It took the tragic and unexpected death of Michael Jackson to help the record industry boost sales. Early reports indicate that three Jackson LPs are on target to rank very high in the week’s sales charts. In fact, Billboard reports that this is the first time a catalog album (let alone three catalog albums) has sold more than any “new release.” Even more remarkable is that the vast majority of these sales happened between Thursday (when Jackson died) and Sunday night (when tallies end). The Number One contender, Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D., will rank #1 on the Billboard charts but will sell less than the three Jackson albums. Jackson’s albums will not be included in the primary chart, because they are catalog titles. From the story:
Three of Jackson’s albums — “Number Ones,” “The Essential Michael Jackson” and “Thriller” — each sold around 100,000 copies last week. The sales tracking week ended at the close of business on Sunday (June 28) night. To compare, Jackson’s entire catalog of solo albums sold 10,000 in the week that ended June 21.
The aforementioned titles will also be the top three albums on Billboard’s Top Pop Catalog chart, and Jackson may lock up anywhere between six to nine slots in tally’s the top 10. Other Jackson albums looking to make a big splash on the chart include “Off the Wall, “Bad,” “Dangerous” and his box set “The Ultimate Collection.” Additionally, two Jackson 5 compilations — “The Ultimate Collection” and “20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection” — are both doing brisk business.
Previously, the record for the most concurrent top 10 titles by an act was five. Both AC/DC and the Beatles managed that feat. There is also the chance that the entire top 10 on the Pop Catalog chart may be filled with Jackson-related titles, counting the two Jackson 5 compilations.
Last week’s No. 1 on the Pop Catalog chart was TobyMac’s “Portable Sounds” with 9,000 copies sold. The Pop Catalog chart, established in 1991, houses albums that are at least 18 months old. Catalog albums are ineligible to appear on the Billboard 200 albums chart, though they can chart on the all-encompassing Top Comprehensive Albums list.
UPDATED: According to Billboard, “As predicted, Michael Jackson is once again the King of the Pop charts. Based on preliminary sales numbers from Nielsen SoundScan, the entire top nine positions on Billboard’s Top Pop Catalog Albums chart will house Jackson-related titles when the tally is released in the early morning on Wednesday (July 1). Nielsen SoundScan’s sales tracking week ended at the close of business on Sunday (June 28) night.”