Thriller is back, and it’s still a benchmark

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Michael Jackson / Thriller: 25th Anniversary Edition

Four stars
This reissue lets fans marvel again at Michael Jackson’s incredible, masterful singing, with the peerless Quincy Jones in the control room. And no track holds up better or impresses more than “Billie Jean,” which continues to rank as one of the greatest pop songs ever.
Any "classic" re-evaluated 25 years later — no matter how it is remixed or repackaged — can sound sadly dated, no longer relevant. While portions of "Thriller" come off a tad schlocky in retrospect ("This Girl is Mine," the programmed drums and howls at the beginning of the title track), there is still no denying the brilliant talent of an influential voice at its prime.

The remixes on this slick affair —’s "This Girl is Mine" and "P.Y.T.," Akon’s "Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin," Fergie’s "Beat It" and Kanye West’s "Billie Jean" — may boast a few charming moments but seem mostly unnecessary, as is "For All Time," a sleepy, unreleased track from the original recording sessions. But the accompanying DVD, 48-page booklet and that amazing voice are snazzy enough to make this enhanced classic a worthwhile addition to any record collection.

— John Sinkevics


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