Forget everything you've ever read about Thriller. Eddie & the Hot Rods' third album arrived in 1979, at a time when the band's own brand of high-octane punk-pop was wallowing in the depths of unfashionable retrogression. Live, the group was still the hottest thing on ten legs, and the first single from the album, the anthemic "The Power and the Glory," certainly suggested that the magic dispensed by their last set, Life on the Line, was still firmly in place. But the album as a whole didn't simply disappoint, it all but disappeared and, for 20 years thereafter, when old-time fans discussed the Rods, it was the first two albums that lay on the altar. Truly, nothing else mattered. Reissued for the first time since those dark days, Thriller hasn't simply improved with age; It actually rivals its predecessors, a fast-paced, dramatically dynamic and, above all, deeply melodic album that reiterates both the complexity and the contrary simplicity that was the Rods at their best. Even picking favorites among the tracks is no longer easy -- "The Power and the Glory" still thrills, but so do "Media Messiahs," "Breathless," and "Living Dangerously," while the bonus tracks, both drawn from period B-sides, continue down the same road, to demonstrate that whatever was wrong with this record in 1979, it had nothing to do with the band.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson