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Writer of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Wanted Elvira to Voice the Narrator

Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand.”

It’s always been kind of a bummer to me that writers often get left out in the cold, and the iconic song Thriller is a great example of what I mean. You know that it’s a Michael Jackson song, you know that John Landis directed the music video, and you probably even know that Rick Baker did the makeup effects for that video.

But do you know who wrote Thriller? That’d be Rod Temperton, who passed away just last year. Temperton wrote three songs on Jackson’s Thriller album, including the title track; his life and career are the subject of Jed Pitman’s forthcoming book The Invisible Man: The Story of Rod Temperton, being released on September 1.

Promoting the book, New York Post published a few quotes from Pitman today, revealing a really interesting little fun fact about Thriller. Of course, Vincent Price provided the voice-over narration for Thriller, but what you definitely did not know is that Temperton’s personal choice was Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!

From the site…

“During his research, Pitman found that Temperton was usually meticulous about his work. “He had all the parts in his head,” Pitman told The Post. “He knew exactly what he wanted, and how to get there.” But recording the iconic “Thriller” monologue was unusually slapdash.”

Working with Quincy Jones, Temperton initially suggested Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (of the TV show “Fright Night,” originally), to record the spooky spoken-word part. But Jones suggested Price, who was a friend of his wife’s.”

Price proved to be the perfect person for the job, nailing it in just two takes.

And the rest is history.



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COMMENTS

10 Comments
  • MODOK

    Although Elvira’s great, it would’ve been a travesty to use anyone but Price. I hate Thriller as a song, but damned if I don’t listen to every word of Price’s monologue whenever it comes on.

    • HOW the Hell do you Hate Thriller

      • MODOK

        I just don’t like it musically. The lyrics are cool, though. And of course the video is a classic.

  • The chicken man

    I think it was perfect the way it was. But I’d have to travel to an alternate time line to know for sure…

    • Saturn

      But wait, I seem to remember that the dialogue was spoken by Nelson Mandella!

  • Saturn

    I personally knew that Rod Temperton wrote Thriller (and other classics) as he grew up just a few miles away from where I live, and is held in extremely high regard by us folk in these ol’ parts.

  • oh_riginal

    For me, Thriller has always been so synonymous with the music video that I can’t LISTEN to it, as in, I can’t play it in the car, I can’t put it on an ipod, I can’t even really listen to it on the radio.

    I only enjoy it when watching the video. It’s like a movie to me in a way. You wouldn’t play only the audio of a movie in your car or on your stereo. Does that make any sense?

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    They definitely got it right.

  • Alanmac

    LOVE Elvira and Elvira’s wonderful tits but they definitely did right with Vincent Price on the song.

  • Necro

    Made the right choice with Price, but if those tits were in Jones’ face he would’ve went with her!

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