Jackson 5 & The Jacksons albums and songs sales

Counting 1, 2, 3 is easy. It isn’t so simple to go up to the number of records sold by the Jackson 5. Their popularity was immense from day 1 with four US #1 hits less than a year after they first entered the Billboard Hot 100. Nowadays they are mainly remembered as the group where a young Michael Jackson began though.

1979 - Destiny Tour

A group that released songs like I Want You Back,  ABC, I’ll Be There and Dancing Machine and then Enjoy Yourself, Blame It on the Boogie, Shake Your Body and Can You Feel It under their later name The Jacksons can’t be overlooked. From 1969 to 1980 they dropped album after album. Some were successful, others weren’t. They were mostly regarded as a singles band  with the market being largely dominated by this format at the time.

As the Motown label, which owned the group under their Jackson 5 line-up, wasn’t affiliated with the RIAA, their sales have been the subject to many myths. From their biggest doubters to the most insane claims, which famously included in 1985 ‘The Jackson 5 sold 100 million records’, and second to the Beatles, we have read it all. It’s time to sort every number to point out the real achievements of the teen-R&B group.

Table of Contents

ChartMasters’ method: the CSPC

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) in order to relevantly gauge the act’s results. It will not only bring you sales information for all albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will really determine the act’s popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before reading on and to the sales figures. You’ll get the idea in just two minutes.

And if you want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s detailed sales figures!

Original Albums Sales (Jackson 5)

NB: N/A means no specific number is available. Sales from the country are still accounted for in the Worldwide estimate by using figure patterns of both the artist and the country market. Countries not displayed in this fixed panel are also factored in.

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 (1969)

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  • America
    • US – 900,000
    • Canada – 80,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 135,000
    • Japan – 60,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 40,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 380,000
    • UK – 125,000
    • France – 75,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 1,600,000

ABC (1970)

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  • America
    • US – 1,100,000
    • Canada – 70,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 225,000
    • Japan – 100,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 60,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 550,000
    • UK – 150,000
    • France – 125,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – 25,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 2,075,000

Third Album (1970)

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  • America
    • US – 1,400,000
    • Canada – 90,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 90,000
    • Japan – 50,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 220,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – 30,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 1,900,000

Jackson 5 Christmas Album (1970)

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  • America
    • US – 2,200,000
    • Canada – 180,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Europe – 350,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,075,000

Maybe Tomorrow (1971)

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  • America
    • US – 750,000
    • Canada – 55,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 90,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – 10,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 975,000

Lookin’ Through the Windows (1972)

  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 35,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 210,000
    • UK – 125,000
    • France – 15,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 1,150,000

Skywriter (1973)

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  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – 20,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 10,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 70,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – 15,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 325,000

G.I.T.: Get It Together (1973)

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  • America
    • US – 250,000
    • Canada – 10,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 50,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 350,000

Dancing Machine (1974)

  • America
    • US – 550,000
    • Canada – 65,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 120,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – 25,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 850,000

Moving Violation (1975)

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  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – N/A
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 40,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 300,000

Original Albums Sales (The Jacksons)

NB: N/A means no specific number is available. Sales from the country are still accounted for in the Worldwide estimate by using figure patterns of both the artist and the country market. Countries not displayed in this fixed panel are also factored in.

The Jacksons (1976)

  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 35,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 240,000
    • Japan – 120,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 580,000
    • UK – 100,000
    • France – 120,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 1,800,000

Goin’ Places (1977)

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  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – 10,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 160,000
    • Japan – 100,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 250,000
    • UK – 50,000
    • France – 60,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World -675,000

Destiny (1978)

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  • America
    • US – 1,600,000
    • Canada – 70,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 290,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 125,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 980,000
    • UK – 140,000
    • France – 250,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – 60,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – 100,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,150,000

Triumph (1980)

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  • America
    • US – 1,800,000
    • Canada – 80,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 275,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 100,000
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Europe – 720,000
    • UK – 210,000
    • France – 125,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 20,000
    • Netherland – 50,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,075,000

Victory (1984)

