When Michael Jackson released Thriller it was a revelation. The record went straight to number one in album charts across the world, spending 37 weeks atop the US Billboard chart. It has since gone 34x Platinum and still remains as one of the best-selling albums of all time, with more than 70 million copies sold worldwide. Almost 20 years later Michael released his tenth album, something he thought was a better record overall.
Michael released Invincible on October 30, 2001. The album was his final release before his death eight years later in 2009.
The album hit number one in 14 countries and sold more than 360,000 units in its first week.
However, its reviews were middling. Rolling Stone and Q gave the album three stars out of five, while The Guardian awarded it two stars out of five.
Despite not having a great reception, Michael preferred Invincible to Thriller.
He said after its release: “It is tough because you’re competing against yourself. Invincible is just as good or better than Thriller, in my true, humble opinion.” (Via ABC News)
Michael continued: “It has more to offer. Music is what lives and lasts. Invincible has been a great success. “When The Nutcracker Suite was first introduced to the world, it totally bombed. What’s important is how the story ends.” The star, who was 43-years-old at the time, then revealed how he struggled to finish the album on time.
Michael also spoke about the themes of Invincible – something he revealed he didn’t concern himself with at the time.
He said: “I let the music create itself. I like it to be a potpourri of all kinds of sounds, all kinds of colours, something for everybody, from the farmer in Ireland to the lady who scrubs toilets in Harlem.”
In 2002, however, he explained that “fun” inspired him to write one song on the album.
He spoke with the magazine Vibe at the time, where he said he found the inspiration after having water-balloon fights with some German children.
Michael said: “I was so happy after the fight that I ran upstairs in their house and wrote Speechless. Fun inspires me.
“I hate to say that because it’s such a romantic song. But it was the fight that did it. I was happy, and I wrote it in its entirety right there. I felt it would be good enough for the album. Out of the bliss comes magic, wonderment, and creativity.”