Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson: Sixth Week on Top

BillboardMichael Jackson has had the best selling album in the country, Number Ones, for six out of the past seven weeks. But despite the fact that it sold 98,000 last week (down 14%), you won’t find it on the Billboard 200 where current mediocrity reigns supreme:

1. Sugarland – “Live on the Inside” – 76,000 (debut)

2. “Now 31” – 45,000 (down 16%)

3. Gloriana – “Gloriana” – 44,000 (debut)

4. Black Eyed Peas – “The E.N.D.” – 44,000 (down 10%)

5. Kings of Leon – “Only By the Night” – 44,000 (down 6%)

6. Daughtry – “Leave This Town” – 44,000 (down 29%)

7. Maxwell – “BLACKsummers’night” – 43,000 (down 22%)

8. Taylor Swift – “Fearless” – 37,000 (down 1%)

9. Fabolous – “Loso’s Way” – 37,000 (down 63%)

10. “Kidz Bop 16” – 34,000 (debut)

15. Modest Mouse – “No One’s First, And You’re Next” EP – 27,000 (debut)

Hey Billboard, either change the criteria of the Billboard 200 or show the Comprehensive Albums chart on your bloated new website.

• Michael Jackson – “Number Ones” – 98,000 (down 14%)

• Michael Jackson – “The Essential Michael Jackson” – 54,000

• Michael Jackson – “Thriller” – 47,000

Additional sales data via Yahoo Chart Watch.

Michael Jackson: Best Selling Album Again

Michael Jackson, Number OneFor the fifth week out of the past six weeks, Michael Jackson has the best-selling album in the country. But you still won’t see that reflected in the Billboard 200. This story’s getting old, but here are the numbers:

• Michael Jackson – “Number Ones” – 114,000 (best-selling album this week)

• Michael Jackson – “Essential Michael Jackson” – 69,000 (third best-selling album this week)

• Michael Jackson – “Thriller” – 59,000 (fifth best-selling album this week)

1. Fabolous – “Loso’s Way” – 99,000 (debut)

2. Daughtry – “Leave This Town” – 62,000 (down 39%)

3. Maxwell – “BLACKsummers’night” – 55,000

4. “Now 31” compilation – 53,000

5. Black Eyed Peas – “The E.N.D.” – 49,000

6. Kings of Leon – “Only By the Night” – 47,000 (up 21%)

7. “Hannah Montana 3” TV soundtrack – 41,000

8. Demi Lovato – “Here We Go Again” – 39,000 (down 64%)

9. Taylor Swift – “Fearless” – 38,000

10. Lady GaGa – “The Fame” – 27,000

12. Ashley Tisdale – “Guilty Pleasure” – 25,000 (debut)

Additional sales data via MTV.

Billboard 200 still way out of touch

BillboardOnce again, the #1 album on Billboard 200 is not the best selling album of the week. With 154,000 copies sold (down 21%), Michael Jackson‘s Number Ones sold 46,000 more than this week’s #1 album. That’s just dumb.

1. Demi Lovato – “Here We Go Again” – 108,000 (debut)

2. Daughtry – “Leave This Town,” – 101,000 (down 63%)

3. Maxwell – “BLACKsummers’night” – 72,000 (down 30%)

4. “Now 31” – 58,000 (down 17%)

5. “Hannah Montana 3” – 54,000 (down 26%)

6. Black Eyed Peas – “The E.N.D.” – 52,000 (down 4%)

7. Jordin Sparks – “Battlefield” – 48,000 (debut)

8. Kings of Leon – “Only By The Night” – 39,000 (up 19%)

9. Taylor Swift – “Fearless” – 37,000 (up less than 2%)

10. Lady GaGa – “The Fame” – 28,000 (down 9%)

Billboard doesn’t post its Comprehensive chart on its website (not even after its bloated redesign — ugh), but Hits Daily Double shows Jackson holding three of top ten overall, with Thriller selling 74,921 and Essential right behind it with 73,628. MTV reports that MJ holds seven of the Top 20 on the Comprehensive chart, and nine of the top 10 positions on the Catalog chart.

It’s time for Billboard to stop the anachronistic practicing of excluding the Catalog albums (generally those less than 18 months old) from its main album chart, the Billboard 200, which “houses only new and current titles.”

Michael Jackson is still selling

BillboardSo the bald American Idol growler sold more records this week than any of Michael Jackson‘s albums. Nevertheless, MJ “has six out of the top 10” best selling albums of the week, as reflected on Billboard’s Top Comprehensive Albums chart, and “the entire top 12 slots on Top Pop Catalog Albums” chart.

