U.S. 12" vinyl
|Single by Michael Jackson|
|from the album Thriller|
|B-side||"Things I Do for You"|
|Released||November 2, 1983(worldwide) January 23, 1984 (US)|
|Michael Jackson singles chronology|
"Thriller" is a song recorded by American singer Michael Jackson, composed by Rod Temperton, and produced by Quincy Jones. It is the seventh and final single released by Epic Records from his 1982 studio album Thriller. A 14-minute video showing Jackson in a horror-themed performance premiered on November 14, 1983. It was first shown on MTV on December 2, 1983. The song was not released as a single until January 23, 1984.
"Thriller" has appeared on multiple greatest hits compilation albums from Jackson, including HIStory (1995), Number Ones (2003), The Essential Michael Jackson (2005) and Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009) and was remixed for the Immortal album in 2011. The song has a voice-over from actor Vincent Price.
In the song, sound effects such as a creaking door, thunder, feet walking on wooden planks, winds and howling dogs can be heard, and the lyrics contain frightening themes and elements. "Thriller" received positive reviews from critics and became Jackson's seventh top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart from the album, while reaching the top of the charts in France and Belgium and the top ten in many other countries.
"Thriller" was adapted by An American Werewolf In London director John Landis into a highly successful music video, known independently as "Michael Jackson's Thriller". At fourteen minutes the video is substantially longer than the song, which ties together a narrative featuring Jackson and actress Ola Ray in a setting heavily inspired by horror films of the 1950s. In the video's most iconic scene, Jackson leads other actors costumed as zombies in a choreographed dance routine. Though it garnered some criticism for its occult theme and violent imagery, the video was immediately popular and received high critical acclaim, being nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 and winning three. In 2009 it was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video ever selected.
- 1 Background and composition
- 2 Recording and production
- 3 Critical reception
- 4 Chart performance
- 5 Music video
- 6 Live performances
- 7 Cover versions
- 8 Appearances in other media
- 9 Personnel
- 10 Charts and certifications
- 11 Track listing
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Background and composition
"Thriller" was written by Rod Temperton, and produced by Quincy Jones. An inspiration was the Jacksons' hit "This Place Hotel". Early titles include "Starlight", "Starlight Sun" and "Give Me Some Starlight". The title was changed to 'Thriller' after Michael told Temperton he wanted something that would appeal to kids. While still titled "Starlight", the song's hook lyrics were "Give me some starlight! Starlight sun...", but after the song was changed to "Thriller" the hook was rewritten to "'Cause this is thriller! Thriller night...". Temperton commented,
Originally, when I did my Thriller demo, I called it Starlight. Quincy said to me, 'You managed to come up with a title for the last album, see what you can do for this album.' I said, 'Oh great,' so I went back to the hotel, wrote two or three hundred titles, and came up with the title 'Midnight Man'. The next morning, I woke up, and I just said this word... Something in my head just said, this is the title. You could visualize it on the top of the Billboard charts. You could see the merchandising for this one word, how it jumped off the page as 'Thriller'.
While Temperton was writing "Thriller" he stated that he'd "always envisioned" a "talking section at the end" on the song, but did not really know what "to do with it", until deciding "to have somebody, a famous voice, in the horror genre, to do this vocal." Jones' then-wife, Peggy Lipton, who knew Vincent Price, suggested Price for the vocal part, which Price agreed to do.
"Thriller" is considered a disco-funk song. Set in the key of C♯ Modern Dorian, its instrumentation consists of synthesizer, guitar, trumpet, flugelhorn, saxophone, flute and trombone. The song has a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. The lyrics and sound effects on "Thriller" pertain to frightful elements and themes.
Recording and production
"Thriller", along with other songs from Thriller, was recorded by Jackson over the course of eight weeks, in 1982. Jackson recorded the song at Westlake Recording Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Bruce Swedien, the song's engineer, said of the song being recorded,
When we started 'Thriller', the first day at Westlake, we were all there and Quincy [Jones, the producer] walked in followed by me and Michael and Rod Temperton and some of the other people. Quincy turned to us and he said, 'OK guys, we're here to save the recording industry.' Now that's a pretty big responsibility – but he meant it. And that's why those albums, and especially 'Thriller', sound so incredible. The basic thing is, everybody who was involved gave 150 percent … Quincy's like a director of a movie and I'm like a director of photography, and it's Quincy's job to cast [it]. Quincy can find the people and he gives us the inspiration to do what we do.
