisher noted that Thriller "stands one of Jackson's greatest efforts, giving him an eternal legacy in pop music." Culture critic Nelson George wrote that Jackson "has educated R. Kelly, Usher, Justin Timberlake and countless others with Thriller as a textbook". As a sign of the album's longevity, in 2003 Thriller was ranked at number 20 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list and was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at number three of the "Definitive 200" albums of all time. In 2008, 25 years after its release, the record was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and, a few weeks later, was among 25 recordings preserved by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry as "culturally significant". In 2009, music critics for MTV Base and VH1 both listed Thriller as the best album released since 1981. Thriller, along with other critic favorites, were then polled by the public. 40,000 people found Thriller to be the Best Album of all time by MTV Generation, gaining a third of all votes.
Reissues and catalog sales
Thriller was reissued on October 16, 2001, in an expanded set titled Thriller: Special Edition. The original tracks were remastered and the album included a new booklet and bonus material, including the songs "Someone in the Dark", "Carousel" and Jackson's original "Billie Jean" demo, as well as audio interviews with Jones and Temperton discussing the recording of the album. Sony also hired sound engineer and mixer Mick Guzauski to work with Jackson on creating 5.1-channel surround sound mixes of Thriller, as well as all his other albums, for release on the then-new Super Audio CD format. Despite numerous retries, the artist never approved any of the mixes. Consequently, Thriller was issued on SACD only in a stereo version.
In February 2008, Epic Records released Thriller 25; Jackson served as executive producer. Thriller 25 appeared on CD, USB and vinyl with seven bonus tracks, a new song called "For All Time", a snippet of Vincent Price's voice-over and five remixes featuring American artists Fergie, will.i.am, Kanye West and Akon. It also included a DVD featuring three music videos, the Motown 25 "Billie Jean" performance and a booklet with a message from Jackson. The ballad "For All Time" supposedly dates from 1982, but is often credited as being from the Dangerous sessions. Two singles were released from the reissue: "The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008".
Thriller 25 was a commercial success and did particularly well as a reissue. It peaked at number one in eight countries and Europe. It peaked at number two in the US, number three in the UK and reached the top 10 in over 30 national charts. It was certified Gold in 11 countries including the UK, received a 2× Gold certification in France and received platinum certification in Poland. In the United States, Thriller 25 was the second best-selling album of its release week, selling one hundred and sixty six thousand copies, just fourteen thousand short of reaching the number one position. It was ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart as a re-release but entered the Pop Catalog Charts at number one (where it stayed for ten non-consecutive weeks), with the best sales on that chart since December 1996. With the arrival of Halloween that November, Thriller 25 spent an eleventh non-consecutive week atop the US catalog chart. This brought US sales of the album to 688,000 copies, making it the best-selling catalog album of 2008. This was Jackson's best launch since Invincible in 2001, selling three million copies worldwide in 12 weeks.
After Jackson's death in June 2009, Thriller set additional records. It sold more than 100,000 copies, placing it at number two on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. Songs from Thriller also helped Jackson become the first artist to sell more than one million song downloads in a week. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Thriller was the 14th best-selling album of 2009 in the United States, with 1.27 million copies sold.
For one week beginning November 20, 2015, Google Play Music offered a free copy of the album to its users in the U.S. It is called Thriller (Google Play Exclusive Version). It adds a tenth track to the original, Billie Jean (Home Demo from 1981).