Not surprisingly, his sales—while still massive—are starting to slip: The Essential Michael Jackson (125,000; down 15%), Thriller (114,000; down 57%), Off the Wall (68,000; down 36%), Bad (61,000; down 38%) and Dangerous (55,000; down 19%).

Billboard 200 (non-“catalog” albums)

1. Daughtry – “Leave This Town” – 269,000 (debut)

2. Maxwell – “BLACKsummers’night” – 103,000 (down 67%)

3. “Hannah Montana 3” soundtrack – 73,000 (down 47%)

4. “Now 31” compilation – 69,000 (down 31%)

5. Black Eyed Peas – “The E.N.D.” – 54,000 (down 13%)

6. The Dead Weather – “Horehound” – 51,000 (debut)

7. Joe – “Signature” – 49,000 (debut)

8. Twista – “Category F5” – 45,000 (debut)

9. Taylor Swift – “Fearless” – 37,000 (up 1%)

10. Kings of Leon – “Only By the Night” – 33,000 (up 9%)

Sales: Michael Jackson, again, beats the #1 album

BillboardFor the third week in a row, Michael Jackson has sold more albums than anything on the Billboard 200. His Number Ones collection sold 349,000 copies, while this week’s “No. 1” record, Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night, only sold 316,000.

He can be posthumously comforted by the fact that he’s locked the TOP TWELVE positions on the Catalog Chart:

1. Michael Jackson – “Number Ones” – 349,000 (up 3%)

2. Michael Jackson – “The Essential Michael Jackson” – 149,000 (up 18%)

3. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” – 264,000 (up 41%) [Wait, shouldn’t this be #2 then? -ed.]

4. Michael Jackson – “Off The Wall” – 107,000 (up 108%)

5. Michael Jackson – “Bad” – 97,000 (up 332%)

6. Michael Jackson – “Dangerous” – 67,000 (up 157%).

7. Jackson 5 – “The Ultimate Collection” – 34,000 (up 239%)

8. Jackson 5 – “The Best of Jackson 5: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection” – 17,000 (up 280%)

9. Michael Jackson – “Greatest Hits: HIStory — Volume 1” – 15,000 (up 98%)

10. Michael Jackson – “HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book 1” – 14,000 (up 153%)

11. Michael Jackson – “Invincible” – 14,000 (up 61%)

12. Michael Jackson – “The Ultimate Collection” – 7,000 (down 26%)

According to Billboard, since he died, “consumers have purchased 1.9 million physical MJ albums and 491,000 digital MJ albums.” Amazing.

Top Ten of the non-catalog albums after the jump…

Continue reading Sales: Michael Jackson, again, beats the #1 album

Sales: Wilco (the album) Beats Off the Wall

BillboardIn the wake of Michael Jackson posthumously setting all kinds of chart records, Billboard has actually published the Top 25 of its all-encompassing Comprehensive Album Chart as well as the Top 22 of its Catalog Album Chart.

Wilco has the seventh best selling album of the week, which, when you subtract the three Michael Jackson “catalog” albums ahead of it, places it as #4 on the Billboard 200, selling almost twice as many copies as Off the Wall!

The big news though is the Catalog Chart, which MJ sweeps:

1. Michael Jackson – “Number Ones” – 339,000 (up 215%)

2. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” – 187,000 (up 86%)

3. Michael Jackson – “Essential Michael Jackson” – 125,000 (up 23%)

4. Michael Jackson – “Off the Wall” – 51,000 (up 58%)

5. Michael Jackson – “Dangerous” – 26,000 (up 85%)

6. Michael Jackson – “Bad” – 23,000 (up 33%)

7. Jackson 5 – “Ultimate Collection” – 10,000 (down 44%)

8. Michael Jackson – “Ultimate Collection” – 10,000 (down 10%)

9. Michael Jackson – “Invincible” – 8,000 (up 76%)

10. Michael Jackson – “Vol. 1 – Greatest Hits – History” – 7,000 (down 36%)

Top 10 of the non-catalog albums after the jump…

Continue reading Sales: Wilco (the album) Beats Off the Wall

Robbie Fulks: Michael Jackson "better than Elvis"

In a thoughtful eulogy for Michael Jackson, country crooner Robbie Fulks explains the origins of his fascination with the King of Pop:

