Scott Kara reviews the 25th Anniversary Edition of The King of Pop's most famous album
Verdict: Still killer, shame about the present-day plastic surgery courtesy of Kanye and friends.
Everyone should have Thriller in their music collection. And if you can get past the modern-day pop distractions included on this 25th anniversary CD/DVD package it could be time to get a new copy of the biggest-selling record of all time.
And before you say "What about the Eagles' Greatest Hits?" that's a collection of songs not an album.
Thriller, the 1982 album that made Jackson the King of Pop, is more than just a record company cash cow. It's one of the most influential albums ever released, because the world had not witnessed pop music on an audio-visual scale of this size before. There's the fun tunes, like Beat It and Thriller, and there's the killer ones like Wanna Be Startin' Something and, of course, Billie Jean.
For many though it's the videos for Beat It, Billie Jean and the epic Thriller mini-movie (all of which are included here on DVD) that people remember.
However, even though these videos were innovative and impossibly grand - for the time at least - they didn't overshadow the music because these songs are hot.
Well, all except Jackson's awful duet with Paul McCartney on The Girl Is Mine - the song that stops this album from being a true classic. If you want classic Jackson then 1979's Off the Wall, with Don't Stop Til You Get Enough and Rock With You on it, is the one to go for.
And speaking of spoiling, this reissue is tarnished somewhat by the lame contributions of current pop stars Fergie, Will.I.Am, Akon and Kanye West.
One of the worst cases - and you'd think Kanye would know better - is how he doesn't start his remix with that iconic Billie Jean-beat and opts instead for a vocal beginning. A travesty. As is Fergie's extraneous vocals on Beat It - leave the song alone, unless you're going to make it better, or different.
Also included here is For All Time, which was recorded during the Thriller sessions in 1982, and you can see why it didn't make the cut back then. But it's collectable nonetheless.
To celebrate its 25th birthday Thriller didn't need any modern extras because it still stands up today, even if Jackson is no longer the King of Pop.