Album artist 9 - Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson Region Profile

Michael Jackson Chart Profile

This page lists the album chart runs of Michael Jackson. A list of songs by Michael Jackson can be found here. The albums are listed with the most widely successful first.

From the hype put out by his record company and fans one might have thought that Michael Jackson was at least in the top 10 artists of all time. He had what is probably the world's biggest selling album, was the greatest song act in 1983 and the greatest album act in 1982. However his second biggest album was outside the all-time top 100. However despite his long career, he failed to have consistent hits, his years at the very top were really quite limited. His high position in the list of artists is clearly an artifact of the chart data available. He was, of course, one of the The Jackson 5.

# Artist Album Title Year Chart Entries
1 Michael Jackson Thriller 1982 UK 1 - Dec 1982 (217 weeks), Billboard 1 - Dec 1982 (268 weeks) (37 weeks at number 1) (78 weeks in top 10), US CashBox 1 of 1983, US 1 of 1983, US num 1 for 37 weeks - Feb 1983, US BB 1 of 1983, Library of Congress artifact added 2007 (1982), Canada 1 for 13 weeks - 1983, Germany 1 for 11 weeks - Jun 1983, Germany 1 - Mar 1983 (147 weeks), Sweden 1 - Dec 1982 (72 weeks), Australia num 1 for 11 weeks - Jun 1983, Australia (Kent) 1 of 1983 (peak 1), New Zealand 1 for 11 - Jun 1983, Japan 1 for 2 weeks - Mar 1984, Italy 1 of 1983, France (InfoDisc) 1 of 1983 (peak 1, 113 weeks), Global 1 - 50 M claimed, Internet 1 - 54 M claimed (1982), Grammy in 1983, Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 (1982), Brit best album 1984, BEA 1 of 1982, Worldwide 1 - 46 M, 2 x Diamond in Canada (certified in Apr 1984), US sales 28 M (according to RIAA), US 27 X Platinum (certified by RIAA in Apr 2005), US (Sup) 29 x Platinum (certified by RIAA in Aug 2009), UK 11 x Platinum (certified by BPI in Jul 1992), Germany 3 x Platinum (certified by BMieV in 1995), Argentina Diamond (1982), UK Radio2 2, DMDB 2, Hong Kong Platinum (certified by IFPI-HK in 1984), Europe Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2009), Austria 3 - Feb 1983 (22 months), Billboard200 3, NARM 3, Defin200 3 (1982), Switzerland 4 - Nov 1983 (52 weeks), Channel4 4, Norway 6 - Dec 1982 (45 weeks), Vatican 6 of all time, UK all time album 6 (1982), PopVortex 7 (1982), Japan 7 of all time (international albums) (sales 1.69), Melody Maker 7 of 1982, UK 8 of all time (3.6 M claimed) (1982), RS Reader's 12, New Zealand 14 of all time (1982, 12 X Platinum), Guiness 14, Rolling Stone 20, Australia (ARIA) 32 of 2009, Acclaimed 33 (1982), Vinyl Surrender 40 of all time, Belgium 44 of all time (1982), US Longest Running Album 55 1982 (178 weeks), Virgin 64, WTMD 74, Finland 78 of all time (claimed 88,667) (1982), RS100 85, Radio Caroline 89 (1982), WXPN 127 (1982), RYM 15 of 1982, AVrev 23, KEXP 122, Xgau rating A (1982)
2 Michael Jackson Bad 1987 UK 1 - Sep 1987 (148 weeks), Billboard 1 - Sep 1987 (150 weeks) (6 weeks at number 1) (39 weeks in top 10), US num 1 for 6 weeks - Sep 1987, Canada 1 for 1 week - 1987, Germany 1 for 11 weeks - Sep 1987, Germany 1 - Sep 1987 (127 weeks), Europe num 1 for 18 weeks - Oct 1987, Austria 1 - Oct 1987 (22 months), Switzerland 1 - Sep 1987 (54 weeks), Norway 1 - Sep 1987 (24 weeks), Sweden 1 - Sep 1987 (40 weeks), New Zealand 1 for 1 - Sep 1987, Japan 1 for 2 weeks - Sep 1987, France (InfoDisc) 1 of 1987 (peak 1, 102 weeks), US 8 X Platinum (certified by RIAA in Sep 1994), UK 13 x Platinum (certified by BPI in Jul 1992), Germany 4 x Platinum (certified by BMieV in 1995), Grammy in 1987 (Nominated), Hong Kong Platinum (certified by IFPI-HK in 1988), Europe Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2009), US BB 3 of 1987, US 5 of 1988, US CashBox 6 of 1988, BEA 6 of 1987, Italy 7 of 1987, UK all time album 9 (1987), UK 9 of all time (3.6 M claimed) (1987), Global 10 - 26 M claimed, US sales 8 M (according to RIAA), Australia (Kent) 16 of 1987 (peak 2), Internet 20 - 27 M claimed (1987), Guiness 23, Worldwide 24 - 20 M, UK Radio2 40, Australia (ARIA) 43 of 1988, Billboard200 138, Rolling Stone 202, Acclaimed 1616 (1987), RYM 84 of 1987, AVrev 94, Xgau rating B+ (1987)
