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Believe It or Not, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Was Released 33 Years Ago Today

NOTE: As I always say, we know that as a business person you care about more than just business. So here at BBH we love to bring you interesting and fun articles that have nothing to do with business. Today’s article is one of those types of articles.

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

I can’t believe it, but today November 30, 2015 marks the 33rd anniversary for Michael Jackson’s album Thriller.

It would be the album that would propel his status to levels he had never experienced before.

I loved that album. It had so many songs that I still love.

And I’ll never forget this moment in 1983 when Michael performed the moonwalk for the first time during a television special, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.

Fun Fact: Who Taught Michael Jackson to Moonwalk? (The Little-Known History of Moonwalking)

Michael was the one who made moonwalking popular, but he wasn’t the one who first performed the move.

In fact, Michael was taught to moonwalk by Derek “Cooley” Jaxson and Geron Canidate.

According to Jaxson, him and Canidate performed the move on Soul Train to Michael’s song Working Day and Night. Michael happened to see their performance and had his manager call Soul Train and set up a dance lesson with Jaxson and Canidate.

Here’s the real first time the Moonwalk ever appeared on TV…

(If you watch their moves, you’ll see that Michael learned a lot more than just moonwalking from them!)

UPDATED CORRECTION: A friend of mine (Samson Kealoha Young) who used to lock and break informed me that moonwalking (aka “back sliding”) did not originate with the guys in the above video.

It originated with with the old timer tap dancers from way back in the 1900’s, 1920’s 1930’s and 1940’s on up.

Here’s a video that he sent me…

Origins of the Moonwalk (or Back Slide)


Thriller: Long-Form Music Video

I can’t mention the Thriller album without mentioning the video for the title track. 

Thriller video took music videos to a level none of us had ever seen before (and never have since).

I remember having to go over to a friend’s house to watch the video, because we didn’t have MTV! 🙂

Anyway, here is the original long-form Thriller video…

I won’t post all of the videos of the singles from that album, because there are so many great hits, but here are two more of my favorites...

Billy Jean

Released on January 4, 1983 Billy Jean was the second track from the Thriller album.

Beat It

Released on February 14, 1983 Beat It was the third single released from the Thriller album.

Just thinking about these songs brings back a lot of memories for me.

I can’t believe it’s been 33 years! (It means I am getting old!!)

Happy anniversary Thriller!

What Was Your Favorite Song?

I’d love to hear what your favorite song from Thriller was.

Post your favorite song in the comments!

About Scott Aughtmon (1864 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.