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Reviews: Michael Jackson: Thriller

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Reviews: 11

Review by Tom February 17, 2003 (6 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I like the music of Michael Jackson. I had high expectations because the CD is recorded so well, but was disappointed. This SACD sounds fine, but not much better than the CD to me. It's dynamics are better, but its bass seems weaker. Highs are smoother. It's not a bad SACD, but did not turn out to be the reference SACD that I expected. I'm also disappointed that its not a hybrid, has no bonus tracks, and does not have multichannel tracks.

I think I bought the CD 3 times. Once for me, and once each for my two boys. This was one of the few SACDs that I bought that I already had the CD or vinyl version. I should have stayed with the CD.

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Review by Noonions March 15, 2004 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Regardless of his recent troubles,I always liked Michael Jackson's Thiller album.I've bought it three times-the old 1980's one,the 2001 remaster and the SACD-and frankly,I was quite underwhemed by the SACD one.First of all,it is not in multichannel,which could have really made it a great listening experience.And while the stereo SACD sound is very good,it isn't any better than the recent 2001 reissue.So I prefer you go for the latter CD(it's cheaper too!).I recommend this only for those who haven't owned this album on CD yet.

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Review by onenairb May 12, 2007 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
WHAT A MISSED OPPERTUNITY. Frankly someone at Epic should be fired. Of all the SACD's I have purchased this has been the biggest let down. The sound is good but not much better, if at all, than the recent remaster of the standard cd. I wonder if they actually had access to the original master tapes because if they did surely the objective FAILED. It fails with the fact that someone took a decision not to utilise the 5.1 possibilities of the SACD format - imagine Thriller (the title track) in 5.1 alone. And it fails in the possibilities of the remastering that could have been acheived. This has got to be one of the all time classic Pop albums with virtually every song a hit. This should have been a showcase for SACD - up there with 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Brothers In Arms'.
I can't beleive that someone in EPIC (or Sony) actually listened to this after the SACD mastering process and thought this was worth releasing to the public. If your going to do a job, do it properly or not at all.

I can only agree with what other have said. Only buy if you do not own a copy on CD and even then I'd think twice.

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Review by pete6737 November 30, 2008 (0 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   
This SACD is stereo only. In a listening test with the CD version, I could hear smoother highs with SACD. No Earth shattering differences from the CD. It's worth buying if you have a revealing system that can pull out the subtleties.

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Review by DragonFly November 30, 2008 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I am sorry to say that this "SACD" might as well have been a MC/cassette or 8-Track release. It is easily the most flat, dull, boxy, and, yes, *digital* sounding release in my collection.

Please understand that I am not bashing it simply due to the fact that it's not in multichannel, but because this was--as others have mentioned as well--such a (gargantuan) missed opportunity. It does not in any way, shape or form showcase what the SACD format is capable of.

There are many rock/pop releases that are 10-15 years older than this one which sound truly incredible--not to mention half-century-old classical releases.

It makes me cringe to look at the non-subtle stickers and the usual "the CD was a good idea, but this is even better" lame SACD marketing drivel included with it. It does the format a great disservice.

All in all, a very, very disappointing experience. If MJ still has any balls left after his makeovers, he should sue the people responsible for putting this release out; and then let his plastic surgeons go to work on them.

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Review by wolf359 April 25, 2009 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is one of THE albums of the 80's with a top notch production ,good songs and this was in my opinon when Jacko was on top of his game before he got the reputation for outright eccentricity. It should have and could have been an outstanding SACD. So what went wrong.Generally speaking the other reviewers are spot on with thier comments. There is not that much difference between this SACD and the RBCD version which is available for very much less money. My partner came up with a novel idea of why this is not up to scratch. She commented that as in the early days of RBCD many titles were rushed out onto CD simply to get the numbers up without regard to quality and theorised that this disc was similarly a rushed effort with not enough care taken in the transfer . That said the disc is good but only by RBCD standards and the strength of the material . I have the 20bit reissued RBCD and to be frank the SACD is only marginally better on some tracks.

It has been rumoured that the Thriller has been remastered in 5.1 and is sat in the vaults awaiting reissue but has not been cleared by Jacko,if that is the truth even if it is cleared Sony/Epic in their current apathetic attitude towards SACD are unlikely to revist this disc for a multichannel version. I had hoped that the recent anniversary reissue would have addressed this but of course Sony/Epic didn't live up to expectations. In the meantime we have to put up with this poor reminder of what might have been. A sad travesty of the orginal. If you have a good quality turntable the vinyl is the best bet followed by the reissued RBCD then the SACD then the standard orginal RBCD

I have give the performance 4 stars mainly because the material and Jackson still manage to sound vaguely acceptable despite the errors made in the studio remastering/transfer process. The sonics of the performance I rate as two simply because there is no column to award marks given for poor studio technique

The team responsible for this should be made to listen to So by Peter Gabriel as an object lesson in how to produce a Stereo Pop SACD

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Review by Atrainedear November 1, 2009 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
If you listen closely to this Thriller SA-CD closely it is just awsome. It was mastered from the analog stereo master purely to DSD. Thriller was not meant to be in multi channel, thats why MJ wouldn't let it be in anything but stereo. In my own arrogant opinion it is the closest you can get to the master.

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Review by bd45 February 13, 2010 (5 of 14 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
J'ai la verson Jap, avant j'avais la version normale, seul le boitier et le livret est de meilleur qualité, cela reste toujours un CD type transparent sur la face resto et la verso n'est pas Gold, ce qui est une honte !!!! (les CD d'Hytory sont Gold !)

J'ai les mêmes titres sur History, et franchement, il n'y a auccunes différences entre CD et SACD, ou a peine perceptible, peut-être sur les sons type grincements de portes dans thriller ou du genre, mais au niveau de la force de frappe et des instrus de ce SACD elle est identique au CD, c'est très dynamique etc, donc pas la peine de claquer autant d'argent si ce n'est pour avoir un bel objet.(jap version)

Sinon, rien a dire c'est du très bon MJ, l'enregistrement est comme sur ses autres albums, du haut niveau, mais je pensais que le SACD serait mieux, et décu juste pour cela.

Je le conseille si vous le trouver a 30 euros max, sinon, écouter history (pas tester avec la version CD de thriller car je ne l'ai pas.)

A écouter sur du matos costaud pour en tirer la quintessence, genre des JBL vintage....les miennes en rafollent :) JBL 4311B POWAAAA !!!! Hitachi HMA-8500 MK2 .....

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Review by pvcmusiclover January 16, 2013 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is probably the best version of Thriller in existence. The production on the album is wonderful, hands down. This is clearly a direct DSD recording of the original master. No clipping or limiting. The only flaw is the fact that the treble is rather bright and the bass is a bit recessed. While the treble is hot, it does not at all sound edgy or "digital" in any way.

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Review by davos73 March 31, 2013 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Je viens de réécouter cet album sur de nouvelle enceintes (plus modernes - Cabasse Majorca) et le résultat est extraordinaire, on redécouvre totalement l’œuvre en percevant des sons inconnus jusqu’alors.

Les basses sont discrètes mais elles sont là au bon moment et c'est l'essentiel.

Je ne comprends pas trop les mauvaises critiques.

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Review by Gmat25 February 1, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is a very interesting Stereo SACD. Because it was an early disc it was mastered louder than the Scarlet Book specifications permitted due to a lack of good SACD metering at the time. If you happen to have a player that doesn't limit things, this SACD sounds wonderful! If your player isn't able to allow for the metering, this disc sounds no better than a regular redbook CD.

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