3 Michael Jackson Off The Wall 1979 US BB 1 of 1980, Australia num 1 for 2 weeks - Mar 1980, Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 (1979), US 7 X Platinum (certified by RIAA in Dec 1995), US (Sup) 8 x Platinum (certified by RIAA in Aug 2009), US CashBox 2 of 1980, UK Platinum (certified by BPI in Dec 1979), France Platinum (certified by SNEP Aug 1995), Europe Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2009), UK 3 - Sep 1979 (200 weeks), Billboard 3 - Sep 1979 (191 weeks) (29 weeks in top 10), US 3 of 1980, Norway 4 - Dec 1979 (18 weeks), Hong Kong Gold (certified by IFPI-HK in 1983), D.Marsh 4 of 1979, US 70s 5 - Sep 1979 (2 months), Australia (Kent) 5 of 1980 (peak 1), BEA 6 of 1979, Melody Maker 7 of 1979, US sales 7 M (according to RIAA), Sweden 26 - Sep 1979 (18 weeks), Switzerland 27 - Jul 2009 (4 weeks), Channel4 29, France (InfoDisc) 56 of 1988 (peak 27, 7 weeks), PopVortex 61 (1979), US Longest Running Album 67 1979 (170 weeks), Rolling Stone 68, RS100 68, RS Reader's 72, Internet 73 - 16 M claimed (1979), NARM 80, Defin200 80 (1979), Guiness 92, Worldwide 96 - 9 M, Acclaimed 114 (1979), Billboard200 149, WTMD 225, WXPN 612 (1979), RYM 29 of 1979, KEXP 309, Xgau rating A (1979)
4 Michael Jackson History - Past, Present & Future, Book 1 1995 UK 1 - Jun 1995 (83 weeks), Billboard 1 - Jul 1995 (36 weeks) (2 weeks at number 1) (5 weeks in top 10), US num 1 for 2 weeks - Jul 1995, Canada 1 for 5 weeks - 1995, Germany 1 for 2 weeks - Jul 1995, Germany 1 - Jun 1995 (112 weeks), Europe num 1 for 5 weeks - Jul 1995, Switzerland 1 - Jun 1995 (67 weeks), Norway 1 - Jun 1995 (40 weeks), Australia num 1 for 2 weeks - Jul 1995, New Zealand 1 for 7 - Jul 1995, US 7 X Platinum (certified by RIAA in Oct 1999), UK 4 x Platinum (certified by BPI in Feb 1996), France Diamond (certified by SNEP Jun 1995), Germany 3 x Platinum (certified by BMieV in 1997), Europe 6 x Platinum (certified by IFIP in 1996), Austria 2 - Jul 1995 (15 months), Grammy in 1995 (Nominated), Sweden 3 - Jun 1995 (41 weeks), France (InfoDisc) 3 of 1995 (peak 1, 98 weeks), Australia (ARIA) 4 of 1995, US sales 7 M (according to RIAA), Italy 23 of 1995, US CashBox 26 of 1995, US BB 28 of 1995, Internet 65 - 17 M claimed (1995), Worldwide 89 - 11 M, RYM 178 of 1995
5 Michael Jackson Dangerous 1991 UK 1 - Nov 1991 (102 weeks), Billboard 1 - Dec 1991 (119 weeks) (4 weeks at number 1) (18 weeks in top 10), US num 1 for 4 weeks - Dec 1991, Germany 1 for 1 week - Sep 1992, Germany 1 - Dec 1991 (124 weeks), Europe num 1 for 7 weeks - Dec 1991, Switzerland 1 - Dec 1991 (41 weeks), Norway 1 - Dec 1991 (27 weeks), Australia num 1 for 6 weeks - Dec 1991, New Zealand 1 for 2 - May 1993, France (InfoDisc) 1 of 1991 (peak 1, 100 weeks), US 7 X Platinum (certified by RIAA in May 2000), UK 6 x Platinum (certified by BPI in Oct 1993), Germany 4 x Platinum (certified by BMieV in 1993), US 2 of 1992, Austria 2 - Dec 1991 (15 months), Sweden 2 - Dec 1991 (27 weeks), Italy 6 of 1992, Global 7 - 27 M claimed, US CashBox 10 of 1992, US sales 7 M (according to RIAA), US BB 11 of 1991, Australia (ARIA) 19 of 1992, Internet 20 - 27 M claimed (1991), Worldwide 40 - 18 M, UK Radio2 92, Defin200 115 (1991)
