I think it was the only album my parents owned on both cassette and vinyl. So they could listen at home, and in the car. I remember looking at it and thinking I don't know what. This young black man in a gleaming white suit with a look on his face that says what. Looking all confident and comfortable and strange.
I remember listening to it. The cassette version because I wasn't allowed to play with the vinyl. I was five. I think I fell in love with "Pretty Young Thing" after listening only once. I wondered why such a great song was buried so deep into the album. But they were all great. "Human Nature," "The Girl Is Mine," "Billie Jean," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." And "Thriller."
I remember when "Thriller" made its debut on MTV. It was a big deal. My parents had friends over. We sat around our enormous Emerson television console, waiting. The lower left hand corner of the screen was marred by an embarrassing green blob where I had placed a large magnet. I never got over that. My father never let me forget it.
"We had the television for two hours, and look what he did."
There are bowls of potato chips and pretzels on the glass coffee table. The women are drinking wine coolersCherry Fizz, Tea Breeze. The men are drinking cans of beer. I'm sitting on the brown rug with my back up against the plastic-covered couch, wondering what we're waiting for.
When the video finally aired, I cried.
"I thought this channel was only supposed to show music videos."
"This is a music video."
"No, it's not. It's a scary movie."
"Don't watch it."
"I hate this video."
I watched it anyway. It soon became my favorite and my love for the album grew. I remember making mix tapes that began and ended with "Pretty Young Thing." That's the way I would have made the album.
I mentioned Queen Majesty's excellent Thriller tribute, Trilla, made up of Jamaican dancehall covers of American pop hits. And now you can pre-order copies of the Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition from Elusive Disc. The 180g 2LP Deluxe Gatefold package features previously unreleased tracks, including an excerpt from the Vincent Price "Thriller" voice-over sessionsspooky!and remixes by will.i.am, Fergie, Akon, and Kanye West.
I don't really care about those extras, though. I think I'm more interested in revisiting something, in owning something, from my childhood. The Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller is available for $19.99, and that sounds like a deal to me.