Sound of The Era – 80s

Michael Jackson literally ruled the ’80s. He kicked off the decade by carrying over his success from “Off the Wall,” which was released in August 1979. “Off the Wall” was a groundbreaking, top-selling funk and disco-pop album, but underrated compared to what came next—and that’s “Thriller” (1982).  Nothing pre-existing or succeeding could top the “Thriller.” In fact, MJ reigned over pop culture in the ’80s well after the album dropped. “Thriller” won eight Grammys in 1984, but that only captures a bit of the album’s critical and financial success. The 80’s were a time where we were introduced to the king of pops greatest hits like: Beat it, Rock with you and Billie Jean. His music broke colour barriers around the world. He’s arguably the one artist that could unite people from many different races, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds from all over the world. And he did it with the power of his music. He has the album sales to prove it! He swept the nation with new dance crazes from songs like thriller and Billie Jean where he debuted the moonwalk which would continue to be one of the most famous dance moves ever.

In 1985, Jackson used his international mega-stardom for good when he and Lionel Richie co-wrote the song “We are the World” to support African-famine relief.  The charity recording, released in 1985 as a single, raised more than $60 million under the auspices of USA for Africa, which continues to operate today. Jackson’s solos on the album, and his gold-brocade black jacket in the video, still stand out as the highlight of the ultimate supergroup.

Just for the estimated 65 million-selling, multiple Grammy Award-winning Thriller alone, Michael Jackson deserves to be near the top of any self-respecting music-related listings concerned with the 80s this stat alone highlights his impact over the 80’s.