Songwriter Rod Temperton wrote classic pop track 'Thriller'

Rod Temperton worked on various hit songs, including the Michael Jackson song 'Thriller.' He also worked on music for artists including Heatwave, Karen Carpenter, and Herbie Hancock.

Yui Mok/AP
Songwriter Rod Temperton and his wife Kathy attend a Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2012.

Rod Temperton, who died last week, was a songwriter who is likely best known for writing the ultra-popular Michael Jackson song “Thriller.” 

Mr. Temperton also penned songs such as the Heatwave song “Boogie Nights” and the Jackson's song “Rock with You.”

The British songwriter also worked on tracks for many other artists, including Aretha Franklin, Karen Carpenter, Herbie Hancock, and Michael McDonald. 

The album “Thriller,” on which the song of the same name appeared, has become one of the most popular works of music of all time. Late last year, the album “Thriller” became the first album to become certified 30 times multi-platinum in the United States. 

The album includes such other classics as “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” Songs on the album that were also written by Temperton include “Baby Be Mine” and “The Lady in My Life.”

And the video that accompanied the song “Thriller” is considered a classic of the genre, one that had a huge influence on the medium. Shelby Morrison of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame wrote that the video “is among the most influential music videos of all time,” while Vanity Fair writer Nancy Griffin called it “the most popular music video of all time … [it] changed the business.” 

The video premiered on MTV when the TV network was in its infancy and MTV reportedly played the music video for “Thriller” twice an hour after it became incredibly popular. 

As for the song itself, Billboard writer Daniel Durchholz writes that “even before it became music video's defining moment, the audio track for ‘Thriller’ was already a classic horror flick that played between your ears. A vivid monster-mash-up penned by Rod Temperton, the song features gruesome (but fun) lyrics, sound effects of creepy footsteps, wolf howls and slamming doors, plus actor Vincent Price's indelible recitation.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Songwriter Rod Temperton wrote classic pop track 'Thriller'
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Music/2016/1006/Songwriter-Rod-Temperton-wrote-classic-pop-track-Thriller
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe