Monday, June 29, 2009

Musical Career Resurrected

Too bad he had to die for it. I promised myself I wouldn't write about Michael Jackson, but I'm a sucker for music by the numbers. I love to track sales, and this week's UK charts just came out. I'll let these numbers on Jackson speak for themselves:

Album Sales
#1 Number Ones (compilation)
#7 Thriller
#14 King of Pop (compilation)
#17 Off the Wall
#20 The Essential Michael Jackson (compilation)
#45 Thriller 25 (deluxe reissue)
#59 Bad

Singles Sales
#11 Man in the Mirror
#23 Thriller
#25 Billie Jean
#28 Smooth Criminal
#30 Beat It
#38 Earth Song

Another 14 songs either by Jackson (solo) or the Jackson 5 appear in the Top 75. I have never seen anything quite like it. Will he repeat this feat when the American charts are released later this week? Well, he can't. Billboard separates the charts between older catalog albums and new releases. This week the Jackson material on the older catalog chart will surely outsell the new release #1 spot many times over. That's too bad. This shows a real hole in Billboard's process.

I loved the 'Thriller' stuff as much as any other 12-year-old-kid, but I didn't care for much of his work after that record... except this one.

Michael Jackson - Leave Me Alone (mp3)

American Update:
Billboard's numbers have just been released, and Jackson or Jackson 5 titles have taken the Top 9 spots on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. Remember, catalog albums do not qualify for the Billboard 200. If they did, based on sales, Jackson's work would be #1, #2 and #3, with The Black Eyed Peas (this week's #1) coming in at #4. The top catalog album has never outsold the top new record in a given week... before now. In digital news, Jackson's work accounted for 2.6 million downloads last week. He is the first artist to even crack the million download mark for a given week. Twenty-five of the Top 75 downloads are Jackson's. Jackson dominated the radio airwaves as well. For example, "Billie Jean" was spun 4,540 times on 1,600 stations last week. Yes, Jackson may have temporarily saved the big-studio music business.

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