Given the time of year, it simply makes sense to bring out Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller” as this weekend’s pop rewind.
Despite the controversy that swirled around the “King of Pop” over the years, Jackson remains an icon, not because of the hype surrounding him, but because of his talent. He is one of those artists whose work changed the musical landscape, influencing and altering the way people after him approached their music. The video for “Thriller,” the title track for Jackson’s breakout album, is a great example of that influence.
Clocking in at over 13 minutes, the music video below is equal parts short film and long-form music video—a highly ambitious effort even for Michael Jackson, given that the music video era was still pretty much in its infancy. The video was a huge success, breaking ground in many ways and forever changing the way people looked at the medium of music video. Since its release, the video itself has sold over 9 million copies, making it the most successful music video of all time. Over 4 billion people have seen it worldwide.