Swedien and Jones stated that Vincent Price recorded his introduction and voice-over rap for the song in two takes; Jones, acknowledging that doing a voice-over for a song is "difficult", praised Price and described his recording takes as being "fabulous". Swedien said of Jackson recording the song, that, "I tried all sorts of things with Michael – for instance, he would sing the main vocal part and we'd double it one time and then I'd ask him to step away from the mic and do it a third time and that really changed the acoustics in the room so it gave Michael's vocals a unique character … We recorded some of those background vocals in the shower stall at Westlake."
Throughout the song, sound effects such as a creaking door, thunder, feet walking on wooden planks, winds and howling dogs can be heard. Bruce Cannon, a sound effects editor for "Thriller", said that, "Things like the lightning may have come from old Hollywood movies – we'll never know which movies – but the best sound-effects editors do go out in the desert and find a coyote, so I have a feeling that was a real howl."
The backing track, especially the bassline, has certain similarities to the 1981 number-one R&B hit "Give It to Me Baby" by Rick James. The bass part was made from two modified Minimoogs playing in unison.
"Thriller" is a contemporary critical favourite. Ashley Lasimone, of AOL's Spinner.com, noted that it "became a signature for Jackson" and described "the groove of its bassline, paired with Michael's killer vocals and sleek moves" as having "produced a frighteningly great single." Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted that 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It', 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ' and "the movie in the song 'Thriller'", were the songs, unlike the "fluff" "P.Y.T.", that were "the hits that made Thriller a world-beater; along with Mr. Jackson's stage and video presence, listeners must have identified with his willingness to admit terror." Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times described "Thriller" as "adequately groovy" with a "funked-out beat" and lyrics "seemingly lifted from some little kid's 'scary storybook'".
50 Cent told NME that the song is the one he wished he'd written: "I had his poster on my wall. He had me moonwalkin' around my bedroom. I'd love to have written any Michael Jackson song, so maybe start with one of the greatest."
Prior to "Thriller"'s official release as a single, six other songs from the album had charted. "Thriller" became Jackson's seventh and final Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single from his Thriller album. In Billboard issue date February 11, 1984, the song entered the charts at number 20 on the Hot 100. The song entered the top ten the following week at number eight. One week later, it reached number five, then the next week it rose to number four; its peak position which it held for a second week. The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 4, 1989, for sales of over one million physical units in the U.S. (the requirement for gold and platinum singles was lowered after 1989). It has sold a further 3.6 million copies in digital downloads as of October 2014 in the US. As of November 2016, the song sold 4.024 million total copies in the US.
For the issue date February 25, 1984, "Thriller" charted at number 19 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. The following week, the song placed at number five. On March 10, 1984, it charted at number 3, where it peaked. "Thriller" peaked at number 24 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart. "Thriller" debuted on the UK Singles Chart on November 19, 1983, at number 24, and the following week charted at number ten, where it peaked; the song appeared on the chart for 52 weeks. Beginning on February 5, 1984, "Thriller" peaked on the French Singles Chart at number one and topped the chart for four consecutive weeks. "Thriller" also topped the Belgian VRT Top 30 Chart for two weeks in January 1984.
Following Jackson's death, his music experienced a surge in popularity. In the week of Jackson's death, "Thriller" was Jackson's best-selling track in the US, with sales of 167,000 copies on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart. On July 11, 2009, "Thriller" charted on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart at number two (its peak), and the song remained in the charts' top ten for three consecutive weeks. In the United Kingdom, the song charted at number 23 the week of Jackson's death. The following week, the song reached its peak at number 12 on the UK Single Chart. On July 12, 2009, "Thriller" peaked at number two on the Italian Singles Chart and was later certified gold by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. "Thriller" reached at number three on the Australian ARIA Chart and Swiss Singles Chart and topped the Spanish Singles Charts for one week. The song also placed within the top ten on the German Singles Chart, Norwegian Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart, at number nine, number seven and number eight respectively. "Thriller" also landed at number 25 on the Danish Singles Chart. In the third week of July "Thriller" peaked at number 11 in Finland. The song finished at #78 for the year on Billboard Hot 100 of 1984.