6 Michael Jackson Invincible 2001 UK 1 - Nov 2001 (3 weeks), Billboard 1 - Nov 2001 (28 weeks) (1 week at number 1) (3 weeks in top 10), US num 1 for 1 week - Nov 2001, Germany 1 for 1 week - Nov 2001, Germany 1 - Nov 2001 (3 weeks), Europe num 1 for 2 weeks - Nov 2001, Switzerland 1 - Nov 2001 (11 weeks), Norway 1 - Nov 2001 (10 weeks), Sweden 1 - Nov 2001 (4 weeks), Australia num 1 for 1 week - Nov 2001, US 2 X Platinum (certified by RIAA in Jan 2002), Europe 2 x Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2001), Austria 2 - Nov 2001 (1 month), UK Platinum (certified by BPI in Dec 2001), France Platinum (certified by SNEP Oct 2001), Germany Platinum (certified by BMieV in 2001), Australia (ARIA) 44 of 2001, US BB 45 of 2001, Italy 88 of 2001
7 Michael Jackson This Is It 2009 Billboard 1 - Nov 2009 (37 weeks) (1 week at number 1) (6 weeks in top 10), US num 1 for 1 week - Nov 2009, Canada 1 for 2 weeks - 2009, Sweden 1 - Nov 2009 (8 weeks), New Zealand 1 for 1 - Nov 2009, US (Sup) 2 x Platinum (certified by RIAA in Dec 2009), Switzerland 2 - Nov 2009 (7 weeks), UK 3 - Nov 2009 (23 weeks), Germany 3 - Nov 2009 (9 weeks), Norway 3 - Nov 2009 (8 weeks), Austria 9 - Nov 2009 (1 month), US BB 22 of 2010, Australia (ARIA) 26 of 2009
8 Michael Jackson Blood On The Dance Floor - History In The Mix 1997 UK 1 - May 1997 (16 weeks), Europe num 1 for 3 weeks - Jun 1997, New Zealand 1 for 1 - Jun 1997, Europe 2 x Platinum (certified by IFIP in 1997), Germany 2 - May 1997 (15 weeks), Switzerland 2 - May 1997 (22 weeks), Norway 2 - May 1997 (9 weeks), US Platinum (certified by RIAA in Oct 2000), France Platinum (certified by SNEP Jul 1997), Hong Kong Platinum (certified by IFPI-HK in 1997), Austria 3 - Jun 1997 (4 months), Sweden 4 - May 1997 (18 weeks), UK Gold (certified by BPI in Aug 1997), Germany Gold (certified by BMieV in 1997), Billboard 24 - Jun 1997 (9 weeks), Italy 43 of 1997, France (InfoDisc) 50 of 1997 (peak 1, 23 weeks), Australia (ARIA) 65 of 1997
9 Michael Jackson Number Ones 2003 UK 1 - Nov 2003 (133 weeks), Canada 1 for 1 week - 2009, New Zealand 1 for 1 - Jul 2009, US (Sup) 3 x Platinum (certified by RIAA in Aug 2009), UK 4 x Platinum (certified by BPI in Jan 2004), Germany 2 - Jul 2009 (23 weeks), US Platinum (certified by RIAA in Nov 2005), Europe Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2003), Germany Gold (certified by BMieV in 2004), Switzerland 9 - Nov 2003 (16 weeks), Sweden 10 - Aug 2009 (9 weeks), Billboard 13 - Dec 2003 (217 weeks), Australia (ARIA) 13 of 2009, Austria 19 - Dec 2003 (1 month), Norway 36 - Dec 2003 (1 week), US BB 39 of 2010
10 Michael Jackson The Essential Michael Jackson 2005 UK 1 - Jul 2005 (45 weeks), Australia num 1 for 7 weeks - Aug 2009, New Zealand 1 for 2 - Jul 2009, US (Sup) 2 x Platinum (certified by RIAA in Aug 2009), Europe 2 x Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2009), Switzerland 2 - Jul 2005 (32 weeks), France 2 X Gold (certified by SNEP Oct 2005), Norway 3 - Aug 2005 (27 weeks), Sweden 3 - Sep 2005 (30 weeks), Australia (ARIA) 8 of 2009, Germany 10 - Sep 2005 (1 week), Austria 14 - Sep 2005 (4 months), Billboard 46 - Aug 2005 (168 weeks), France (InfoDisc) 74 of 2005 (peak 1, 37 weeks), US BB 112 of 2010
11 Michael Jackson Thriller 25 2008 Switzerland 1 - Feb 2008 (32 weeks), Norway 1 - Feb 2008 (16 weeks), New Zealand 1 for 1 - Jul 2009, Germany 2 - Feb 2008 (4 weeks), Sweden 2 - Feb 2008 (19 weeks), Europe Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2009), UK 3 - Feb 2008 (27 weeks), Canada Gold (certified by CRIA in Jun 2008), Austria 5 - Feb 2008 (5 months), Italy 42 of 2008
