CSPC: Michael Jackson Popularity Analysis

Michael Jackson tributo 2010 al Rock Star Café (3)

Physical Singles Sales – Part 3

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Dangerous (1991) – 3,036,000 equivalent albums

Black Or White – 2,860,000
Remember The Time – 1,450,000
In The Closet – 970,000
Jam – 570,000
Who Is It – 700,000
Heal The World – 1,760,000
Give In To Me – 580,000
Will You Be There – 1,110,000
Gone Too Soon – 120,000

HIStory (1995) – 3,006,000 equivalent albums

Scream – 1,550,000
You Are Not Alone – 2,970,000
Earth Song – 2,880,000
They Don’t Care About Us – 1,820,000
Stranger In Moscow – 360,000
HIStory/Ghosts – 440,000

Invincible (2001) – 339,000 equivalent albums

You Rock My World – 1,050,000
Cry – 80,000

Michael (2010) – 6,000 equivalent albums

Hold My Hand – 20,000

Orphan – 3,450,000 equivalent albums

Ease On Down The Road – 360,000
You Can’t Win – 120,000
A Brand New Day – 230,000
One Day In Your Life – 1,110,000
Say Say Say – 4,570,000
Farewell My Summer Love – 570,000
Girl You’re So Together – 60,000
Somebody’s Watching Me – 2,760,000
Get It – 170,000
Why – 430,000
Blood On The Dancefloor – 950,000
One More Chance – 170,000

Dangerous had only one song at near 2 million or more, Black Or White, against 4 each for Thriller and Bad. This is due to Dangerous’ singles, bar the lead one, hitting some markets while failing others, unlike 80s smashes that were huge everywhere. Singles from this era still had an incredible consistency as 7 made the Top 10 in France and the UK while 8 reached the top tier in New-Zealand. Thanks to this impressive volume, Dangerous‘ singles sold more than 10 million units combined.

HIStory is an atypical release. The presence of a greatest hits disc made the album incredibly expensive, especially since millions of people already owned most of the songs from the compilation CD. To answer this situation, many consumers decided to go buy the singles rather than the album.

That’s how Earth Song and They Don’t Care About Us became some of his top selling singles ever in Europe. Even if it wasn’t released in the US, the former sold almost 3 million. With 3 singles less than Dangerous, the HIStory era amassed 10 million physical singles sales.

The truncated promotion campaign by Sony is very visible here with a mere 2 singles released from Invincible, one of which wasn’t released in the US. The market was also collapsing so total sales are much lower than that of previous albums.

There is still some interesting stuff among the Orphan category. One Day In Your Life sold past 1 million mostly thanks to huge UK sales where it reached #1. Say Say Say, the duet with Paul McCartney, is a tremendous seller. In a 00s context, it would have most likely pushed an expanded edition of Thriller with it, although it wasn’t the norm at the time. The same can be said about the Rockwell smash Somebody’s Watching Me which didn’t fail to surf the Michael Jackson wave. Blood On The Dancefloor sold nearly 1 million units while promoting the remix album with the same title name.

The cumulative tally of his physical singles over the course of his career is up to 79,35 million.

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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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