Technically, Thriller celebrated its 25th anniversary on Nov. 30, 2007. But when it comes to Michael Jackson, we’re all accustomed to waiting. So now, just a few months later, we have Sony’s deluxe reissue of Jackson’s pop landmark. The set comes with a DVD containing the videos (or “short films,” as they’re called) for “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and “Thriller,” along with the breathtaking concert clip in which Michael first moonwalks.
The reissue also includes the entire Thriller album along with several new remixes. Kanye West worked on “Billie Jean,” Akon updated “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and three other tracks were produced by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, who tells Paste that he specifically wanted to work with the lesser-known songs—remixing the most iconic Thriller material, he says, would be like drawing “a mustache on the Mona Lisa.”
So he tackled “P.Y.T” (“I just enhanced the demo version, and made it bounce a little more.”) and completely revamped “The Girl Is Mine.” In the end, he also remixed a slightly more famous tune: “Beat It.” Purists may scream about the song’s vocals, which now alternate between Michael and “My Humps” vocalist Fergie, but the producer says, “I didn’t really change it that much.”