In his 1988 book Moonwalk, Jackson expressed interest in having director John Landis direct the music video for "Thriller". Having seen Landis' previous work on the horror film An American Werewolf in London, Jackson envisioned the main character of his short film to undergo similar transitions parallel to those of the characters in Landis' horror film. Hence, Landis was asked to direct the video seeing as Michael felt he would make the best fit towards properly conveying his personal concepts for the short feature film. Landis accepted Jackson’s invitation and production began soon thereafter, filming in various locations in New York and Los Angeles.
Contrary to reports of $800,000 to $1 million production budgets, Landis stated that the music video was made for $500,000. Within the same excerpt of Moonwalk, Jackson noted how he personally financed much of the short film for "Thriller" out of his own pocket. Due to all the technical details of production and the nature of the video, the budget nearly doubled in costs. John Branca—Jackson's attorney and advisor—suggested creating a documentary outlining the process of creating the short film. The behind-the-scenes documentary was aimed towards seeking a third-party sponsor to finance the project and thus alleviate some of the costs of the doubled budget. The documentary was entitled, "The Making of Thriller", and achieved significant sales among audiences.
Jackson also said of making the music video, in an interview that aired on December 11, 1999, for MTV's 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made:
My idea was to make this short film with conversation ... I like having a beginning and a middle and an ending, which would follow a story. I'm very much involved in complete making and creating of the piece. It has to be, you know, my soul. Usually, you know, it's an interpretation of the music. [...] It was a delicate thing to work on because I remember my original approach was, 'How do you make zombies and monsters dance without it being comical?' So I said, 'We have to do just the right kind of movement so it doesn't become something that you laugh at.' But it just has to take it to another level. So I got in a room with [choreographer] Michael Peters, and he and I together kind of imagined how these zombies move by making faces in the mirror. I used to come to rehearsal sometimes with monster makeup on, and I loved doing that. So he and I collaborated and we both choreographed the piece and I thought it should start like that kind of thing and go into this jazzy kind of step, you know. Kind of gruesome things like that, not too much ballet or whatever.
Following the release of the music video, a 45-minute documentary was released that provided candid glimpses behind the scenes of the music video's production. Entitled Making Michael Jackson's Thriller, it, like the music video, was shown heavily on MTV for a time and was the top-selling home-video release of all time at one point, with over nine million copies sold. MTV paid $250,000 for the exclusive rights to show the documentary; Showtime paid $300,000 for pay-cable rights; and Vestron Video reportedly paid $500,000 to market the cassette, in a profit participation agreement.
Set in the 1950s, Michael and his unnamed date (Ola Ray) run out of gas near a dark wooded area. They walk off into the forest, and Michael asks her if she would be his "girl"; she accepts and he gives her a ring. He warns her, however, that he is "different". A full moon appears, and Michael begins convulsing in agony, transforming into a werecat. His date runs away in terror, but the werecat catches up to her, knocking her down and begins lunging at her with his claws. The scene then cuts to a modern-day movie theater where Michael and his date, along with a repulsed audience, are actually watching the scene unfold in a movie called Thriller.
Michael's date leaves the theater as Michael hands his popcorn to a stranger, catches up to her, and assures her that "It's only a movie". Some debate follows as to whether or not she was scared by the movie. They then walk down a foggy road as Michael teases her by singing the verses of "Thriller". They pass a nearby graveyard, in which zombies begin to rise out of their caskets as Vincent Price performs his soliloquy. The zombies corner Michael and his date threateningly, and suddenly, Michael becomes a zombie himself. The zombies then break into an elaborate song and dance number, followed by the main chorus of "Thriller" (during which Michael was reverted to human form), frightening his date to the point where she runs for cover.
