“Off the wall had sold almost six million copies in this country, but I wanted to make an album that would be even bigger. Ever since I was a little boy, I had dreamed of creating the biggest-selling record of all time. I remember going swimming as a child and making a wish before I jumped into the pool. Remember, I grew up knowing the industry, understanding goals, and being told what was and was not possible. I wanted to do something special. I’d stretch my arms out, as if I were sending my thoughts right up into space. I’d make my wish, then I’d dive into the water. I’d say to myself, ‘This is my dream, this is my wish’
I remember being in the studio once with Quincy and Rod Temperton while we were working on Thriller. I was playing a pinball machine and one of them asked me, "If this album doesn’t do as well as Off the Wall, will you be disappointed?” I remember feeling upset - hurt that the question was even raised. I told them thriller had to do better than Off the Wall. I admitted that I wanted this album to be the biggest selling album of all time. They started laughing. it was a seemingly unrealistic thing to want…The success of Thriller transformed many of my dreams into reality. It did become the biggest selling album of all time, and that fact appeared on the cover of The Guinness Book of World Records.
Making the Thriller album was very hard work, but it’s true that you only get of something what you put into it. I’m a perfectionist; I’ll work until I drop. And I worked so hard on that album.“