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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The "Thriller" Intro - Bruce Swedien

Here's another Bruce Swedien video, this time from his keynote speech during Sweetwater's GearFest in 2008. In it Bruce discusses the intro to Michael Jackson's seminal single "Thriller."

Of even more importance is the beginning of Bruce's address where he talks about producer Quincy Jones saying before they began the Thriller recording sessions, "We've got to find a way to get people back into the record stores." What everyone seems to forget is that from 1979 to almost 1982, the record business was in a very bad recession. Disco had just burned out, there was no new trends on the horizon, and record sales were declining fast as a result. It seemed almost as bad as it is now, except for the fact that several things came to the record labels aid - the CD, MTV and Michael Jackson and Thriller.

When the CD format hit, suddenly everyone wanted to buy all of their records all over again, so the label's catalog sales became hot (which was a huge money maker), MTV pushed sales of new acts to greater heights, and of course MJ eventually sold over 100 million copies of Thriller, which certainly helped to bring people back into the record stores.

By the way, the historical perspective mentioned above is covered from two different angles in both The Music Producer's Handbook and Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age.

Tomorrow, we'll take a last look at some words of wisdom from the great Bruce Swedien.

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