|1.||"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"||Michael Jackson||6:02|
|2.||"Baby Be Mine"||Rod Temperton||Jones||4:20|
|3.||"The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney)||Jackson||3:41|
|8.||"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"||Jones||3:58|
|9.||"The Lady in My Life"||Temperton||Jones||4:59|
- ^[a] signifies a co-producer
- Tom Bahler – synclavier (track 5)
- Brian Banks – synthesizer (track 4), synthesizer programming (2)
- Michael Boddicker – synthesizers (tracks 1–2), Emulator (6–9), Vocoder (8)
- Bruce Cannon – effects (track 4)
- Leon "Ndugu" Chancler – drums (tracks 2, 6, 8)
- Paulinho da Costa – percussion (tracks 1, 7)
- David Foster – synthesizer (track 3), synthesizer arrangement (3)
- Gary Grant – trumpet (tracks 1–2, 4), flugelhorn (1–2, 4)
- Nelson Hayes – bathroom stomp board (track 1)
- Howard Hewett – background vocals (track 8)
- Jerry Hey – trumpet (tracks 1–2, 4), flugelhorn (1–2, 4), horn arrangements (1–2, 4), string arrangements (3, 6), strings conductor (3)
- Bunny Hull – background vocals (tracks 1, 8)
- James Ingram – background vocals (tracks 1, 8), keyboards (8), handclaps (8), musical arrangements (8)
- Janet Jackson – background vocals (track 8)
- La Toya Jackson – background vocals (track 8)
- Michael Jackson – co-producer (tracks 1, 3, 5–6), lead vocals (all tracks), programming (1, 4), drum case beater (track 5), bathroom stomp board (1), background vocals (1, 4–6), handclaps (8), vocal arrangements (1, 3, 5–6), rhythm arrangements (1, 5–6), horn arrangements (1), synthesizer arrangements (6)
- Paul Jackson Jr. – guitar (tracks 5, 8–9)
- Louis Johnson – bass guitar (tracks 1, 3, 6, 8–9), handclaps (8)
- Quincy Jones – producer (all tracks), rhythm arrangements (tracks 1, 3, 5), vocal arrangements (3), musical arrangements (8)
- Becky Lopez – background vocals (tracks 1, 8)
- Jerry Lubbock – strings conductor (track 6)
- Steve Lukather – guitar (tracks 3, 5, 7), bass guitar (5), musical arrangements (7)
- Anthony Marinelli – synthesizer, synthesizer programming (tracks 2, 4)
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals (track 3)
- David Paich – synthesizers (tracks 2, 7, 9), piano (3), rhythm arrangements (3), musical arrangements (7)
- Dean Parks – guitar (tracks 3)
- Greg Phillinganes – keyboards (2, 4), synthesizers (1–2, 4–6, 8), piano, Fender Rhodes (1, 3, 5–6, 9), synthesizer programming (8), handclaps (8)
- Jeff Porcaro – drums (tracks 3, 5, 7, 9)
- Steve Porcaro – synthesizers (tracks 5, 7, 9), synthesizer programming (2–3, 5, 7), musical arrangements (7)
- Vincent Price – voice-over (track 4)
- Steven Ray – bathroom stomp board (track 1), handclaps (8)
- Bill Reichenbach – trombone (tracks 1–2, 4)
- Greg Smith – Synergy (track 5), synthesizer (6)
- Bruce Swedien – recording engineer (All tracks), audio mixer (All tracks), effects (4)
- Chris Shepard – vibraslap (track 5)
- Rod Temperton – synthesizer (track 4), rhythm arrangements (2, 4, 9), vocal arrangements (2, 4, 9), arrangements (2, 4, 9)
- Eddie Van Halen – guitar solo (track 5)
- Jerry Vinci – concertmaster (track 3)
- Julia Waters – background vocals (track 1)
- Maxine Waters – background vocals (track 1)
- Oren Waters – background vocals (track 1)
- David Williams – guitar (tracks 1–2, 4, 6)
- Larry Williams – saxophone (tracks 1–2, 4), flute (1–2, 4)
- Bill Wolfer – keyboards (track 5), synthesizer (1, 6), programming (6)
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||3|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||1|
|UK Albums (OCC)||3|
|Australia (ARIA)||16× Platinum||1,150,000|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||8× Platinum||400,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Diamond||2,400,000|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||2× Platinum||100,000^|
|Germany (BVMI)||3× Platinum||1,500,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Platinum||20,000*|
|Netherlands (NVPI)||8× Platinum||1,400,000|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||12× Platinum||180,000^|
|Sweden (GLF)||4× Platinum||400,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||6× Platinum||300,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||13× Platinum||4,400,000|
|United States (RIAA)||33× Platinum||33,000,000|
For sales in 2009
*sales figures based on certification alone
- List of best-selling albums
- List of best-selling albums in Australia
- List of best-selling albums in France
- List of best-selling albums in Germany
- List of best-selling albums in Japan
- List of best-selling albums in New Zealand
- List of best-selling albums in the United Kingdom
- List of best-selling albums in the United States
- List of number-one dance singles of 1983 (U.S.)
