Sony Music and the estate of Michael Jackson will observe the 40 th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s classic “Thriller,” the biggest selling album of all time (by most metrics), with the November 18 release of “Thriller 40”: a double CD set comprised of the original album and a second disc “full of surprises for fans, including never-released tracks which were worked on by Michael for the ‘Thriller’ album,” according to the announcement, which comes on the heels of 10 Tony nominations for “MJ the Musical,” which features several songs from the album.
During its 112th week on Billboard’s album chart, “Thriller” became the first title ever to be certified 20-times platinum by the RIAA (on October 30, 1984), became the first title ever to be certified more than 30-times platinum in 2015, and since has been certified at 34-times platinum.Seven tracks from the album became Top 10 singles, and three, “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller,” went No. 1. “Thriller” was the first album in history to spend each of its first 80 weeks in the album chart’s Top 10, a feat only reached by one other album in the nearly four decades since.
Mastered from the original analog master tapes, Mobile Fidelity will also make available the original “Thriller” album as a One-Step 180g 33RPM LP, pressed at RTI and strictly limited to 40,000 numbered copies as well as a hybrid SACD . (An UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP set of “Thriller” will be released at a later date.)
In the U.S., Walmart will have an exclusive version of the original “Thriller” album with an alternate 40 th anniversary cover, while Target will have an exclusive version of the original album with a commemorative “Thriller 40” vinyl slip mat.
Several activations are planned for the coming to honor the album, which won eight Grammys, spent more than 500 weeks on the Billboard albums chart and has sold over 100 million albums worldwide since its release on November 30, 1982. The first such activation is the first drop of new merchandise featuring the special “Thriller 40” logo, which is now available exclusively through the MichaelJackson.com webstore.