DAR Roundtable: Michael Jackson's Thriller vs Prince's Purple Rain

Two classic albums. Two of perhaps the greatest albums ever. I know, comparing them is very tough, but there lies the beauty of the roundtable: choices and opinions. Let's get right into it...


1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
2. Baby Be Mine
3. The Girl Is Mine
4. Thriller
5. Beat It
6. Billie Jean 
7. Human Nature
8. P.Y.T.(Pretty Young Thing)
9. The Lady In My Life


Purple Rain

Side One
1. Let's Go Crazy
2. Take Me With U
3. The Beautiful Ones
4. Computer Blue
5. Darling Nikki

Side Two
1. When Doves Cry
2. I Would Die 4 U
3. Baby I'm A Star
4. Purple Rain

This is a tough one. Not really, but it is. Thriller is more of a classic than Purple Rain. Both albums will stand the test of time, but Thriller is more impactful to music and the world in general. I personally like Purple Rain more. I think Purple Rain was something different to me. Something that caught me off guard at a young age. The titular track alone makes the album great. I think "When Doves Cry" is better than a lot of tracks off Thriller. However, Thriller had songs that people will remember more than Purple Rain. Kids from generation after generation won't be dancing to tracks off Purple Rain and reciting them word for word. It'll be Thriller. So I won't be bias. I think Thriller is better than Purple Rain simply because its impact is stronger.

Bruhs and Sistahs, do we really gotta do this one? Alright...fine. So, I went back and listened to both albums. I've got to say that Purple Rain wins. Why? Well, for starters, it's raw manliness versus MJ's more restrained major breakthrough. Thriller is a great album, and one of my favorites. But, it's restrained. Like, c'mon! "The Girl is Mine," anyone? It's cutesy, cheesy even. If this were Bad versus Purple Rain, I'd have a tougher time. But, Purple Rain, it's got "I Would Die 4 U," which is a borderline religious experience. Plus, Prince sang, kicked ass, and played guitar.

When you put it like that, it's no wonder why the reclusive genius is still able to get panties tossed his way.

Lord knows this was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in life, but by a slight margin, I gotta give it to Purple Rain. I remember seeing it for the first time at the age of 9. Right when I watched it, I fell in love with the music. And man.... When I heard that guitar solo on the title track, I almost cried tears. Beautiful music. And there's no way in hell you're gonna beat songs like "Darling Nikki" and "When Doves Cry". Thriller is an almost equally perfect album, but Purple Rain takes the cake.

I love Thriller, and it is a classic, but I can't truly say that it is better than Purple Rain. Perhaps I have heard the huge singles on Thriller a bit too much, but songs like "Beat It" and the title track don't measure up to songs like "The Beautiful Ones" or "When Doves Cry". When you talk about songs such as "Baby Be Mine", "The Lady In My Life", "Human Nature" however, it gets tricky because those are beautiful songs. They can compete with just about every song on Purple Rain, but overall I would have to say that Purple Rain edges it out just barely.

Tough choice, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.



Popular Posts