Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' vs. 'Bad': Which is better?
A showdown between two classics.
It’s a debate that pits the world’s best selling album against the first project to score five number one singles.
Common wisdom in 1987 recognized the fact that surpassing the behemoth known as Thriller would be as impossible as George Lucas outshining the record-breaking success of “Star Wars.” After all, how does one succeed Thriller, a superlative album that spawned seven top-10 hits, sold nearly 40 million copies and scored an unprecedented eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. But like “Return of the Jedi,” MJ returned with not just his most polished effort but, as Davitt Sigerson of Rolling Stone described in his ’87 album review, “a better record.”
Despite not having milestone recordings like “Beat It” or “Billie Jean,” Bad was more of a living art piece than the previous effort. Between the use of cinematic short-films to accompanied records like “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal” and the record-breaking Bad Tour, Bad proved to be a blockbuster. Still, the signature moments between both albums continue to be debated.
This week, both albums reemerged in the music conversations after Thriller earned the title for the highest-certified album in U.S. history after having gone 33x-platinum. Bad meanwhile was not far behind, scoring the RIAA Diamond Award for sales of over 10 million copies in the U.S.
While Thriller is credited as Jackson’s phenomenal record, Bad is often looked at as its fascinating successor. So with all that said, we pose the following question: Between Thriller and Bad, which was better? Check out a breakdown comparison of the two classics and cast your vote below.