Back in 1982, Michael Jackson took the music industry by storm with the release of his sixth studio album, “Thriller.” The late legend’s 34x-platinum album, NME reports, not only became his highest-selling project but also created an influence that is still heard in today’s music.
However, the process of recording “Thriller” was reportedly an uphill battle for Jackson that led to major changes in his artistry.
During a “60 Minutes” interview in 2013, John Branca — the co-executor of Jackson’s estate — recalled the timeline for the iconic album.
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“There were many people in the industry that said to Michael, ‘You know Michael, you can’t expect this album to sell as well as “Off The Wall.” The industry’s changed.’ But he and Quincy in this very studio kept working on that album, and Michael would not turn that album in until he was convinced that it was perfect,” Branca said.
Following Jackson’s persistence in turning in the special body of work, he made drastic changes to his team.
“And then in classic Michael fashion, as soon as the second single was released, ‘Beat It,’ he let everybody go from his team,” Branca shared. “There was no manager, no agent, no press agent. It was Michael, and he would give me business directives and of course the label promotion directives.
“He just felt he wanted to run this business himself with the help of myself and a couple of others,” he continued. “And I’ll never forget I got a call from Quincy Jones who said, ‘Branca, we have a 747 here, and there’s no pilot.’ And I said, ‘Quincy, Michael’s the pilot.’ And it was true. Michael had a marketing genius that sometimes people don’t understand.”
In regard to Jackson’s catalog, there has been speculation about its sale. As previously reported by AfroTech, the late pop star’s estate is reportedly expected to sell the catalog for an estimated $800 million to $900 million, which would make it the largest sale to date within the music catalog industry.