Michael Jackson Owns The Charts Once Again

noah | June 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Above: the top three albums on the latest album-sales chart put together by industry rag Hits, which tallied sales through Sunday. Michael Jackson took all three of the top spots, with Thriller notching 106,956 sales, the 38-song compilation Essential Michael Jackson selling 105,648 copies, and the more pared-down Number Ones collection moving 104,163 units. These numbers will likely be at least somewhat different than the ones proferred by Billboard tomorrow–and the release dates of these albums, as well as Jackson’s other catalog, will result in them landing on the all-encompassing Billboard Comprehensive Albums chart, as opposed to the newer-skewing Billboard 200–but they’re still worth noting, particularly since (as Chris Molanphy pointed out to me) these numbers might eventually represent a moment when lots of casual music consumers hit up digital-music outlets for the first time. Late last night, Billboard ran an item presaging Jackson’s return to pop-chart dominance, and it noted that the potential for digital sales were high:

The bulk of Jackson’s album sales came from digital retailers, as many brick and mortar stores quickly ran out of available stock. Sources say his “Essential Michael Jackson,” “Number Ones” and “Thriller” each sold more than 30,000 digital albums, with “Essential” moving more than 70,000 downloads alone.

Digital sales totals will be broken out more comprehensively when tomorrow’s full SoundScan charts are released, but given the numbers proffered by Hits, I wouldn’t be surprised if Number Ones broke at least the 50k mark on digital sales alone. (I personally bought Off The Wall, Bad, and a handful of cherry-picked album tracks; my vinyl copies of the former two were unavailable, and I really wanted to hear “Another Part Of Me” even more than Kiss 98.7 was spinning it. And I should probably mention that I purchased both volumes of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Greatest Hits, too.) All these sales might have the added effect of helping ease at least some of Jackson’s financial problems, as well.

It’s also worth noting that the top current album–the Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D.–didn’t break the six-figure mark according to Hits‘ tallies. Even with the whole Perez incident! Man, does last Monday seem like forever ago or what?

Building Album Sales Chart [Hits] Surge in Jackson sales allays debt fears [FT]