Michael (turned back into a zombie) and his fellow corpses then back the frightened girl into the corner of a nearby abandoned house. Michael then reaches for his date's throat as she lets out a bloodcurdling scream, only to awake and realize it was all a dream. Michael then offers to take her home, and she happily obliges. As they walk out of the house, Michael turns around and looks at the camera, thus revealing his yellow werewolf eyes and fangs from the beginning of the video, as we hear Vincent Price's haunting laugh.
Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly commented on the music video, "Every aspect of the 14-minute horror musical, directed with creepy-comical zest by John Landis, is beyond iconic, from Michael's red leather ensemble to the immortal (no pun) herky-jerky zombie dance and bwah-ha-ha Vincent Price narration." Though the video was met with widespread praise, it was also criticized for its content. In 1982, the National Coalition on Television Violence (NCTV) classified more than half of 200 MTV music videos surveyed as "too violent". Both "Thriller" and Jackson's duet with Paul McCartney, "Say, Say, Say" made the list. The Los Angeles Times quoted Dr. Thomas Radecki, chairman of the NCTV, as saying, "It's not hard to imagine young viewers after seeing 'Thriller' saying, 'Gee, if Michael Jackson can terrorize his girlfriend, why can't I do it too?'
The music video was nominated for six awards at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, winning three out of six of the nominations. "Thriller" won Viewers Choice, Best Overall Performance and Best Choreography—but lost Best Concept Video, Best Male Video and Video of the Year.
The music video was listed as the "Greatest Video" on VH1's "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos" in 2001. MTV listed the music video as being the "Greatest Music Video Ever Made" on their list, "MTV: 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made" in 1999. In July 2011, the music video was named one of "The 30 All-TIME Best Music Videos" by TIME magazine.
Jackson performed "Thriller" on all three of his solo world concert tours. From the Dangerous Tour onwards, half the song was always performed by a masked backup dancer as Jackson prepared for his next song as part of a stage illusion. Despite Jackson performing multiple songs from his Thriller album, "Thriller" was not included on The Jacksons set list during their Victory Tour in 1984, as Michael Jackson was not satisfied with the way the song sounded live.
Jackson performed "Thriller" during his first world tour as a solo artist, the Bad world tour, lasting sixteen months, from 1987 to 1989, for a total of 123 shows. During the Bad tour, in both legs, the jacket had flashing lights in the middle of the song and at the end. An impersonator was only used for the introduction of the song; a masked dancer emerges from the costume tent at the side of the stage, and goes back in hiding while Jackson himself, also masked at first, swings down from a rope on the other side of the stage before taking off his mask.
"Thriller" was also performed during Jackson's second world tour, the Dangerous Tour, where stage illusions were used to transition between "Thriller" and "Billie Jean". In the middle of "Thriller", Jackson secretly switched places with a masked backup dancer who finishes the song appearing as Jackson prepares for Billie Jean. When the song ends, Jackson appears fully dressed on the upper floor as "Billie Jean" begins. In the third leg of the Dangerous Tour, there was no upper floor but the masked dancer still performed the latter half of the song.
Jackson performed "Thriller" for all of his 82 shows during his third, and final, world tour, the HIStory World Tour. Once again, a masked dancer posing as Jackson was used as a stage illusion, this time to the transition between "Thriller" and "Beat It". As with the Dangerous tour, Jackson switches with the background dancer in the middle of the song. At the end of Thriller, the masked dancer is taken by the zombie dancers into a coffin where it appears he is impaled with spikes and burned. Jackson would appear at the side of the stage in a cherry-picker, starting off "Beat It".
Jackson had planned to perform "Thriller" during his 50-show concert series, which would have been his fourth concert tour, entitled This Is It from 2009 to 2010. For Jackson's performance of the song, he had planned for the stage that he was to perform on to be set up with a background that looked like a "graveyard" (which was a brief setting in the music video) with 3-D effects. Jackson would emerge from a giant black widow spider. According to a setlist that was released in March 2009, "Thriller" was to close out the 16-song show, although the film Michael Jackson's This Is It, which documents the concert series, lists 18 songs and "Man in the Mirror" as the closing song for the planned shows.
- In 1984, English comedian Lenny Henry recorded a spoof video of Thriller, titled "Thinner".
- In 1989, American composer Henry Mancini and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recorded an orchestral version of the song.
- In 2000, British death metal band Ten Masked Men covered the song on their album Return of the Ten Masked Men.
- In 2001, American-born Australian singer Joe Dolce covered the song on a compilation album, Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge.
- In 2003, Scottish rock band Aereogramme recorded "Thriller" for their Livers & Lungs EP.
- In 2003, German a cappella group Maybebop covered the song for their album Heiße Luft.
- In 2004, English electronic music group The Prodigy sampled "Thriller" on their The Way It Is.
- In 2007, Ian Brown covered "Thriller". Amos Barshad and Nick Catucci, of NYMag.com, commented that "before you dismiss" the song, if you "give it a listen", Brown’s "louche, drugged-out reinvention is actually pretty great."
- In 2008, German group Wise Guys recorded an a cappella version of the song as "Schiller" for their tenth album Frei!. The stage choreography based on Michael Jackson's music video and member Ferenc also recites a part of Friedrich Schiller's Die Bürgschaft.
- In 2008, "Thriller" was also covered by Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service.
- In 2008, industrial metal band Gothminister covered Jackson's song for their album Happiness in Darkness.
- In October 2009, Imogen Heap covered "Thriller" for BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
- In 2010, Italian gothic metal band The LoveCrave released a cover of "Thriller" on their album Soul Saliva.
- In 2011, Patrick Stump covered the song in an a cappella mash-up tribute along with several other Michael Jackson songs over pre-recorded backing vocals.
- In 2012, Italian jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava released a version on his tribute album Rava on the Dance Floor.
- In 2013, Jiordan Tolli covered an stripped-down slower version of song for fifth season of The X Factor Australia during week two. The cover was released as an single on September 3, 2013. Tolli's performance of "Thriller" debuted at number 63 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
- In 2014 and 2015, Demi Lovato covered the song on her Demi World Tour. This version included a remixed dancing at the end, which Lovato would dance to with fellow background dancers.
Appearances in other media
Michael Jackson's Thriller music video, particularly the songs dance routine in the video, have been referenced in television series and films including Donga (1985), Coming to America (1988), The Malibu Beach Vampires (1991), South Park (1997), Dead & Breakfast (2004), 13 Going on 30 (2004), Bo! in the USA (2006). Jelly Jamm (2007). Furby (2011). [better source needed]
In 2011, the cast of American musical TV series Glee (Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale and Cory Monteith with New Directions) performed "Thriller" as a mash up with "Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs in episode "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle".
Pop singer Britney Spears made a reference to "Thriller" in her music video for "I Wanna Go" (2011). In the ending of her video actor Guillermo Díaz leads Spears out of the room. He then turns to the camera with glowing red eyes and his laugh is heard, similar to Vincent Price.
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
|Australia (ARIA)||3× Platinum||210,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||500,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum (physical)||1,000,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- List of best-selling singles
- List of best-selling singles in the United States
- List of most expensive music videos
- "Michael Jackson's Thriller"
- Thriller (viral video)
- Thrill the World
- Eagan, Daniel (24 November 2011). America's Film Legacy, 2009-2010: A Viewer's Guide to the 50 Landmark Movies Added To The National Film Registry in 2009-10. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-4411-9328-5. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- Richin, Leslie (December 2, 2014). "On This Day In 1983, Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Premiered On MTV". Billboard.
- Patrick Kevin Day; Todd Martens (February 18, 2008). "25 'Thriller' facts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Peter Lyle (November 25, 2007). "Michael Jackson's monster smash". Telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Eliot Glazer (September 25, 2009). "Top 1984 Songs". AOLRadioBlog.com. AOL Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Jones, Jel D. Lewis (2005). Michael Jackson, the king of pop: the big picture : the music! the man! the legend! the interviews : an anthology. Amber Books Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 0-9749779-0-X. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- "Thriller – Michael Jackson Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download)". MusicNotes.com. Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- George, p. 23
- Simon Vozick-Levinson (February 18, 2008). "Quincy Jones' 'Thriller' Memories". EW.com. Time Warner Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "Review of "Anthology" by Rick James".
