The 25th anniversary release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller only serves as an uncomfortable reminder of what could have been. In an alternate universe, they’re celebrating 25 as the silver anniversary of a groundbreaking album that raised the bar for pop music. In our universe, Jackson’s most enduring legacy is the bar he set for celebrity meltdowns. (Keep chasing that rainbow, Britney!)
Sure, the original tracks have that crisp, digitally remastered feeling, but Jackson has long since been relegated to environments where small doses of nostalgia can reign unfettered, like bowling alleys and ’80s-themed dance nights. Thriller in this day and age is too tainted by Jackson’s descent into abject weirdness to be enjoyable, no matter how many bonus DVDs or lukewarm remixes of decades-old hits Epic adds to this “special edition” package.
Maybe there’s an audience of oblivious housewives out there who have forgotten why the King of Pop moved to Bahrain, and maybe they’ll move enough copies to help pay off some of Jackson’s debts and finance his progeny’s inevitable therapy.