The Gospel: Why "Thriller" Remains To Be The Best Way To Get Your Halloween On

Friday, October 30, 2009

You should know by now that your Audio Diva is a strange one, and that I have always been the odd-girl out since I was a wee little diva. For starters, as a child, I was never a fan of Halloween. Don't get me wrong, I loved the costume and candy bit, but going around my neighborhood ringing doorbells and "begging" for candy was kind of creepy to me. Maybe it was my 90's upbringing which was plagued with PSA's that sinisterly claimed: "Make sure you have your Mom or Dad check your candy before you eat them because some people are freaking crazy and will inject poisons into your Snicker Bars causing you to stunt your growth or in worst cases...DIE!" See what a way to ruin Halloween for a child.

As I've gotten older, Halloween has always been an afterthought, as I'm much too big to be roaming the streets in a hunt for tainted candy and far too busy academically to worry if I should be Cleopatra, a 1920's Flapper or Grace Jones for Halloween. Always the trooper, I try to make the most of it, and the most of it is usually me sitting in front of my TV, watching The Exorcist or John Carpenter's Halloween, in my Tina Turner wig and eating candy corn. Boring, yes, but fun and better than me being exposed to drunk college goblins and girls who want to "sex-up" their Sister Act nun costumes.

But I seriously digress...Even though it will probably be played to death come Saturday, Michael Jackson's 1982 hit single, "Thriller" is still the quintessential way to celebrate Halloween, in my opinion. I don't care what anyone says, whenever you hear that opening blast of horns, your hands go into the zombie dance stance, and well, you are now a slave to rhythm. The track is now so much more with the passing of the King of Pop this year, that it will obligatory get played ad nausem as well as you will see some girls showing up at parties dressed in blue leopard print a la Ola Ray. Aside from the kitsch retro factor this song kind of possesses, I sometimes feel "Thriller", the song, is overshadowed by the classic music video. The song is actually the simplest cut on Jackson's 1982 opus, yet its the one that kind of doesn't take itself too seriously and actually proves the fact that a great artist is one who can sing about stuff other than love, despair and all that serious stuff. "Thriller" is obviously about the things that go bump in the night, the paranoid nature we sometimes have and well, about those classic feelings of getting the creeps. "Thriller" writer/composer, Rod Temperton, manages to craft this song and not make it some hokey haunt a la "Monster Mash". It's funk, pop and rock, rolled into a neat little potent package, and with Michael's earnest vocals, this song is instantly special. Sometimes I wonder if this song would've held up without the music video...but then I come to my senses, as the song is literally enhanced by the 10-minute music video. In all, "Thriller" is still wickedly good after all these years as it brilliantly features horror film patriarch, Vincent Price doing some sinister storytelling, and steers away from being "the song that has some zombies dancing in a video. Really, it's the only essential track for Halloween.

View the 10 minutes of music video (and song) glory below and remember....Happy Halloween!

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