CSPC: Michael Jackson Popularity Analysis

Michael Jackson

Physical Singles Sales – Part 2

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

Off The Wall (1979) – 2,283,000 equivalent albums

Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough – 2,870,000
Rock With You – 2,650,000
Off The Wall – 970,000
She’s Out Of My Life – 1,090,000
Girlfriend – 30,000

Thriller (1982) – 5,229,000 equivalent albums

The Girl Is Mine – 1,970,000
Billie Jean – 4,870,000
Beat It – 4,410,000
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – 1,450,000
Human Nature – 770,000
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – 930,000
Thriller – 3,030,000

Bad (1987) – 3,948,000 equivalent albums

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – 2,180,000
Bad – 2,320,000
The Way You Make Me Feel – 2,030,000
Man In The Mirror – 1,600,000
Dirty Diana– 1,970,000
Another Part of Me – 950,000
Smooth Criminal – 1,390,000
Leave Me Alone – 500,000
Liberian Girl – 220,000

Artists selling a lot of albums are rarely good sellers of singles and vice versa. This kind of mechanical rule didn’t stop Michael Jackson from performing incredibly well. From 1979, his singles reached the million mark more often than not. The cult pairing of Billie Jean / Beat It sold more than 9 million together!

Even more impressive than the magnitude of each hit, the most striking fact is the number of such hits per era. With 4 US Top 10 hits, Off The Wall already set the all-time record for the most Top 10 hits from one album. He smashed his own record with 7 top 10 hits from Thriller. Never afraid of challenging himself, Michael went on to register 5 #1 smashes from Bad.

Every song released in the US for this period sold at least 770,000 units worldwide. This historical consistency concludes on combined singles sales from Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad totaling some 7,6 million, 17,4 million and 13,2 million units respectively.

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