Thriller is very much like Titanic…not the boat, the movie…about the boat. Everything that it touched turned to gold or platinum even, thirty times over. Recently Thriller became the biggest selling album in the US. Ever.
Doing the math between when it was released and now means that every hour, more than 3 people are buying a copy of the album somewhere in the US. That’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for almost 33 years straight.
Personally, I have had a couple of copies in my possession over the years. The first one was a gift from my Aunt Louie.
Being the first family in our clan to immigrate to the US, gave many of our far-flung relatives a chance to come and visit. See what the American Dream was all about, order steak & eggs for breakfast and see if everything really is bigger in Texas. With both of my parents working, my sister and I were pawned on the visiting relatives to pass the time.
Not sure what it is about relatives visiting and their gift-giving habits. Maybe it’s a family thing. Maybe it’s just their personal generosity. Don’t know, but the way things seemed to work when I was a kid was a relative would come and visit. They would bring gifts from back home and then when they got here they would buy us gifts. Now they had an empty suitcase…to be filled with gifts that they would take back home with them.
One of the shopping trips we were spending with relatives getting gifts for other family members back home we stopped into a music store. Can’t remember the name of this one, but it was huge (from what I remember) and had both records & cassettes. I don’t know how my relatives knew this, but they would always bring me music. Maybe it was easy to pick something I would like or it was my parents telling them what to get. I got used to it and graciously expected in whenever I heard about more relatives flying across the pond to visit us.
The day was filled with shopping and the heat from the Houston sun may or may not have made me a little cranky. Aunt Louie said to me, “Would you like me to buy you a tape of something?”
I didn’t follow the charts and MTV was a luxury in my house at the time. I was unsure of what I would like and at that age most of my decision making was based on the album cover artwork. We were about to leave and I was told, “Make up your mind or I won’t buy you anything.” This can make a kid choose something in a hurry, whether they want the item or not.
We were walking to the front of the store to leave and I just said, “That, please” pointing to the big record display of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. And that was that. Aunt Louie walked up to the counter and asked for a copy of Thriller on cassette.
The next part of the day must’ve been one of the hardest to endure. Actually, any time I buy music and I can’t have instant gratification, I’ll thumb through the album jacket, the liner notes, anything that will give me a taste about what I will be hearing when I get the chance to play it on my little mono cassette player. I had a red one, and so did my neighbor Shawn. Same model. Until I realized he gave his to me for a birthday gift. I don’t know why he gave me his used tape player as a gift. Kinda baffles me to this day.
|Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'||Michael Jackson||6:04|
|Baby Be Mine||Michael Jackson||4:21|
|The Girl Is Mine||Michael Jackson (feat. Paul McCartney)||3:43|
|Beat It||Michael Jackson||4:19|
|Billie Jean||Michael Jackson||4:54|
|Human Nature||Michael Jackson||4:06|
|P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)||Michael Jackson||3:59|
|The Lady In My Life||Michael Jackson||5:00|