Lawd, he looks so perfect.
Hold My Hand Video (30 second Preview)
Prior to beginning work on the Thriller album, Michael Jackson teamed up with Paul McCartney to collaborate on 3 songs: “The Man”, “Say, Say, Say” and “The Girl Is Mine”. “The Girl is Mine” was released as a single in August 1982 and was included on Michael’s Thriller album.
Recording sessions took place between April and November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California, with a production budget of $750,000, assisted by producer Quincy Jones. Jackson wrote four of Thriller’s nine tracks.
The highly anticipated album was released on November 30, 1982.
The original plan for the album was to include 3 music videos or “short films” for “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and “Thriller”. Thriller’s sales soared and it was the first time an album would be at number one in the USA and the UK at the same time. While “Billie Jean” was still at the top of the charts, the album’s third single was released; “Beat It”, on March 5, 1983. It became number one the week after its release and Michael Jackson became the first black artist to have the number one album and single simultaneously in the US and the UK.
In May 1983, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” was released and became Thriller’s forth number one single.
In June 1983, “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” still remained at the top of the charts; “Human Nature” and “P.Y.T” were released while Michael was planning the short film for “Thriller” and both became top 10 hits.
The short film and single “Thriller” was released on 2nd December 1983. For the 14 minute short film, John Landis was hired to direct and Rick Baker for special effects make up. The film cost an estimated $1 million of Michael’s own money. To re-coup some of the budget costs, John Landis negotiated a deal with Showtime, MTV and Vestron to fund a 60 minute documentary on the making of the short film. Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller was aired in 1984 and sold on video tape. It became the biggest selling music video of all time, with estimated sales of 9 million as of 2006.
Prior to the “Thriller” single release, the Thriller album sales had “slowed” to approx. 200,000 copies a week. The week after the single and short film was released, sales of the album soared and once again, Thriller was number one on the album charts. Estimated sales showed that the “Thriller” single and video resulted in an additional 14 million copies of the Thriller album being sold within a six month period. In just over a year, Thriller became—and remains as of 2010—the best-selling album of all time, with sales estimated by various sources as somewhere between 65 and 110 million copies worldwide. The seven singles of the album, all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also won a record-breaking seven Grammy Awards at the 1984 Grammys.