- The 14 synthesizers that shaped modern music. Factmag.com. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
- Ashley Lasimone (October 28, 2009). "Clash of the Cover Songs: Michael Jackson vs. Imogen Heap". Spinner.com. AOL Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Jon Pareles (September 3, 1987). "Critic's Notebook; How Good Is Jackson's 'Bad'?". NYTImes.com. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- Ann Powers (February 15, 2008). "Nine reasons why Jackson masterpiece remains a 'Thriller'". SouthCoastToday.com. Dow Jones Local Media Group. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Haynes, Gavin (October 1, 2015). "Soundtrack of my life". NME: 48.
- "Allmusic (Thriller > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles)". Allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Week of February 11, 1984". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Week of February 18, 1984". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Week of March 3, 1984". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Week of March 10, 1984". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "American digital certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select ', then click SEARCH
- "Rock Music, etc., Terms". Georgetown College. October 26, 1999. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- Appel, Rich (October 30, 2014). "Revisionist History, Part 3: Michael Jackson Gets Revenge on Prince! Year-End Hits of the Past, Re-Analyzed". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
- "Hip Hop Single Sales: The Weeknd, Zay Hilfigerrr & Drake". Hip Hop DX. November 13, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- "Week of March 3, 1984". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Week of March 10, 1984". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Toutes les Chansons N° 1 des Années 80". Infodisc.fr. Dominic Durand / InfoDisc. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson – Thriller". Top30-3.radio2.be (in Dutch). VRT – Auguste Reyerslaan. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Ed Christman, Antony Bruno, (July 2, 2009). "Michael Jackson Music Sales Surge Could Last For Months". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "July 11, 2009". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Chart For Week Up To 04/07/2009". ChartStats.com. The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Italiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Top Digital Download.
- "Certificazioni Download FIMI" (PDF) (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- "Michael Jackson – Thriller – Music Charts". Acharts.us. aCharts.us. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Track Top 40 – July 10, 2009". Hitlisterne.dk. IFPI Danmark & Nielsen Music Control. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson: Thriller" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "Eminem Debuts at No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart; Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Returns". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- Jackson, Michael (1988). Moonwalk (Rev. ed.). New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 978-0307716989.
- Mike Celizic (April 26, 2008). "'Thriller' video remains a classic 25 years later". Today.MSNBC.com. MSNBC Interactive. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- Mike Celizic (April 28, 2008). "Director: Funds for 'Thriller' were tough to raise". Today.MSNBC.com. MSNBC Interactive. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Video Turns 27". VH1. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- Gil Kaufman (December 30, 2009). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Added To National Film Registry". MTV.com. Viacom. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Jay Cocks; Denise Worrell; Peter Ainslie; Adam Zagorin (December 26, 1983). "Sing a Song of Seeing". Time.com. Time Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- Leah Greenblatt (July 3, 2009). "The Greatest Videos". EW.com. Time Warner Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "MTV Video Music Awards – 1985". MTV.com. Viacom. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- Vinny Marino (May 2, 2001). "VH1 Names '100 Greatest Videos of All Time'". ABCNews.com. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "MTV: 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made". RockOnTheNet.com. Rock on the Net. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Craig Duff (July 28, 2011). "The 30 All-TIME Best Music Videos – Michael Jackson, 'Thriller'". TIME. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Halstead 2003
- Nisid Hajarl (September 20, 1996). "The King of Pap". EW.com. Time Warner Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Daniel Kreps (March 13, 2009). "Michael Jackson Sells Out 50 London Shows as Controversy Brews On Secondary Market". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Own Gleiberman (October 28, 2009). "Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009)". EW.com. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Richard Corliss (October 28, 2009). "Michael Jackson's This Is It Review: He's Still a Thriller". Times.com. Time Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Michael R. Blood (June 29, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Last Video: One Of The Sets Was A Cemetery". HuffingtonPost.com. HuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson's London O2 Arena setlist revealed". NME.com. IPC Media. March 12, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "Unreleased Michael Jackson Song to Be Revealed". ETOnline.com. CBS Studios Inc. September 23, 2009. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "Amazon.com : This Is It : Michael Jackson: Music". Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson's This Is It (The Music That Inspired the Movie)". iTunes.Apple.com. Apple Inc. