Let me provide some clarification before proceeding.  Even if a video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller’ was never made, I’d still be a fan of the title track off the greatest album I’ve heard in my lifetime.  

But I gotta keep things real.  “Thriller” is at the halfway point of my Top 100 countdown because of the video.  I take that back. It wasn’t just a video.  It was a landmark for music videos. If you’re old enough to remember or maybe even if you aren’t, it’s literally the most revolutionary video of all-time.

From Songfacts.com: “The video was a cultural milestone, introducing elaborate choreography, costumes and dialogue into the format. It also introduced the concept of the long-form music video, where a mini-movie was made for a song, then edited down for the short version. The long version of “Thriller” runs nearly 14 minutes, but had remarkable longevity, easily racking up over 100 million views when it showed up on YouTube. MTV usually ran the short version, which ran a little under five minutes but still contained about a minute of non-song content in a storyline that omits most of the movie the couple is watching at the beginning.”

The last of seven (!!!) top ten hits from Jackson’s historic album, “Thriller” is still a staple today on the music scene, especially around Halloween time.  It’s one of the few songs on the countdown I openly admitting to having more because of what I saw on TV than hearing on the radio.

Besides, I’m confident this won’t be the last time we hear from Jackson in this little journey.

Chart Success: It peaked at number-four on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been on the charts on and off several times through the years, as recently as 2015.  It finished 78th on the 1984 year-end Billboard Hot 100.

Great Lyrics: Jackson was so brilliant that his words were believable, despite being quite possibly the most harmless looking guy on the planet.

“You hear the door slam and realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination
But all the while you hear the creature creepin’ up behind
You’re out of time”

Fun Fact: “Thriller” wasn’t written by Jackson. That honor belongs to Rod Templeton.  Previous to this track Templeton had success penning previous tunes for Jackson, including “Rock With You” and “Off The Wall.”


100. Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can D0)

99. Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgetting

98. Steve Perry – Oh Sherry

97. The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Does Is Magic

96. Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach

95. Billy Joel – Uptown Girl

94. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time

93. Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone

92. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes

91. Night Ranger – Sister Christian 

90. Asia – Heat of the Moment

89. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing 

88. Madonna – Borderline 

87. Debbie Gibson – Foolish Beat

86. Glen Mederios – Nothing’s Going To Change My Love For You

85. John Cougar – Jack and Diane

84. Madonna – Like A Prayer

83. Devo – Whip It 

82. The Outfield – Your Love

81. Billy Squier – Everybody Wants You

80. Debbie Gibson – Only In My Dreams

79. Shelia E. – The Glamorous Life

78. Toni Basil – Mickey 

77. Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All

76. Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – Say Say Say

75. Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)

74. Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It

73. Musical Youth – Pass The Dutchie 

72. The Police – Every Breathe You Take 

71. Survivor – The Search Is Over

70. REO Speedwagon – Keep On Loving You

69. Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams

68. Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel 

67. Kenny Loggins – Meet Me Halfway 

66. Irene Cara – Flashdance…What A Feeling

 65. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It

64. Phil Collins – One More Night

63. Europe – The Final Countdown 

62. Patrick Swazye – She’s Like The Wind

61. Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride

 60. Men Without Hats – Safety Dance 

59. Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf

58. Huey Lewis & The News – Power Of Love

57. Journey – Open Arms

56. Michael Sembello – Maniac

55. Styx – Too Much Time On My Hands

54. Heart – Alone 

53. Olivia Newton John – Physical 

52. Loverboy – When It’s Over

51. The Time – Jungle Love