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  • America
    • US – 2,000,000
    • Canada – 275,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 500,000
    • Japan – 300,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 75,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 1,420,000
    • UK – 160,000
    • France – 200,000
    • Germany – 300,000
    • Italy – 150,000
    • Spain – 100,000
    • Sweden – 25,000
    • Netherland – 80,000
    • Switzerland – 40,000
    • Austria – 30,000
    • Finland – 35,000
  • World – 4,475,000

2300 Jackson Street (1989)

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  • America
    • US – 225,000
    • Canada – 25,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 280,000
    • UK – 30,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 100,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – 15,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – 20,000
    • Switzerland – 10,000
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 625,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

There are two ways of looking at those figures. The first is to be disappointed by the fact no album reached 5 million units and combined totals are 12,6 million for the Jackson 5 and 13,8 million for the Jacksons. These totals represent respective averages of 1,26 million and 2,3 million.

The second way of looking at those numbers is highlighting 26,4 million albums sold in a singles era for a band that sold a great volume in that format and that had its LPs quickly replaced by compilations. It is also worth noting that 7 of their albums outsold their debut LP, an impressive feat considering they were a teen act that started strongly.

The Jackson 5

1969 Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 – 1,600,000
1970 ABC – 2,075,000
1970 Third Album – 1,900,000
1970 Jackson 5 Christmas Album – 3,075,000
1971 Maybe Tomorrow – 975,000
1972 Lookin’ Through the Windows – 1,150,000
1973 Skywriter – 325,000
1973 G.I.T.: Get It Together – 350,000
1974 Dancing Machine – 850,000
1975 Moving Violation – 300,000

The Jacksons

1976 The Jacksons – 1,800,000
1977 Goin’ Places – 675,000
1978 Destiny – 3,150,000
1980 Triumph – 3,075,000
1984 Victory – 4,475,000

The Jacksons (without Michael Jackson)

1989 2300 Jackson Street – 625,000

Physical Singles Sales

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

1969-71

In spite of selling mostly in the US in their early days, the Jackson 5 had no problem hitting 1 million sales per single. In fact, their first five hits combine for an outstanding 11,5 million units sold. From them, Mama’s Pearl was the worst performer and yet it still was a #2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Cashbox. Never Can Say Goodbye replicated exactly the same peaks and similar sales too.

This insane string of smashes couldn’t last forever. From their #1/2 standards, the group dropped one level to hit #20 with Maybe Tomorrow, which was still a solid seller in spite of dreadful airplay figures. The norm for teen acts is that after the hype slows down the act falls more and more until disappearing from the map. How have the Jackson 5 sustained their sales during the following years?

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 (1969) – 876,000 equivalent albums

I Want You Back – 2,920,000

ABC (1970) – 1,224,000 equivalent albums

The Love You Save – 1,840,000
ABC – 2,240,000

Third Album (1970) – 1,365,000 equivalent albums

I’ll Be There – 2,870,000
Mama’s Pearl – 1,670,000
Remaining Singles – 10,000

Jackson 5 Christmas Album (1970) – 108,000 equivalent albums

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – 360,000

Maybe Tomorrow (1971) – 714,000 equivalent albums

Never Can Say Goodbye – 1,560,000
Maybe Tomorrow – 820,000

1972-75 and orphan songs

The years between 1972-1975 are clearly regarded as difficult ones for the Jackson brothers. Even during their darkest hour they still sold decent numbers with their singles as most albums had at least one hit selling around half a million units.

The highlight of this period is the robot-dance classic hit Dancing Machine. One more Billboard #2 and Cashbox #1 hit, the song quickly catapulted to over 1 million sales in the US. Although it sold very poorly elsewhere, its 1,75 million US sales grant it a great worldwide total.