- Greenberg, Steve (November 29, 2012). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' at 30: How One Album Changed the World". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Dyson 1993, p. 60.
- "Best-selling album". Guinness World Records. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- Caulfield, Keith (February 16, 2017). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Extends Reign as Highest Certified Album in U.S. History". Billboard. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- Durchholz, Daniel (November 30, 2012). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' At 30: Classic Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Wyman, Bill (January 4, 2013). "Did "Thriller" Really Sell a Hundred Million Copies?". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Bialik, Carl (July 14, 2009). "How Many Albums Did Michael Jackson Sell?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Lara, David (May 12, 2012). "Michael Jackson's 'Bad' Gets a Revamp and More Inflated Sales!". Impre. ImpreMedia. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (August 20, 2018). "The Eagles score biggest-selling album of all time in US, surpassing Thriller". The Guardian. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- McIntyre, Hugh (February 16, 2017). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Has Now Been Certified 33-Times Platinum". Forbes. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "Grammy Award Winners". Archived from the original on January 2, 2008.. The Recording Academy.
- "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s". Slant Magazine. March 5, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "20: Michael Jackson, 'Thriller'". Archived from the original on October 21, 2012.. Rolling Stone. May 31, 2012.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Off the Wall – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- Holden, Stephen (November 1, 1979). "Off the Wall: Michael Jackson". Archived from the original on December 23, 2007.. Rolling Stone.
- "Michael Jackson: Off The Wall". Virgin Media. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
- Taraborrelli 2004, p. 196.
- Taraborrelli 2004, p. 206.
- Taraborrelli 2004, p. 190.
- Taraborrelli 2004, p. 191.
- Taraborrelli 2004, pp. 220–21.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Jackson, Michael. Thriller 25 (booklet).
- Jackson, Michael. Thriller Special Edition Audio (CD).
- Taraborrelli 2004, pp. 209–210.
- Lyle, Peter (November 25, 2007). "Michael Jackson's Monster Smash". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved April 20, 2008.
- "Michael: 25 Years After Thriller". Ebony. 63 (2): 97–98. December 2007. ISSN 0012-9011.
- Jackson, Michael (March 27, 2005). "Jesse Jackson Interviews Michael Jackson" (Interview). Interviewed by Jesse Jackson.
- George 2004, p. 23.
- Connelly, Christopher (January 28, 1983). "Michael Jackson: Thriller". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Thriller – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- Heyliger, M. "A State-of-the-Art Pop Album: Thriller by Michael". Archived from the original on December 4, 2008.. Consumerhelpweb.com. "Not many artists could pull off such a variety of styles (funk, post-disco, rock, easy listening, ballads)..."
- Raftery, Brian (July 7, 2009). "Michael Jackson: The Unlikely King of Rock". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
the lustrous post-disco sound of Thriller seems an unlikely muse for Stump and his bandmates
- Huey, Steve. "Michael Jackson – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved November 11, 2006.
- Henderson, Eric (October 18, 2003). "Michael Jackson – Thriller". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- Zimmer, Ben (June 26, 2009). "Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa". Language Log.
The story behind these seemingly nonsensical syllables is a fascinating one, originating in the Cameroonian language Duala ... Jackson apparently claimed his version was Swahili, but he eventually acknowledged his debt to [Cameroonian singer Manu] Dibango ...