12 Michael Jackson Michael 2010 Germany 1 - Dec 2010 (5 weeks), US (Sup) Platinum (certified by RIAA in Jan 2011), Billboard 3 - Jan 2011 (13 weeks) (2 weeks in top 10), UK 4 - Dec 2010 (8 weeks), Australia (ARIA) 84 of 2010
13 Michael Jackson Ben 1972 Billboard 5 - Aug 1972 (32 weeks) (6 weeks in top 10), US 70s 5 - Nov 1972 (1 month), Dutch 70s 13 - Dec 1972 (2 weeks), UK 17 - Jan 1973 (7 weeks), D.Marsh 26 of 1972, US BB 39 of 1972, US CashBox 92 of 1973, UK Silver (certified by BPI in Jan 1974)
14 Michael Jackson The Collection 2009 Germany 2 - Jul 2009 (8 weeks), Switzerland 4 - Jul 2009 (16 weeks), Norway 4 - Jul 2009 (16 weeks), Sweden 5 - Jul 2009 (21 weeks), Austria 13 - Jul 2009 (2 months), UK 14 - Aug 2009 (7 weeks)
15 Michael Jackson Greatest Hits, HIStory - Volume I 2001 US Gold (certified by RIAA in Nov 2005), Norway 9 - Dec 2001 (15 weeks), UK 15 - Mar 2003 (3 weeks), Sweden 23 - Dec 2001 (5 weeks), Switzerland 59 - Jul 2009 (2 weeks), Billboard 85 - Dec 2001 (27 weeks)
16 Michael Jackson Got To Be There 1972 Billboard 14 - Feb 1972 (23 weeks), D.Marsh 31 of 1972, UK 37 - Jun 1972 (5 weeks), US CashBox 66 of 1972, US BB 80 of 1972
17 Michael Jackson King Of Pop - German Edition 2008 Germany 1 - Sep 2008 (32 weeks), Switzerland 1 - Sep 2008 (35 weeks)
18 Michael Jackson The Ultimate Collection 2004 Switzerland 33 - Aug 2009 (3 weeks), Norway 40 - Aug 2009 (1 week), UK 75 - Dec 2004 (1 week), Billboard 154 - Dec 2004 (1 week)
19 Michael Jackson XSCAPE 2014 Billboard 2 - May 2014 (23 weeks) (4 weeks in top 10), Australia (ARIA) 66 of 2014
20 Michael Jackson Farewell My Summer Love 1984 UK Gold (certified by BPI in Jul 1984), UK 9 - Jun 1984 (14 weeks), Billboard 46 - Jun 1984 (14 weeks)
21 Michael Jackson King Of Pop 2008 Europe Platinum (certified by IFIP in 2009), UK 3 - Sep 2008 (36 weeks), Australia (ARIA) 41 of 2009
22 Michael Jackson The Best Of Michael Jackson 1975 UK 11 - Jun 1981 (18 weeks), Billboard 156 - Sep 1975 (5 weeks), UK Silver (certified by BPI in Aug 1981), Xgau rating B- (1975)
23 Michael Jackson Immortal 2011 Billboard 24 - Dec 2011 (13 weeks), UK 65 - Dec 2011 (1 week)
24 Michael Jackson One Day In Your Life 1981 UK 29 - Jul 1981 (8 weeks), Billboard 144 - Apr 1981 (10 weeks)
25 Michael Jackson The Michael Jackson Mix 1987 UK Platinum (certified by BPI in Aug 1989), UK 27 - Dec 1987 (25 weeks)
26 Michael Jackson King Of Pop - The Austrian Limited Edition 2008 Austria 1 - Oct 2008 (7 months)
27 Michael Jackson The Definitive Collection 2009 Billboard 39 - Sep 2009 (10 weeks)
28 Michael Jackson The Stripped Mixes 2009 Billboard 57 - Jul 2009 (6 weeks)
29 Michael Jackson Selections From Michael Jackson's This Is It 2009 Billboard 91 - Nov 2009 (1 week)
30 Michael Jackson Gold 2009 Billboard 139 - Jul 2009 (3 weeks)
31 Michael Jackson The Remix Suite 2009 Billboard 175 - Nov 2009 (1 week)
32 Michael Jackson Bad: 25 2012 Billboard 23 - Oct 2012 (11 weeks)
33 Michael Jackson Forever, Michael 1975 Billboard 101 - Feb 1975 (9 weeks), Xgau rating A- (1975)
34 Michael Jackson King Of Pop - The Swedish Hit Collection 2008 Sweden 3 - Oct 2008 (11 weeks)
35 Michael Jackson Music & Me 1973 Billboard 92 - May 1973 (12 weeks), Xgau rating B- (1973)
36 Michael Jackson Tour souvenir pack 1992 UK 32 - Aug 1992 (3 weeks)
37 Michael Jackson Motown's Greatest Hits 1992 UK 53 - Feb 1992 (2 weeks)
38 Michael Jackson Singles Souvenir Pack 1988 UK 91 - Jul 1988 (1 week)
39 Michael Jackson The Motown 50 Mixes 2009 UK 76 - Aug 2009 (1 week)
40 Michael Jackson Live In Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour 2009 Germany 8 - Jul 2009 (7 weeks)
41 Michael Jackson 9 Singles Pack 1983 UK 66 - Dec 1983 (3 weeks)
42 Michael Jackson ET The Extra-Terrestrial 1983 UK 82 - Feb 1983 (2 weeks)
43 Michael Jackson The Original Soul of Michael Jackson 1987 Xgau rating B+ (1987)