Lookin’ Through the Windows (1972) – 351,000 equivalent albums

Lookin’ Through the Windows – 490,000
Doctor My Eyes – 140,000
Little Bitty Pretty One – 540,000

Skywriter (1973) – 231,000 equivalent albums

Skywriter –  70,000
Hallelujah Day – 350,000
Corner of the Sky – 330,000
Remaining Singles – 20,000

G.I.T.: Get It Together (1973) – 696,000 equivalent albums

Get It Together – 410,000
Dancing Machine – 1,910,000

Dancing Machine (1974) – 234,000 equivalent albums

I Am Love – 550,000
Whatever You Got, I Want – 220,000
Remaining Singles – 10,000

Moving Violation (1975) – 42,000 equivalent albums

Forever Came Today – 140,000

Orphan – 342,000 equivalent albums

Sugar Daddy – 1,090,000
Remaining Singles – 50,000

1976-78

Moving away from Motown to enjoy more artistic liberty at Epic, and try by themselves to turn around the relatively low period they were in, The Jacksons started this new era with back-to-back hits. Enjoy Yourself reached #6 in the US while Show You the Way to Go was surprisingly their first UK #1 hit.

The enthusiasm was quickly shut down by Goin’ Places’ era which failed to make noise. One of the big strengths of the Jacksons was the pace of their releases and the public had no time to notice the flop of Goin’ Places as Destiny was issued.

Blame It on the Boogie and Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) were both Top 10 hits in the UK, with the latter smashing hard in the US also, providing it nearly 2 million sales overall. In total, the singles from Destiny  amassed nearly 800,000 equivalent album sales, the highest total for the group since the Third Album way back in 1970.

The Jacksons (1976) – 726,000 equivalent albums

Enjoy Yourself – 1,360,000
Show You the Way to Go – 970,000
Dreamer – 90,000

Goin’ Places (1977) – 123,000 equivalent albums

Goin’ Places – 300,000
Even Though You’re Gone – 40,000
Find Me a Girl – 60,000
Remaining Singles – 10,000

Destiny (1978) – 792,000 equivalent albums

Blame It on the Boogie – 710,000
Things I Do for You – 10,000
Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – 1,880,000
Destiny – 40,000

The 80s

Although three of them became classic Funk / Disco hits, no song from Triumph reached the top 10 in the US. It was seen as pretty disappointing considering Michael Jackson had recorded 4 Top 10 hits from his Off The Wall album a few months earlier. Can You Feel It used the new popularity of the lead singer to reach the Top 10 in the UK and the Netherlands and even #1 in Belgium and South Africa.

The MJ-effect was even bigger with Victory. Issued just after Thriller, the album and its singles had a much bigger global impact than the previous Jackson 5 / Jacksons records. The song which benefited the most from this situation is State of Shock at 1,87 million.

In the same way that the presence of Michael Jackson worked positively for Triumph and Victory, his absence was a disaster for the album 2300 Jackson Street. Its lead single bombed at #77 in the US while follow up singles never managed to reach the Hot 100.

Triumph (1980) – 639,000 equivalent albums

Can You Feel It – 520,000
Lovely One – 890,000
This Place Hotel – 580,000
Time Waits for No One – 10,000
Walk Right Now – 130,000

Victory (1984) – 834,000 equivalent albums

Torture – 710,000
State of Shock – 1,870,000
Body – 190,000
Remaining Singles – 10,000

2300 Jackson Street (1989) – 51,000 equivalent albums

Nothin’ (That Compares 2 U) – 160,000
Remaining Singles – 10,000

Digital Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

1969-71

Not all songs of the Jackson 5 are equally remembered. The Love You Save and I’ll Be There were both solid #1 hits but add for just 1,14 million downloads, an average result for songs that were so successful upon release.

Elsewhere, I Want You Back and ABC retained their popularity and more. Both songs combine for over 6 millions sales.

Those classic Motown hits aren’t the only songs which remain strong. Who’s Lovin’ You is likely more popular today than it has ever been. The former B-Side of I Want You Back has been extensively sang on X Factor-like TV shows giving it a second youth.

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 (1969) – 620,000 equivalent albums

I Want You Back – 3,500,000
Who’s Lovin’ You – 600,000
Remaining tracks – 30,000

ABC (1970) – 474,000 equivalent albums

The Love You Save – 420,000
ABC – 2,680,000
Remaining tracks – 60,000

Third Album (1970) – 126,000 equivalent albums

I’ll Be There – 720,000
Remaining tracks – 120,000

Jackson 5 Christmas Album (1970) – 150,000 equivalent albums

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – 430,000
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – 180,000
Remaining tracks – 390,000

Maybe Tomorrow (1971) – 80,000 equivalent albums

Never Can Say Goodbye – 480,000
Remaining tracks – 50,000

1973-75 and orphan songs

If each of the first five albums had at least one song over 400,000 downloads, only one from the next five managed that same feat. That’s Get It Together which contained the original version of Dancing Machine. The remaining Top 20 Hot 100 hits from those years like Lookin’ Through the Windows, Corner of the Sky and I Am Love are now completely forgotten.

Lookin’ Through the Windows (1972) – 14,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 90,000

Skywriter (1973) – 5,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 30,000

G.I.T.: Get It Together (1973) – 71,000 equivalent albums

Dancing Machine – 440,000
Remaining tracks – 30,000

Dancing Machine (1974) – 6,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 40,000

Moving Violation (1975) – 8,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 50,000

Orphan – 75,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 500,000

1976-78

Enjoy Yourself has been surprisingly weak lately, with Show You the Way to Go doing even worse. Both songs had almost no impact even during the much hyped passing of Michael Jackson.

The same can’t be said about Blame It on the Boogie and Shake Your Body which continue to be pretty popular. Even before their inclusion on various Disco hits playlists they were doing well on iTunes.

The Jacksons (1976) – 33,000 equivalent albums

Enjoy Yourself – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 70,000

Goin’ Places (1977) – 3,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 20,000

Destiny (1978) – 246,000 equivalent albums

Blame It on the Boogie – 740,000
Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – 870,000
Remaining tracks – 30,000

The 80s

Victory was lucky to follow up Thriller as its songs are far from being fan favorites to this day. Can You Feel It matured well though, it is the third most downloaded song from the Jacksons.

Triumph (1980) – 129,000 equivalent albums

Can You Feel It – 660,000
Lovely One – 70,000
This Place Hotel – 90,000
Remaining tracks – 40,000

Victory (1984) – 15,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 100,000

2300 Jackson Street (1989) – 3,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 20,000

Streaming Sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 132 million of the 212 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Streaming Part 1

I Want You Back may be 48 years old, but the song continues to be as fresh as ever. Nobody would have guessed way back in 1969 that by 2017 it would be neck and neck with Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival as the most streamed song from the 60s on Spotify. In fact, even the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley don’t have a song challenging I Want You Back and its outstanding 176,5 million streams. The absence of plays from album tracks was expected. Who’s Lovin’ You does very well still at 25 million. Overall, the album has 227,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

The ABC album has one massive smash too with its title track. At 107 million, the hit is comfortably among the Top 50 hits of the 70s. Album tracks are more consistent from those of the debut LP, but at this level this is rather irrelevant in comparison to breakthrough hits like ABC. In total the LP has 133,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

Streaming Part 2

I’ll Be There hasn’t maintained the level of success of I Want You Back and ABC, but at 23 million Spotify streams and 53 million YouTube views it isn’t performing badly at all. Thanks to it, the Third Album has 34,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

The Christmas Album, like every Christmas album, is proportionally very strong on Spotify. Almost all of its songs are over 1 million with the classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town riding on 27 million.

Streaming Part 3

Never Can Say Goodbye, a song that reached the Top 10 under 3 distinct versions in the US and the UK as it was successfully covered by Gloria Gaynor and The Communards, has a modest 6 million streams on Spotify. Although it is modest, it is much better than every other song from those albums.

As a result equivalent album sales of those records are very limited with a total of only 15,000 units.

Streaming Part 4

More of the same with Dancing Machine being the only song not forgotten from this batch. Equivalent album sales are irrelevant as a whole.

Streaming Part 5

Studio albums of the Jacksons have better catalog sales than the Jackson 5. Thus, it may come as a surprise that their streams aren’t higher at all. The reason for that is the complete absence of a proper Jacksons compilation until 2004 that made the original sets do well in the long run.

