"Thriller" is a single by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released as a single by Epic Records on January 23, 1984, as the seventh and final single from Jackson's sixth studio album of the same name. "Thriller" is a mix of disco and funk. The song was produced by Quincy Jones and was written by Rod Temperton who wanted to write a theatrical song to suit Jackson's love of film. The music and lyrics evoke horror films, with sound effects such as thunder, footsteps and wind. It ends with a spoken-word sequence performed by horror actor Vincent Price.
"Thriller" received positive reviews and became the album's seventh top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number four. It reached the top of the charts in Belgium, France and Spain as well as the top 10 in many other countries. "Thriller" is certified 7x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In the week of Jackson's death in 2009, it was Jackson's bestselling track in the US, with sales of 167,000 copies on the Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart. It charted on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart at number two and remained in the charts' top ten for three consecutive weeks.
"Thriller" won a Grammy Award. It is often cited as a pop culture phenomenon and a Halloween anthem. It appears on several of Jackson's greatest hits albums and has been covered by numerous artists. The "Thriller" music video was directed by John Landis and premiered on MTV on December 2, 1983. In the video, Jackson becomes a zombie and performs a dance routine with a horde of the undead. Many elements of the video have had a lasting impact on popular cultures, such as the zombie dance and Jackson's red jacket, and it was the first music video inducted into the National Film Registry. It has been named the greatest video of all time by various publications and readers' polls.
"Like a Virgin" is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for her second studio album Like a Virgin (1984). It was released on October 31, 1984, by Sire Records as the album's lead single. The song was written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, and produced by Nile Rodgers; Steinberg said that the song was inspired by his personal experiences of romance. "Like a Virgin" was chosen for Madonna by Michael Ostin of Warner Bros. Records after listening to a demo sung by Kelly. Rodgers initially felt that the song did not have a sufficient hook, but subsequently changed his opinion after the song was stuck in his head.
Musically, "Like a Virgin" is a dance-oriented song, composed of two hooks. Madonna's voice is heard in a high register while a continuous arrangement of synths is heard along with the bassline. The song's lyrics are ambiguous, consisting of hidden innuendos and open to various interpretations. "Like a Virgin" received positive reviews from music critics, who frequently called it one of the defining songs for Madonna. It became her first number-one single on the record charts in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States, while reaching the top ten elsewhere. "Like a Virgin" has sold over five million copies worldwide.
The song's music video portrayed Madonna sailing down the canals of Venice in a gondola, as well as roaming around a palace wearing a white wedding dress. With the video, scholars noted Madonna's portrayal of a sexually independent and strong woman, the similarity of a man wearing a lion's mask to that of Saint Mark and the link between the eroticism in the video and the vitality of Venice. Madonna has performed the song in seven of her concert tours. Most of the time, her performances of "Like a Virgin" were associated with strong reaction and uproar from the media.
"Like a Virgin" has been covered by a number of artists and has appeared in or been referenced in feature films such as Reservoir Dogs, Moulin Rouge! and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. On the other hand, Madonna's public persona of an indomitable, sexually unashamed, supremely confident woman was widely accepted by the younger generation who emulated her style and fashion. Scholars have credited "Like a Virgin" as the song which cemented her position as a pop culture icon.