I’ve got an aunt who’s about 10 years older than I am. When I was somewhere around the ages of 5-8, she gave me some dubbed audio cassettes. I can’t remember all of them, but I do recall getting the Footloose soundtrack, the La Bamba soundtrack, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I listened to them until my Walkman wore out the tapes.

Much has been made about Michael Jackson. In some ways, his – shall we say – possible (probable?) indiscretions and eccentric behaviors have been either largely ignored or overly exaggerated. The same could said of his music. He’s been made into a sinner and a saint. Musically, he’s either the most important artist ever or his music is completely irrelevant since he’s a kid toucher.

Regardless, Thriller is one of the best selling and most revered albums ever for a reason.

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – One of the greatest opening cuts from an album ever. Plus, MJ invented the nonsensical phrase “Mama say / Mama saw / Mama cu saw”

Baby Be Mine – One of the weaker cuts on the album. Not terrible, but far from memorable.

The Girl is Mine – I know this is an iconic song, but I’m not wild about Paul McCartney’s contribution to the song. Given the rumors about Michael’s sexuality, this song is wildly unintentionally funny. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had an affection for the (stupid?) line “…the doggone girl is mine”

Thriller – The perfect pop song? Epic sound. Commercially approachable. Memorable video. It’s lived on for generations for a reason.

Beat It – It’s my personal MJ song ever. Still love the guitar on this song. Quite possibly the best guitar solo in a pop song, right? Is it pathetic that 80s pop music is more rock than a lot of today’s rock music?

Billie Jean – Another favorite off the album. Infectious beat along with (again) good guitars. This song is an example of how Michael’s vocal can make an otherwise simplistic song feel pretty big. If you could listen to this song without the vocal, you’d hear it feels nothing like the same song.

Human Nature – One of my favorite slightly-under-the-radar MJ songs. Great beat that Michael just sings perfect over. I’m usually not wild about MJ’s slower work (“Heal the World,” that Free Willy song, etc.)

P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – I’ve always thought this was a fun song with a fantastic chorus. There is a little five note echo that follows Michael’s vocal that I’ve always liked.

The Lady in My Life – It almost feels as if Michael is overcompensating for something with all of these songs about girls. Hmm… wonder what that’s about?

The rest of the 25th anniversary collection includes remixes featuring will.i.am, Fergie, Akon, and Kanye. The only one I actually like is Akon’s version of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something 2008.” Otherwise, they probably could’ve done us all a favor and leave this classic album alone. I parallel could be drawn to needing to remake Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” Don’t we still have the good version? Do you think you are going to make it better? What’s the point?