Streaming Part 6

Blame It on the Boogie, Shake Your Body and Can You Feel It are all solid songs on Spotify. They help both Destiny and Triumph to achieve much higher equivalent album sales than their albums since 1971 at 71,000 and 32,000 units respectively.

Streaming Part 7

State of Shock was a top 10 hit in various countries thanks to the huge hype surrounding Michael at that moment. It feels completely out of fashion now with 1,5 million streams on Spotify. Streams of Michael-less 2300 Jackson Street album songs are dreadful with less than 1,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 8

An extensive list of songs doesn’t imply high sales nor streams. The countless songs that came out among anthology / rarities packages remain unknown with the two songs topping 1 million streams being a medley of their popular hits and Christmas songs.

Full Length related record Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

Remaining Long Format – Part 1 – Compilations #1

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Greatest Hits compilation line, those figures mean it sold 4,725,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 396,000 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from ABC are responsible for 32% of the Greatest Hits track list attractiveness. This means it generated 1,525,000 of its 4,725,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

The 1971 Greatest Hits is the one that contains all the initial hits of the Jackson brothers that has continued selling ever since its release. With two songs as massive as I Want You Back and ABC, their parent albums dominate in fully the track lists of all their compilations.

Please notice that some packages do not have 100% of their sales assigned to the studio albums listed on this page. For example, only 6% of One Day In Your Life are assigned. Indeed, the remaining 94% of streams from the album are credited to Michael Jackson as a soloist so those sales will be awarded to his albums instead.

We can see 3 batches of releases after the initial 1971 compilation. The first came in 1976 when the Jackson 5 left Motown. The second arrived in 1980/1981 to benefit from the success of Off The Wall. The third impacted the market from 1983 after the hysteria around Thriller. It was only the beginning of a never-ending influx of similar packages.

Remaining Long Format – Part 2 – Compilations #2

The flood of Motown compilations continues with mostly unnoticeable results. As most of them were constantly facing the competition of similar packages, their sales remained low.

Remaining Long Format – Part 3 – Compilations #3

More of the same with the difference that The Ultimate Collection managed to sell decently at 1,6 million units to date. Please notice that all those compilations are still exclusively Motown packages, entirely avoiding the Epic discography under the name of The Jacksons.

Remaining Long Format – Part 4 – Compilations #4

Here they are! Some 20 years after the release of Victory, the first compilations from The Jacksons arrived in 2004. The irony is that as many as 4 came out within a few months! The Motown / Epic agreement is indeed very visible and once it was reached, all kind of packages were issued.  The Very Best Of was a proper Jackson 5 / Jacksons / Michael at Motown career-spanning set, The Essential Jacksons focused on their Epic period, Story retraced the entire history of the family while The Ultimate Collection was the first box set of Michael Jackson including his two discographies.

Remaining Long Format – Part 5 – Compilations #5

Mid-00s best of albums obviously saw their sales increased by the untimely death of Michael. As far as his own The Essential from 2005 is concerned, it sold a very solid 7,25 million units to date with as many as 15% of them going to the songs with his brothers.

Remaining Long Format – Part 6 – Compilations #6

After 1976, 1980, 1983 and 2004, the fifth huge set of compilations arrived in 2009 for obvious reasons. As the market was already full of identical packages, most of them sold poorly.

Remaining Long Format – Part 7 – Videos / Soundtracks

The big selling packages which included Jackson 5 songs are expectedly those of Michael. His Live in Bucharest DVD is a good example of that as well as the Soundtrack to his concert movie This Is It.

Remaining Long Format – Part 8 – Remixes / Lives

Among the Jacksons‘ packages, The Jacksons Live! sold decent amounts as it was the only compilation-like package for more than 20 years.

Remaining Long Format – Part 9 – Box sets

When studio albums do not contain songs strong enough to get retailers to stock them, there is still a way for majors to gain purchases from retailers. The main tool is obviously the compilation which merges strengths of a catalog together for casual buyers. All artists have die-hard fans though, so to make sure they get all the studio album box sets cheaper than the combination of all its albums happen to be relevant. Here they are with sales re-assigned into the original albums.

Full Length related records Sales – Summary

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw.