- Taraborrelli 2004, pp. 223–25.
- The Complete Michael Jackson. International Music Publications. 1997. ISBN 1-85909-447-3.
- Pareles, Jon (September 3, 1987). "Critic's Notebook; How Good Is Jackson's 'Bad'?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2007.
- "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: Number 1: Michael Jackson, "Billy Jean"". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009.. Blender. April 1, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson – Biography". Archived from the original on January 9, 2008.. Rolling Stone.
- Hogan, Ed. "Steve Porcaro – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- Cocks, Jay (March 1984). "Why He's a Thriller". Time. Retrieved March 17, 2007.
- Brown 1996, pp. 29–30.
- George 2004, p. 22.
- Christgau, Robert (1990). "Michael Jackson: Thriller". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Larkin, Colin (2011). "Jackson, Michael". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
- Greenblatt, Leah (July 3, 2009). "Michael Jackson's albums". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- Graff, Gary; du Lac, Josh Freedom; McFarlin, Jim, eds. (1998). "Michael Jackson". MusicHound R&B: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1-57859-026-4.
- "Review". Q. January 2000. p. 138.
- Pareles, Jon (2004). "Michael Jackson". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 414. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Christgau, Robert (December 28, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
- "Sold On Song Top 100: Billie Jean". BBC. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- "Sold On Song Top 100: Thriller". BBC. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- "Artist". Steve Lukather. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "The Creation of the "Thriller" Album Cover". Dick Zimmerman. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- Chandy, Ann Marie (February 12, 2010). "Ferociously popular". The Star. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- Rockwell, John (December 19, 1982). "Michael Jackson's Thriller': Superb Job". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
- MacInnis, Craig (August 5, 1989). "The Top 100 Albums of the '80s". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. p. G1. ISSN 0319-0781.
- "Winners: Michael Jackson". Grammy.com. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- "Winners: Winners: Bruce Swedien". Grammy.com. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Guinness World Records 2007. New York: Guinness World Records Ltd. 2006. ISBN 1-904994-12-1.
- Jackson, Michael. Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection (booklet).
- Taraborrelli 2004, p. 482 (pictures).
- "The Year In Pop 2012: Adele Repeats as Top Artist, Gotye Scores No. 1 Hot 100 Song". Billboard. December 14, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Stutz, Colin (December 16, 2015). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Becomes First-Ever 30 Times Multi-Platinum Album: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' First Ever 30X Multi-Platinum RIAA Certification". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Adele overtakes Michael Jackson in all-time biggest selling albums chart" (PDF). Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- "Michael Jackson Remains A Global Phenomenon". Billboard. July 2, 2009. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
- Pareles, Jon (January 14, 1984). "Michael Jackson at 25: A Musical Phenomenon". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2007.
- Taraborrelli 2004, p. 226.
- "Vincent Price's Halloween Thriller" (fact sheet). Atlanta: Henderson-Crowe Syndications, Inc. September 24, 1984.
- "Vincent Price Hosts His First American Halloween Special" (news release). Henderson-Crowe Syndications, Inc. September 24, 1984.
- McCullaugh, Jim (May 3, 1980). "Atlanta Firm Claims First Ever Nationwide Cable Music Show" (PDF). Billboard: 1, 38.
- King, Bill (June 3, 1980). "Atlantans Pioneering Cable Video Music Show". The Atlanta Constitution. pp. 1–B, 10–B.
- Werts, Dianne (May 23, 1980). "Din of Modern Hit Parade Invades Cable Homes". The Dallas Morning News.
- Denisoff, Serge R (1986). Tarnished Gold: The record industry revisited. Oxford, UK: Transaction Books. p. 369.
