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Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ named most inspiring album of all time

Other records in the top 40 list include 'Definitely Maybe' by Oasis, Pink Floyd’s 'The Dark Side of the Moon' and David Bowie’s 'Heroes'

Rob Knight
Monday 17 September 2018 12:13 BST
'Thriller' has sold 66 million copies worldwide and features some of Michael Jackson's biggest hits - including 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It' and 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
'Thriller' has sold 66 million copies worldwide and features some of Michael Jackson's biggest hits - including 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It' and 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Mike Powell /Allsport)

Michael Jackson’s album Thriller is the most inspiring album of all time, according to a survey of British people.

The King of Pop’s classic record was identified as the album to have had the biggest impact on people's lives.

To date, it’s sold around 66 million copies worldwide and features some of his biggest hits - including Billie Jean, Beat It and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin.

The second spot went to The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, while third place went to Abba and their Gold: Greatest Hits compilation.

Other records in the top 40 list include Definitely Maybe by Oasis, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and David Bowie’s Heroes.

The poll of 2,000 UK adults was commissioned ahead of the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize, which takes place on Thursday 20 September.

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai Motor UK president and CEO, said: “These results are a great example of exactly why we are a title sponsor of the Hyundai Mercury Prize.

“Music means so much to so many people in the UK, creating memories, inspiring changes and lifting moods.

“It’s so often a key part of the driving experience, too, with a quarter of those polled saying that it’s while driving that they listen to most of their music.

“I’m sure we can all relate to sitting in the car listening to the end of your favourite song, even as you’ve reached your destination.”

Ed Sheeran made the top 40 to thanks to his album X, and he’s joined by the Spice Girls for their debut album, Spice, and Robbie Williams for Escapology.

Queen are also in the top 40 for A Night at the Opera, alongside other rock bands including Led Zeppelin for Led Zeppelin IV and Black Sabbath for Paranoid.

Past winners of the Mercury Prize made the cut too – including Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and Different Class by Pulp.

The study also identified the 1960s as the decade to have produced the most inspiring music to date – and a number of records from that era appear in the list.

These include albums by The Beatles, The Doors and The Beach Boys in addition to The Mamas & the Papas and Bob Dylan.

Nadine Shah, who is on this year’s shortlist for her album Holiday Destination, named Blur’s Think Tank as one of the records to have most inspired her.

She said: “Think Tank really embodies where Blur were geographically when they made it.

“They were in Morocco and you can really hear that all throughout the album – it’s just great.”

Carried out through, the research also found that three-quarters of British people have been inspired by a piece of music, while 81 per cent have an album they turn to during difficult times.

Two thirds of respondents said music makes them happier, half said it makes them less stressed or anxious and a third said it comforts them.

Forty-two per cent say they have experienced such a strong connection to a piece of music and have even felt as if the song was written about them personally.

Almost half said their home is the place where they tend to listen to their favourite music, however a quarter usually enjoy music in their car.

The greatest Mercury Prize winners of all-time were also identified – with Arctic Monkeys coming top for their debut album.

Elbow came second for The Seldom Seen Kid and Pulp came third for Different Class.

Jorja Smith, who is also up for the Hyundai Mercury Prize, said: “My favourite albums are Frank by Amy Winehouse and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

“They’re both just so real, and a great album is one that you can listen to and not think about anything else.”

Top 40 most inspirational albums:

1. Michael Jackson - Thriller

2. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

3. Abba - Gold: Greatest Hits

4. Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water

5. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

6. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon

7. Queen - A Night At The Opera

8. Meatloaf - Bat out of Hell

9. Oasis - Definitely Maybe

10. David Bowie - Heroes

11. Ed Sheeran - X

12. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black

13. Nirvana - Nevermind

14. The Beatles - White Album

15. Madonna - Like a Virgin

16. The Beatles - Revolver

17. Paul Simon - Graceland

18. Led Zeppelin - IV

19. U2 - The Joshua Tree

20. Prince - Purple Rain

21. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

22. The Clash - London Calling

23. Spice Girls - Spice

24. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life

25. Black Sabbath - Paranoid

26. Amy Winehouse - Frank

27. Alanis Morissette - Jagged little Pill

28. Metallica - Master Of Puppets

29. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On

30. Christina Aguilera - Stripped

31. Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

32. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

33. Robbie Williams - Escapology

34. The Doors - L.A. Woman

35. Radiohead - OK Computer

36. The Mamas & the Papas - The Mamas & the Papas

37. Johnny Cash - American IV

38. Prince - Sign o' the Times

39. Pulp - Different Class

40. Joni Mitchell - Blue

Top Music Prize winners:

1. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

2. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

3. Pulp - Different Class

4. M People - Elegant Slumming

5. Portishead - Dummy

6. Suede - Suede

7. Primal Scream - Screamadelica

8. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

9. Dizzee Rascal - Boy in da Corner

10. The xx - xx


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