The immense popularity of I Want You Back and Who’s Lovin’ You is rewarded with nearly 10 million equivalent album sales generated through compilations. ABC performs half as well while the remaining albums are much lower.

BONUS: Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

  • America
    • US – 23,005,000
    • Canada – 1,700,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 3,100,000
    • Japan – 1,625,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 1,100,000
    • New Zealand – 200,000
  • Europe – 8,660,000
    • UK – 1,900,000
    • France – 1,550,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 39,100,000

Please note that some of the countries totals may be slightly incomplete when the figure is N/A for minor releases. Countries with too much missing information to be precise enough are listed as N/A.

Jackson 5 & The Jacksons Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Jackson 5 album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


Even if they maintained decent studio album sales during their entire career, the Jackson 5 are widely remembered nowadays for their two  early songs I Want You Back and ABC. The related albums combine for a stunning 22 million equivalent album sales, 13,3 million for Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 and 8,9 million for ABC.

Later years of the initial line-up was made up of hits and misses. The new incarnation of the group The Jacksons doesn’t have a stand-out point like the Jackson 5 in 1970, but their consistency has been notable. The last 3 albums which included Michael averaged 5 million equivalent album sales, led by Victory at 5,3 million. Destiny is a close second, and since it is a better performer on digital platforms, it will ultimately jump to the first position among albums on the Epic label.

It is hard to determine how their sales and streams would be today if it wasn’t for the legendary career of Michael in later years, but at 57,45 million the position of the Jackson 5 / Jacksons in the hall of fame of Black music is uncontested. The strong current showing of several of their hits will solidify their status during the upcoming years.

The following sections list their most successful songs as well as their records and achievements.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

BIGGEST TRACKS – Jackson 5 & The Jacksons

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

  1. 1969 – I Want You Back [Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5] – 12,100,000
  2. 1970 – ABC [ABC] – 7,660,000
  3. 1970 – I’ll Be There [Third Album] – 4,220,000
  4. 1980 – Can You Feel It [Triumph] – 3,140,000
  5. 1978 – Blame It on the Boogie [Destiny] – 3,020,000
  6. 1984 – State of Shock [Victory] – 2,730,000
  7. 1978 – Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) [Destiny] – 2,110,000
  8. 1971 – Never Can Say Goodbye [Maybe Tomorrow] – 1,670,000
  9. 1970 – Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town [Jackson 5 Christmas Album] – 1,560,000
  10. 1976 – Enjoy Yourself [The Jacksons] – 1,380,000
  11. 1984 – Torture [Victory] – 1,280,000
  12. 1969 – Who’s Lovin’ You [Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5] – 1,170,000
  13. 1973 – Dancing Machine [G.I.T.: Get It Together] – 1,130,000
  14. 1970 – The Love You Save [ABC] – 1,110,000
  15. 1976 – Show You the Way to Go [The Jacksons] – 920,000

Records & Achievements

  • At 176,5 million streams on Spotify, I Want You Back is virtually tied with Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival as the most played track from the 60s on the platform.
  • With 107,3 million streams on Spotify, ABC is among the Top 40 most streamed tracks from the 70s.
  • Their song I’ll Be There is one of the 9 songs that topped the US Hot 100 for different artists. Mariah Carey was the second to reach top spot with the song in 1992 with her cover. At 5 weeks, it was the longest #1 hit of all 9 songs.
  • With 4 US Hot 100 #1 during the calendar year of 1970, the Jackson 5 are tied-second to the Beatles for the most #1s in a year. The Beatles got 6 in 1964 and 5 in 1965. The first artist with 4 #1s in a year was Elvis Presley in 1956 while the last was Rihanna in 2010.
  • At 11 years and 155 days, Michael Jackson is the youngest artist ever to top the Hot 100 while leading the Jackson 5 on I Want You Back.
  • For 20 years, the Jackson 5 remained the artist with the most consecutive #1 hits from their debut with 4 until being topped by Mariah Carey with 5. Ironically, their 5th and 6th singles were #1 hits on Cashbox but were blocked at #2 inside the Billboard Hot 100.

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