With a budget of US$750,000 and a seven month recording time, the album Thriller, Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album, had to succeed, there was too much riding on it. As history now tells, succeed it did, to the tune of 1 million copies being sold per week at it’s peak. By the end of 1983 it had sold over 32 million copies worldwide, so the investment by Epic Records, most certainly paid off. To date, it is the best selling album of all time, amassing an incredible 70 million sales worldwide.
The accolades do not stop there; Thriller went 33x Platinum in the USA and won a record breaking 8 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, and the single Beat It won Single of the Year. Thriller also won 8 American Music Awards at the 1984 American Music Awards, truly extraordinary achievements. It is regarded by many, as one of the greatest albums of all time, and none of this would have been possible without the help of some of the industries greatest engineers and producers.
Quincy Jones was in the producer’s chair, and the man behind the sound of Thriller was the legendary Bruce Swedien taking care of the recording process and mixing of Thriller. With Bruce Swedien’s renown distaste for compressors and limiters when recording, it is no surprise that the effects list for Thriller is very light on, riding levels in the mix was his preferred method, with the EMT 250 Digital Reverb being the only real effect he used for Thriller.