Jackson's original 'Thriller' to auction

The original 1983 master test proof recording of Michael Jackson's hit song Thriller will be headlining Bonhams & Butterfields' auction of Entertainment Memorabilia, later this month.

The auction is scheduled for December 20, presumably for any collectors who've left their Christmas present shopping until the last minute.

An acetate disc features the song Thriller, along with an instrumental version. Both recordings are from the mastering session at Allen Zentz Mastering Studio in Hollywood.

The record has only been played once. It was used by Bruce Swedien, the Grammy winning recording engineer, to check the sound quality before Jackson released the single version of Thriller in January, 1984.

Included in the consignment will be a copy of Mr Swedien's autobiography, Make Mine Music, which devotes a full chapter to the making of Thriller.

The acetate will go under the hammer with an estimate of $4,000-6,000.

The original Thriller test pressing ($4k-6k)
The original Thriller test pressing ($4k-6k)

However, in a year which saw the Beat It lyrics sell for $60,000 and the platinum disk for Jackon's hit album Bad bring $27,000, Thriller could perhaps sell for considerably more.

Consigned by California State University Summer Arts and donated by Mr Swedien, this album is being sold to benefit scholarships for students at California State University Summer Arts.

The University's multidisciplinary curriculum offers participants a wide range of course offerings in the visual, performing, and literary arts.

The song Thriller was released in 1982, on Jackson's sixth studio album. Its title song was later released as single in 1984, and remains one of the best-selling records of all time.

The Thriller album earned Jackson two Grammy Awards in 1984, for "Record of the Year" and "Best Rock Vocal Performance", and confirmed his status as one of the leading musicians of the late 20th century.

Watch this space for additional highlights in Bonhams' auction of Hollywood, Rock-n-Roll and Animation memorabilia.

A pre-auction preview will be held on December 18-19 in Los Angeles. The auction itself takes place on December 20, 2009, as in Los Angeles.


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