Michael Jackson released possibly his best-known album, Thriller, on this day on November 30, 1982. The record was a huge success, selling more than 32 million copies by the end of the year. It was eventually certified 34x platinum and has become one of the biggest pop albums of all time. Despite all these accomplishments, Jackson felt that a later album was even better.
Nearly 20 years after Thriller, Jackson released his tenth album: Invincible. This was the last record of the star before his death, which occurred eight years later, on June 25, 2009.
Invincible hit stores on October 30, 2001 and became one of his most divisive records of all time. Despite this, it reached number one in 14 countries and sold over 360,000 units in its first week. However, its reviews were mediocre. Rolling Stone and Q gave the album three stars out of five, while The Guardian gave it two stars out of five.
Despite not having a great reception, Jackson later confessed that he preferred Invincible to Thriller.
He said after its release, “It’s hard because you’re competing against yourself. Invincible is as good as or better than Thriller, in my truly humble opinion.” (Via ABC News)
Jackson doubled down on his opinion when asked why. He said, “It has more to offer. Music is what lives and endures. Invincible has been a huge success. When The Nutcracker Suite was first introduced to the world, it was a total flop. What’s important is how the story ends.”
The Bad singer, who was 43 when Invincible was released, confessed that he had trouble releasing the album on time. He admitted, “It took me a while because I’m never happy with songs. I’ll write a bunch of songs, throw them away, write some more. People say, ‘Are you crazy? That has to go on.” album.’ But I’ll say, ‘Is it better than this one?'”
Regardless of how much effort Jackson put into his songs on Invincible, his singles didn’t do as well as his Thriller singles.
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Jackson released two singles from Invincible: You Rock My World and Butterflies. The former peaked at number 10 on the singles charts, while the latter peaked at number 14. Not his best performance, but certainly nothing to ignore.
Later, Jackson spoke candidly about the themes built into Invincible, something that he revealed did not concern him at the time. He said: “I let the music create itself. I like it to be a potpourri of all kinds of sounds, all kinds of colors, something for everyone from the farmer in Ireland to the lady who scrubs the toilets in Harlem.”
A year later, in 2002, he explained how “fun” inspired a specific song on the album over the rest.
Jackson did not name the song, but told Vibe magazine that he found the inspiration after having water balloon fights with some German kids.
He said: “I was so happy after the fight that I ran upstairs at his house and wrote Speechless. Fun inspires me. I hate to say that because it’s such a romantic song. But it was the fight that made it. I was happy, and I wrote it in its entirety right there. I felt it would be good enough for the album. Out of bliss comes magic, wonder and creativity.”
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