One of the curious aspects of the year in which Michael Jackson released the best-selling album of all time was the amount of buzz about the decline in album format sales. The popular refrain in 1982 was that home recording was killing the LP. While actual sales – compared to today – are exceptionally good, they are certainly on a downward slide.
total album shipments in the US increased from 344 million in 1977 to 244 million in 1982. That’s a pretty big decline. It’s a similar story in the UK, where sales fell from 81 million to 58 million in the same period. Singles sales may have skyrocketed in the early 1980s, but the real money was in albums, and the record industry tried everything it could to convert units, such as offering singles. Bonuses and free posters.
Michael Jackson was so passionate about making his sixth solo album in 1982 that he should have been forgiven for giving little thought to the concerns his record company executives might have about An ever-changing industry. But after the huge success of the hit album in 1979, Turn off the wallJackson was determined that his new, Splashwill reach more people.
Even though he sold 10 million, he was still disappointed because Turn off the wall didn’t win a Grammy for Album of the Year, and he was deeply disappointed by Rolling Stone’s decision in 1980 not to put him on the cover. “I have been told over and over again that the black people on the covers of magazines don’t sell copies,” he complained. “Wait. One day those magazines will beg me for an interview. Maybe I’ll give them one, and maybe I won’t.”
He hired a new manager, John Branca, at the beginning of the decade and told him his ambition was to be the biggest star on the planet and nothing more. Jackson has a simple strategy to achieve that goal: his new album will be all-killer, no filler. He stated that he doesn’t like albums that have “one good song, and the rest like B-sides… Why can’t each track be the same as a hit? Why can’t every song be so great that people want to buy it if you can release it as a single?”
Finally, seven singles will be released from Splash — a remarkable number, especially for an album of nine tracks. But, despite his stated goals, not every song above Splash is a single material – more later.
Seven months were spent in the studio recording the album. Quincy Jones, who helped Jackson achieve a sparkling disco on Turn off the wall, back as a producer, although the working relationship between the two will not be as smooth as before. Jones, apparently, gets annoyed when his clients seem to spend as much time on his dance moves as he does on his vocal performance.
Jackson appeared with several demos, including future classics Billie Jean and beat it. The songs, in turn, revolve around an obsessed and troubled fan of the gang, which will herald a dark decade for the singer. Like so many songs will end on SplashJackson’s paranoia and general unhappiness seeped into his music.
He has been living in the glory of fame since the age of 8, when he started singing in public with his brothers. The family band, The Jackson 5, was rocking through much of the 1960s and early 1970s, and Michael was 13 years old when he released his first solo album, must be theredebuted in 1972. As the decade passed, it became increasingly clear that he was struggling with fame and with fierce ambitions that burned within him.
His description of his unhappiness in his early 20s makes for a bleak reading. “Even at home, I am lonely,” he said. “Sometimes I sit in my room and cry. It’s hard to make friends… Sometimes I walk around the neighborhood at night, just hoping to find someone to talk to. But in the end I just went home.”
Music is, according to the cliché, his salvation, and he seems to be the happiest in the studio. Jones assembled a group of crack musicians to bring the songs to life, including members of Toto and Eddie Van Halen. The guitar solo later helped make it happen beat it become a cross feeling.
Video of the day
British musician and composer Rod Templeton, who has written some of the best music on Turn off the wallGive me a chat I want to call star Light. It will be renamed soon Splash and will become the focus of the album. In an inspiring moment, Jones called on veteran actor Vincent Price to perform the song’s famous monologue.
All in, Splash It cost about 2 million euros to record at today’s prices, but Walter Yetnikoff, the legendary boss of CBS – the parent company of Jackson’s record label – didn’t grumble. I was sure Splash will work better Turn off the wallespecially if the fledgling MTV is behind the songs.
For an album filled with sure-fire hits, Jackson’s pick of the lead single was a tough one. She is minefeaturing Paul McCartney, is — by a considerable distance — the weakest track on the SplashIt was, however, who he chose to be the taster for his first album in the 1980s.
The Beatles wrote Girlfriendappeared on Jackson’s previous album, Turn off the wallbut She is mine is the sound of two icons calling it in there. The single came out in October 1982 and failed to clear the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and when the album was released on the last day of November, sales were relatively modest compared to the rest of the year.
SplashThe journey to the top begins slowly. It wasn’t until February 1983 and the release of the second single to conquer all, beat itthat Splash really begin to grasp.
However, MTV was slow to keep up with the star. Although there is a polished video suitable for beat it, the cable channel claimed that it didn’t fit their rock-heavy schedule. Yetnikoff was furious and threatened to denounce MTV executives as “a bunch of racists” if they didn’t play the song. They were quickly satisfied and Jackson’s appeal was assured, especially
when John Landis’ epic video cho Splash declined at the end of 1983.
The director was chosen because he enjoyed the hit movie with American werewolf in LondonJackson and his team wanted something similarly spooky for Splash.
With single after single released in 1983, the album started selling a million copies a week and by the end of the year it had become the best-selling album of all time. The stats are phenomenal. Splash topped the US album chart for 34 non-consecutive weeks from February 1983 to April 1984. It was the best-selling album of the year in the United States in 1983 and 1984.
Worldwide sales have never been precisely quantified, but it is thought to have varied somewhere between 70 million and 100 million copies. Even with the very serious allegations of Jackson being a pedophile, especially since his death in 2009, the album has continued to sell around 100,000 copies a year. A new compilation of demos and replacements, Horror 40will boost sales even more.
‘Thriller 40’ is out
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/thriller-at-40-the-album-that-made-michael-jackson-a-world-beater-42186108.html Horror movies at 40: the album that made Michael Jackson a world-beater