When most of us hear “Thriller,” we don’t think, “Hey, I wonder just how many different styles this song could be performed in, perhaps one after the other, for only 10 seconds at a time?” Luckily, we have the Internet to do that for us.
Ten Second Songs, the site where NYC musician Anthony Vincent covers hit songs in a variety of styles via short, concentrated bursts, has been around for a little while now, but with this newest release, Vincent has really upped his game. He covers Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller” in 20 styles, from The Misfits to Oingo Boingo to Tom Waits, and more or less nails each one of them. It’s a fascinating exercise in just how pop music can be translated across endless genres, and still retain its fundamental hook. True, listening to the whole thing at once can feel a bit schizophrenic, but it nevertheless reminds you by the end just what a damn good performer Michael Jackson was.
Both the Soundclound and Youtube versions are below—the Youtube video lists the name of each style as its performed—and quizzing yourself on what each style could be before you watch it and see the artist listed makes for a fun challenge. It’s also no spoiler to say that the style of Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Keepers (who performed the original version of “The Monster Mash”) is an absolute treat. (There’s also a behind-the-scenes look at shooting the video here.)