- Mitchell, Gail; Newman, Melinda (July 11, 2009). "How "Thriller" Changed the Music Business". Billboard. 121 (28): 121, 22–25. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Ben-Yehuda, Ayala (July 11, 2009). "Video Thrilled the Radio Star". Billboard. 121 (28): 121, 26–27. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Gundersen, Edna (August 25, 2005). "Music videos changing places". USA Today. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
- Christian, Margena A. (October 9, 2006). "Why it took MTV so long to play black music videos". Jet. 110 (14): 16–18, 53–54. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- Robinson, Brian (February 23, 2005). "Why Are Michael Jackson's Fans So Devoted?". ABC News. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- Taraborrelli 2004, pp. 270–71.
- "Jacko Goes Bollywood". TMZ. October 3, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
- "1500 Prisoners Perform Thriller Dance". Archived from the original on February 10, 2010.. The Wrong Advices. July 21, 2007.
- Harrington, Richard (October 9, 1988). "Prince & Michael Jackson: Two Paths to the Top of Pop". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
- Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Michael Jackson". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 414. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Fisher, Tyler (September 27, 2006). "Michael Jackson – Thriller". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- George 2004, p. 24.
- "Definitive 200". Archived from the original on April 6, 2008.. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 2007.
- "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame – t". Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- "Thriller, Joni Mitchell album make the cut for U.S. recording registry". Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-03.. CBC News. May 14, 2008.
- "MTV's Greatest Album Ever — Number 1". MTV. April 9, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Michael Jackson's album Thriller voted best album since 1981". Daily Mirror. April 9, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Jackson, Michael. Thriller Special Edition (booklet).
- Verna, Paul (May 1, 2001). "Mick Guzauski". Mix. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Becka, Kevin (June 1, 2006). "Mix Interview: Mick Guzauski". Mix. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Friedman, Roger (July 23, 2001). "First Jackson Effort Rejected, New One Not Ready". Fox News Channel. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "Michael Jackson on SACD". PS3SACD.com. July 9, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
- "Epic Records/Legacy Recordings Unveil The 25th Anniversary Edition of Michael Jackson's..." Archived from the original on November 3, 2013.. Reuters. November 30, 2007.
- "Kanye West, Will.I.Am On New Edition Of Michael Jackson's Thriller; Plus Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, 'High School Musical' & More, In For The Record". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved December 7, 2007.
- "Kanye, Akon Help Jackson Revisit 'Thriller'". Billboard. November 30, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2008.
- Paphides, Pete (February 8, 2008). "Michael Jackson: Thriller 25". Archived from the original on May 17, 2011.. London: The Times.
- "Zona Musical" (in Spanish). Zm.nu. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- "Michael Jackson's Thriller 25 – The 25th Anniversary Edition of the World's Top-Selling Album of All Time – Is America's #2 Best-Selling Album This Week!!!". Digital Producer. PR Newswire. February 20, 2008.
- "Michael Jackson – Thriller 25" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Grein, Paul (May 18, 2008). "Week Ending May 18, 2008: Diva Smackdown Ends With Ingenues On Rise". Archived from the original on May 19, 2011.. Yahoo! Music.
- Trust, Gary (February 20, 2008). "Big Grammy Gains For Many; King of Pop Returns". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
- Hasty, Katy (February 20, 2008). "Johnson Remains No. 1; Winehouse, Hancock Soar". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
- "US fans shun CD". BBC. July 30, 2005. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
- Waddell, Ray (November 7, 2008). "Michael Jackson Eyeing London Run?". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Friedman, Roger (May 16, 2008). "Jacko: Neverland East in Upstate New York". Fox News Channel. Retrieved May 22, 2008.
- "Michael Jackson Breaks Billboard Charts Records". Billboard. June 30, 2009. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- Caulfield, Keith (January 6, 2010). "Taylor Swift Edges Susan Boyle For 2009's Top-Selling Album". Billboard. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- Kennedy, Gerrick D. (November 20, 2015). "Google Play is giving away Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album for free". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Thriller (booklet). Epic Records. 1982.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Jahreshitparade Alben 1983" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "The Top Albums of 1983". RPM. Vol. 39 no. 17. Library and Archives Canada. December 24, 1983.
- (in French) "Les Albums (CD) de 1983 par InfoDisc". Archived from the original on January 7, 2016.. InfoDisc.
- (in German) "Top 100 AlbumJahrescharts – 1983". Archived from the original on May 9, 2015.. Offiziellecharts.de. GfK Entertainment.
- "Gli album più venduti del 1983" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "1983年アルバム年間ヒットチャート" [Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1983] (in Japanese). Oricon. Entamedata.web.fc2.com. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1983" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Talent Almanac 1984" (PDF). Billboard. December 24, 1983. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Jahreshitparade Alben 1984" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Top 100 Albums of 1985". RPM. Vol. 41 no. 17. Library and Archives Canada. January 5, 1985.
- (in German) "Top 100 AlbumJahrescharts – 1984". Archived from the original on May 9, 2015.. Offiziellecharts.de. GfK Entertainment.
- "1984年アルバム年間ヒットチャート" [Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1984] (in Japanese). Oricon. Entamedata.web.fc2.com. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1984" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1984" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Chart Archive – 1980s Albums". Everyhit.com. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Talent Almanac 1985" (PDF). Billboard. 96 (51). December 22, 1984. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2009". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- (in German) "Album Jahrescharts 2009". Archived from the original on January 18, 2010.. Mtv.de.
- "Top Comprehensive Albums". Billboard. 121 (39): 80. October 3, 2009. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Top Internet Albums". Billboard. 121 (39): 81. October 3, 2009. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Top Pop Catlog Albums". Billboard. 121 (39). October 3, 2009. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "2010 End of Year Charts – Top 50 Catalogue Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- "Top Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard. 122 (39): 94. October 2, 2010. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Top Pop Catalog Albums". Billboard. 122 (39): 97. October 2, 2010. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Bestenlisten – 80er-Album" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "Los premiados". Archived from the original on March 18, 2005.. CAPIF.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2011 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
- Dale, David (January 10, 2013). "THE TRIBAL MIND ARCHIVE: The music Australia loved". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Austrian album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Michael Jackson in the field Interpret. Enter Thriller in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen.
- "Canadian album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Music Canada.
- "Springsteen Big In Canada, Too". Billboard. 98 (51): 39. December 20, 1986. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Danish album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller". IFPI Denmark. Click on næste to go to page if certification is from the official website.
- "Michael Jackson" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "Les Albums Diamant" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "France Best Selling Albums Ever: All-Time Ranking (2016)". ChartMasters. February 5, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Michael Jackson; 'Thriller')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1984". IFPI Hong Kong.
- "Italian album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.
- "RIAJ > The Record > May 1994 > Page 5 > Certified Awards (March 1994)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2013.. Recording Industry Association of Japan.
- "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved May 20, 2016. Type Michael Jackson in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and Thriller in the box under TÍTULO
- "Dutch album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Thriller in the "Artiest of titel" box.
- Nauta, Hans (October 29, 2001). "Een ster in het land van lilliputters". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Latest Gold / Platinum Albums". Radioscope. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24.
- "Discos de Ouro e Platina: GALARDÕES 2009". Archived from the original on August 19, 2010.. Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa.
- "1984년 3월 21일 동아일보 :: 네이버 뉴스 라이브러리 ver 1.4.1" (in Korean). March 21, 1984. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2008" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Michael Jackson; 'Thriller')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
- "British album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter Thriller in the search field and then press Enter.
- Gumble, Daniel (July 5, 2016). "UK's 60 biggest selling albums of all time revealed". Music Week. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- "American album certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
- "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2009". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
- Brown, Geoff (1996). The Complete Guide to the Music of Michael Jackson & The Jackson Family. New York City, New York: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5303-1.
- Dyson, Michael Eric (1993). Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-2141-1.
- George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection (booklet). Sony BMG.
- Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2004). The Magic and the Madness. Terra Alta, WV: Headline. ISBN 0-330-42005-4.