CSPC: Michael Jackson Popularity Analysis

CSPC Michael Jackson

After two weeks of teasing with related, making of-like articles, the wait is finally over. It’s time to shine our light on the King of Pop. Iconic, massive, legendary, cult, an anthem of a generation, we quickly run out of words while speaking of Michael Jackson.

Maybe the most amazing element is that he achieved this status with a mere six albums from the time he turning 18 in 1976 to his death in 2009. Obviously, it helps when those albums include blockbusters like Thriller, Bad and Dangerous.

This limited discography in volume raises some questions though. As popular as Michael Jackson has been it is hard to imagine him challenging artists like Madonna or Mariah Carey, who were massive too but issued far more albums and mostly during a more favorable time for record sales.

Additionally, artists with well-known elements like video clips, dance moves, widely covered / sampled and highly influential are often seen as bigger sellers than they really are. Since Michael Jackson assembles these elements better than anyone we may wonder even more how much he truly sold.

A lot of myths are well alive around him, from the 750 million record sales to the 100 million copies sold of Thriller. Those claims are clearly fake though, on par with the billion sales of the Beatles or Elvis Presley. Speaking of myths, most of them are related to Thriller. Is it so big that it eclipses everything else and asks the question, were the likes of Off The Wall and Bad less successful than often believed?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Michael Jackson‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

Let’s go!

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Smiley

At the time of writing, ‘Thriller’ has now topped 120 million EAS.

It’s astounding to think that one album has been more successful that the entire career output (so far) of some pretty big international acts. Dire Straits, Coldplay, RHCP, Simon and Garfunkel, Adele, Drake and Rihanna to name a few…

Clockingbell

Apart from Simon and Garfunkel, you’re right according to this system

Smiley

Yes, sorry, I meant to say ‘The Doors’. Thank you for the correction!

Mikko

Michael Jackson was part of Thriller album, there was dozens of workers and inventors, everyone’s goal was maximum commercialism or sales. That’s why its rating is not at the top. Not so creative. Call product.

Smiley

I’m not necessarily saying than I’m a fan of either Jackson or ‘Thriller’. Just commenting on the enormous success it has achieved regardless of how many people were involved in it’s creation.

Martin

How is it any less creative, than say Blood on the Tracks, OK Computer, Nevermind, Sticky Fingers etc

You just sound like a bitter snob, finding fault and putting something down, just because it’s not to your taste.

Mikko

Read everyone’s reviews from the critics. They say it better. Are Agatha Christie books better than, let’s say Herman Hesse, John Steinbeck or L-F Celine? I just threw a comment out of context. It’s not dangerous.

Martin

No, it’s bollocks. It’s not everyone’s reviews, it’s a certain subset of societys reviews. Do you really think hip hop magazines, bang on about or even give a fuck about, the merits or validity of Blonde On Blonde or Pet Sounds. On top of that, the majority of the world couldn’t give a toss what critics say, let alone use them as a barometer of what music they enjoy or want to buy. I don’t know what you deem as creative but for me, Thriller is on many levels. It’s not only the most popular album of all time and… Read more »

Nick

What’s your point? That’s like 99% of music out there!

WV27

There is an interesting comment in Sandra Bullock’s film The Lost City. She plays a romance novelist who’s extremely popular but would prefer to write serious work. The cover model says, “How can I be embarrassed by something that brings so much joy to so many people?”
If you like something, enjoy it. But don’t try to negate someone else’s happiness.
Same with your quote about Agatha Christie. Hundreds of millions of people bought her books. It obviously brought them joy. Why insult their taste?

Jorge Neto

Hi MJD, do you have any estimate of how many albums Michael sold since his passing in 2009? According to Soundscan he sold 16.1 million albums in the US alone as of 2019, is it possible to make a worldwide figure?

césar

some of y’all need to shut up
michael had 6 studio albums and the beatles 13
the beatles did it in 7 years and mj in 22 years

the thing is that both found their own way into their success and there’s no excuse to invalidate the other, just SHUT UPPPPP

Sonique

Not to mention that Michael has actually 10 studio albums. Anyway, they’re both icons

Last edited 9 months ago by Sonique
Suhayb

He had 6 albums as an adult. If we don’t add
The other four albums ,they won’t affect that
Much.

Last edited 9 months ago by Suhayb
yutgbtht

mj I a solo artist being compared to a band , I think that says enough

Clockingbell

Just out of curiosity, there probably are good reasons, but is History the only album that is counted twice? Or are any of the other (double) albums also treated this way?

Sonique

I hope this works so they could answer you soon

Suhayb

Why number of sales are changing?
Do they update daily?

Sonique

Streams are updated daily. The EAS from streams cause movement on their sales.

Clockingbell

Alas, the question is probably too dumb/difficult or easy for me to search for

Mcphattys

Well disc one of history is a compilation and disc two is a studio album and disc on is certified platinum in the us but disc two is certified 8 times platinum in the us so the compilation and studio album are considered like two separate things even though they are put together.

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