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson Cover Songs". The Covers Project. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Thriller by Maybebop from the album Heiße Luft". Audio Puzzle. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "The Prodigy's The Way It Is sample of Michael Jackson feat. Vincent Price's Thriller". WhoSampled. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Amos Barshad; Nick Catucci (July 10, 2009). "Song of the Summer: Michael Jackson Rarities, Remixes, Covers and More!". NYMag.com. New York Media LLC. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Ian Brown – Thriller (Michael Jackson Cover) | Video Youtube – NMETV Latest Music Videos and Clips". Nme.com. October 16, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "'Schiller' von Wise Guys – laut.de – Song". Laut.de. November 16, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Marvin Marks (June 28, 2009). "Michael Jackson Thriller Covers". MusicByDay.com. Music By Day. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Ashley Lasimone (October 28, 2009). "Clash of the Cover Songs: Michael Jackson vs. Imogen Heap". Spinner.com. AOL Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Patrick Stump Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson in Awesome A Cappella Medley". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- "Thriller (X Factor Performance) - Single by Jiordan Tolli". itunes.apple.com. iTunes. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Ryan, Gavin (September 7, 2013). "ARIA Singles: Katy Perry's Roar Spends Third Week at Number One". Noise11. Noise Network. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- "WATCH: Demi Lovato Covers Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' on DEMI World Tour Opening Night". Music Times. September 8, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- "Thriller: Movie Connections". IMDb.com. IMDb.com Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "The Chemical Brothers - Remix Article". Planet Dust. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "'Glee' Super Bowl Episode Brings 'Thriller' to Football Fans". Billboard. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "'Glee'-cap: 'Heads Will Roll' After Glee's Super Bowl 'Thriller!'" OK! Magazine. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "Britney Spears' 'I Wanna Go': A Pop-Culture Cheat Sheet". MTV.com. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Kent, David (2003). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top Singles – Volume 40, No. 1, March 10, 1984". RPM. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Michael Jackson – Thriller". GfK Entertainment Charts.
- "Search Results: Thriller". IrishCharts.ie. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Michael Jackson search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Top 40 Singles.
- "Lescharts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Spanishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller" Canciones Top 50.
- "Austriancharts.at – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller". VG-lista.
- "Swisscharts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Australian-charts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "30 Back Catalogue Singles – July 18, 2009". UltraTop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "30 Back Catalogue Singles – July 4, 2009". UltraTop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson Album & Song Chart History". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- "Download Single Top 50 – 04/07/2009". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Thriller". Singles Top 100.
- "Music: Top 100 Songs" (Week Of: November 16, 2013). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Music: Top 100 Songs" (Week Of: November 15, 2014). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.
- "Music: Top 100 Songs" (Week Of: November 21, 2015). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
- "French single certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in French). InfoDisc. Select MICHAEL JACKSON and click OK
- "Les Singles de Platine :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "Italian single certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Michael Jackson in the field Filtra. Select 2014 in the field Anno. The certification will load automatically
- "Certificaciones – Michael Jackson" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas.
- "Certificados Musicales Amprofon" (in Spanish). AMPROFON. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- "Spanish single certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Select the "Chart", enter 2009 in the field "Year". Select '' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
- "British single certifications – Michael Jackson – Thriller". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Thriller in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
- "Gold and Platinum Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "Michael Jackson – Thriller (Chanson)". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson - Thriller / Human Nature". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- Brooks, Darren (2002). Michael Jackson: An Exceptional Journey. Chrome Dreams. ISBN 1-84240-178-5.
- George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection booklet. Sony BMG.
- Grant, Adrian (2009). Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84938-261-8.
- Jones, Jel (2005). Michael Jackson, the King of Pop: The Big Picture: the Music! the Man! the Legend! the Interviews!. Amber Books Publishing. ISBN 0-9749779-0-X.
- Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2004). The Magic and the Madness. Terra Alta, WV: Headline. ISBN 0-330-42005-4.
- Halstead, Craig (2003). Michael Jackson The Solo Years. On-Line Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7552-0091-7.