Released in late 1982, this album dominated the pop charts throughout 1983 and 1984, spending months at number one, moving millions of units, and placing seven tracks in the pop top ten (only Janet's Rhythm Nation and Springsteen's Born in the USA have matched that last feat). However, this album was a more than a commercial juggernaut. It was a pop milestone and artistic triumph. This is the sound of one of the most talented performers of the rock era reaching his absolute peak.
The album's top tracks are "Billie Jean" (one of the top singles of the rock era), "Billie Jean" (ditto), "Human Nature" (less remembered then the previous two era-defining cuts, but a complete classic in its own right, and for my money, the last great ballad of MJ's career), "Wanna Be Startin' Something" (a hot jam), & "Thriller" (campy but great fun).
This album clearly ranks within an elite category of about one hundred or so recordings that every record collection should contain.