You know, I used to hate when I was in the record store and someone would die and not but thirty minutes later, cats would be coming in and buying that ish like all of the sudden that ish was nice. Like it wasn't a bad record until dude died. Like it went from garbage to classic because you burried a cat. Well, tonight I fell into that trap. I fell into it hawd.
Let's be real here. Thriller is the undisputed greatest selling record ever with some g'zillion records sold. Like everyone owned this piece. I remember we had it on cassette. My brother really owned it. He jammed it all the time. My brother was two years older than me so the rhythms, the melodies, the content made, well, about two years more sense to him. But that record blew my mind. You gotta understand that, up to that point, the only thing my ears had really been fed was heavy classical music and church hymns. I wasn't really knowing what was going on with popular music in 1982. But this thing was unavoidable. It was so ill and it was everywhere. It permiated everything around you. It was my first rock record, it was my first dance record, it was my R&B record and kid would col' shake his ass off to it, no doubt.
I'm listening to it right now on the picture disc you see above. It sounds so damn nice. Quincy on the boards and Mike on the mic. It was the first funk I've ever heard. It was the first time I've ever heard Paul McCartney. I didn't even know who the Beatles were. And Vincent Price scared the crap outta me, f'real.
I'll be honest: it sounds so much better now that he's gone. I mean, I could always jam Thriller, but I have no problem coming clean, it just got too freaky there for some time that it really overshadowed the music. I could put it on and listen to it, but enjoying it was sometimes a struggle. Tonight with a col' St. Arnold, this record never sounded better. Now, those who respected him as an artist (and likewise denounced him as a freak) can finally let it go and just let that record play. It's all over now and we don't have to defend ourselves, defend our tastes. We can just say that Thriller was one helluva recording and be done with it. I listened to Off the Wall earlier and the same thing could be said for it. It was just so tight.
I look on TV and I see all this footage of fat little kids screaming for Michael, you know, the fans that were left. That's not the pandamonium that I remember. I remember having a freaking spiral with the image with him and tiger on it and I thought I was the slickest thing at school. When Michael was damn near untouchable. Watching him age was painful enough, but then all of the trials, the pajamas, the skin disorder, the "sharing a bed" whatever...it was just too painful. Everyone from about thirty to thirty-five would just sit there and shake their head like, "whatta shame" because he was the hero of about everyone who still wore Keds and occasionally crapped their drawers.
I can't chose when I was born. I didn't have Elvis or James Brown, I had Michael. That's just how it was and I ain't got no problem saying that Off the Wall and Thriller are uncontestable, infallible and damn near perfect recordings respectively. Listen to them tonight or tomorrow with a cold one. You'll hear it.
That's it. I woke up at 2:30 this morning and it's now 11:00PM. MJ died and Red Sox lost. I'm closing out "Thriller" right now. There's Vincent. Holla.