This Is It – Somehow I Doubt It

Bonnie Johnson's PostIt’s almost Halloween and for the past 25 years Michael Jackson’s Thriller has been played at some point on or around the 31st of every October.

Thriller, a 14-minute feature-length movie and a music video was released on December 2, 1983. It was the most expensive video of its time, costing US$500,000, and Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over 9 million units.  Often referred to as the greatest music video ever, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the music industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. WikipediaMichael Jackson Thriller video

I watched the whole 14 minute original video on YouTube and then got lost in various versions of it, including a strange video of 1500 inmates dressed in orange from a detention facility in the Philippines all doing the “thriller” zombie dance in unison.  We-ird.

I have to admit that at this time of year I often catch myself humming:

cause this is thriller, thriller night
and no ones gonna save you from the beast about to strike

I can’t help myself.  I even twitch my head to my shoulder to the beat like they do in the video (if no ones watching).   If you’re wondering, I never did take the time to learn all the dance moves and I probably never will, but it’s fun watching others do it.

There is even a web site dedicated to getting as many people as possible from all around the world to dance to Thriller at the same time.  Each year they try to break the last years flash mob record of dancers participating. This year “Thrill the World” was this past Saturday/Sunday October 24/25 depending on where in the world you live.   The numbers aren’t in for this year yet, but in 2008 a record 4,179 people from 10 nations (Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Scotland, United States of America, and Wales) simultaneously performed The Thriller Dance.  Keep in mind this was done almost 26 years after the video and song were first released.

Tomorrow the movie “This Is It” based on rehearsal footage for the tour Michael Jackson was supposed to begin in July, comes out, and his first posthumous album, the movie soundtrack, is also out.   Four months after his death, he’s one of the most active performers in the music business, and he’s up for five American Music Awards, too.  When I heard the title for this behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts, I thought “this is definitely NOT it”.  Jackson has sold 5.9 million solo albums since his death – provoking sad flashbacks to 1983, when “Thriller” all but pulled the record business out of a recession.   “Without a doubt, [Jackson’s death] helped the music industry,” says Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s charts director.   Jackson is likely to be the best selling artist of 2009.



  • Tracy Westerholm

    Clearly I am a minority when I say if Michael Jackson comes on the radio I switch stations. I have just never caught the Jackson wave I guess. Never was a fan and I am still not. I just don’t like his voice. Horry, that’s sorry in Spanish…lol. (not really) Just me? I think so…oh well, I am okay with that…Maybe I will press play to be reminded why I don’t like him…here goes. Oh and it’s nothing about him being odd, that is the only thing I did like about him, his weirdness, that I did embrace!

    • Tracy Westerholm

      Okay I watched it and now I will add that yes he is an incredible performer and a very talented man, I love to see people back stage, how they treat others ect but I can still say that I am not a big fan of his music, he may have inspired billions with his music and I appreciate that but not feeling the music. I will however watch the movie on DVD to see what the hype is all about. Thanks Bon for forcing me to look again, as I recently did with Mike Tyson’s movie Tyson. I am always open to revisit opinions of the past for sure.

  • Samantha

    I had to do the Thriller dance in front of a drama preformance for the closing act! I was the girl version in the front doing the thriller dancer just where michael jackson was. It was so fun to do, exp when the lights were going on and off. I wish I could remember it now.

    Oh those were the days. The movie should be so good. He did have a very interesting life

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.