In 1999, Peter McDowell at the Chicago Cultural Center had me put together a performance in honor of Michael’s birthday. That was the beginning of my long “tribute CD” odyssey, and it got me to thinking a little about him, because I hadn’t, much. I hadn’t theretofore bought his records, or learned any of his songs to perform, or considered myself a fan beyond the J5. Yet I found that I knew lots of his songs just from constant ambient reiteration, and, when I listened to them more purposefully, found them exquisitely assembled and compelling in some hard-to-define way. In other words, I discovered the basic and obvious qualities that had long ago endeared this music to everyone else around the world. At that time it occurred to me that Michael was my generation’s Elvis. He was our common musical denominator, originator of the template, pointer of the path, the central guy that we all grew up with and of whom nobody could live in ignorance. In fact the only reason I wouldn’t overplay the comparison is that I think he was better than Elvis artistically. Better dancer, better singer, better song guy; and he stayed better at it all longer (even outliving him, a little). Let the squabbling begin…

I never really considered the fact that Michael Jackson was pretty on top of his game, as Fulks points out, from about 1970 to 1990. That’s twenty years! Can you think of any other artist who was that solid for that long? With no periods of crapiness? If you can think of anybody, be sure to give the date range you’re talking about. Twenty years! I can’t think of many with a perfect ten year streak

Robbie Fulks: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

Previously: Robbie Fulks Guides Fellow Musicians to Misery; Robbie Fulks Bloodshot Sampler.

Michael Jackson once again excluded from Billboard 200

Michael Jackson, looking awesomeTo nobody’s surprise, Michael Jackson has broken Billboard records in the week after his death. More than anything, this week’s sales data once again points out the anachronistic stupidity of the way Billboard separates “catalog” albums from “current” albums in its chart system. The Billboard 200 excludes anything that is more than two years old and that has fallen below position 100 on the Billboard 200. Why? Who knows?

Back in February of 2008, when the 25 anniversary reissue of Thriller would have placed at #2 had it been included in the Billboard 200, Billboard’s “Sr. Director of Charts” Geoff Mayfield told Undercover News that “Sony-BMG stated a strong case and we did consider it… I took to heart their comments and then I took it to retail. The response I got overwhelmingly is that it is a catalogue album and belongs on the catalogue chart.”

That doesn’t really clear it up. Labels want reissues included in the main chart, but retailers don’t? Why would retailers care? The whole thing seems stupid to me. Billboard has a Top Comprehensive Albums list, but nobody ever sees it. It’s not published in the magazine and can only be viewed online with a paid subscription.

It’s just stupid to exclude older titles to the “catalog” ghetto, especially in this era of the long tail. The #1 album this week (Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.”) only sold 88,000: that’s 13,000 less than the third-best selling Michael Jackson album this week. Insane.

See the top ten of the Billboard Catalog chart after the jump…

Continue reading Michael Jackson once again excluded from Billboard 200

Pay to Slum: Drake, "Best I Ever Had"

“Unauthorized” video: Drake – “Best I Ever Had”

Yesterday, word of Michael Jackson‘s death spread like a riot through the social networks. But once the conjecture had been put to bed and the tributes and eulogies posted, most feeds marveled at the novelty of music videos on MTV. In its zeal to cover the passing of an icon — instead of the latest thug-lite nursery rhyme from Akon — the network had blown the dust off the Betacams and started spinning MJ’s old jams nonstop. It was just like 1983, only without Duran Duran or Synchronicity to play foil to the dominance of Thriller. MTV also blew the dust of John Norris‘s crypt. That wasn’t as great of an idea.

Back then, there were too many great songs. They defined an era; they continue to define wedding receptions. Nowadays, we’re dealt jams from “rising hip-hop star” Drake, whose “Best I Ever Had” used the “unauthorized” tag to find its way to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Drake’s like a Target version of Lil Wayne, his collabo partner for a different, equally “unauthorized” chart gainer. While Weezy isn’t even a rapper anymore — he’s a bounty hunter like Dengar, or a man who plays guitar for reasons we don’t understand, or a guy spitting the insane fantastic — Drake can’t muster much more than a few empty mumbles.

Continue reading Pay to Slum: Drake, "Best I Ever Had"

Report: Michael Jackson Dead

TMZ.com is reporting that Michael Jackson is dead at age 50. Several other news outlets have reported that he was rushed to hospital for a possible cardiac arrest, but TMZ is the only site to report that he has in fact died.


Seems it’s been confirmed by multiple sources. While MJ’s life has certainly taken a turn for the strange in the last two decades, you can’t deny the magic he had that captured everyone’s attention in the first place. Check out this version of the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” with the instrumental tracks stripped out:

I’ll Be There (A Capella)

Also, J5 back yard party in 1973.

Jackson 5 Home Video on Soul Train

And the legendary Mowtown 25 Anniversary Performance

Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (1983) [Motown 25 Live]