Michael Jackson's 'Thriller': A Tribute

It's an extra spooky day in the MTV Newsroom, as we are donning costumes (though everybody seems to have worn the same "news reporter" outfit they tend to wear), comparing notes on our Halloween disasters and spinning some creepy tunes in between the breaking news stories. Musically speaking, Halloween is the best holiday of the year, as not only are there a number of songs solely dedicated to the holiday itself (Boris Pickett's "Monster Mash," Dave Matthews Band's "Halloween," basically everything in the Misfits catalog) but in most cases any old metal will do. (Here, have an example.) But for a truly great Halloween celebration that actually has some melody and some funk, you can't do anything but crank up Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

It's crazy to contemplate that "Thriller" is 30 years old, as it still sounds incredible fresh and vital. It's even more amazing that it was as big a hit as it was, as it has all the makings of a novelty hit (though a lot of Jackson's songs sort of had that problem — perhaps that's why "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied him so much). But "Thriller" doesn't sound like a wacky Halloween-only jam — it sounds like one of the freshest displays of funky R&B of the past few decades.

And of course, there's the video. What can be said about "Thriller" that hasn't already been said before? It's an incredible accomplishment that proved that music videos could function as both art ("Thriller" was incredibly technically advanced and exquisitely plotted) and commerce (Thriller remains one of the best-selling albums of all time). And you know what? It's genuinely scary. Even the dancing zombies have a certain irksomeness to them, but the key scene is that transition that Jackson makes from man to monster. It's still unnerving all these years later and deserves spin on this creepiest of holidays.

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VMAs 2018