When executives of CBS Records went about the business of preparing for the November 30 release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in the fall of 1982, they knew they had on their hands a terrific album by one of the biggest superstars in the music industry.
But they were also a bit concerned, since the timing of Jackson's follow-up to his mega-selling 1979 album "Off The Wall" could not have seemed worse.
For starters, the record industry as a whole was in a bad slump, with shipments industry-wide down by 50 million units between 1980 and 1982. CBS Records' own profits were down 50% and sales were down over 15% for the year. As a result, major company-wide layoffs occurred in mid-August, on a day the company would remember as "Black Friday."
CBS desperately needed Jackson's album to be a hit, but market conditions appeared daunting.
( "The full story of how "Thriller" conquered racial divides and evolving platforms at MTV, radio, etc."Collapse )
Source - Billboard.com
This is a bit of a read . . . but the similarities between the state of the music industry in the early '80s and the state of it today are pretty interesting, in my opinion. Anyway, happy b-day to one of my fav albums of all time. :)