In addition to the above listed albums Michael Jackson also contributed to the following entries:

# Artist Album Title Year Chart Entries
1 Michael Jackson & Diana Ross Love Songs 1987 UK Platinum (certified by BPI in Jan 1988), UK 12 - Oct 1987 (24 weeks)
2 Michael Jackson & The Jackson 5 14 Greatest Hits 1984 Billboard 168 - Jun 1984 (7 weeks)
3 Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder Diana, Michael, Gladys, Stevie - Their Very Best - Back To Back 1986 UK 21 - Nov 1986 (10 weeks)

Comment on the contents of the 'Album artist 9 - Michael Jackson' page
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Previous Comments (newest first)

27 Sep 2016

Double Listing - This Is It

#7 & #17 are the same.

Data fixed, thanks


9 Feb 2016

Neil Diamond v Michael Jackson

Could expand or explain on Elvis Presley's hits or gold records. I confess I am not sure which era is which anymore but he and/ or Neil Diamond must surly be on a list BEFORE Michael Jackson! They certainly have more voice range than Michael ever did to my mind!


2 May 2015

I have no problem with the facts

It is true that Michael Jackson had a very very small discography - I mean only 5 studio albums in 3 decades. He released 1 album every 5 years and that's why he 'seems' to be less successful than 2 or 3 more artists during his peak decade. However, you do not apparently consider chart runs per /attendance into account either. Neither the awards. Nor the viewership.

To say that Michael Jackson was a one hit wonder is pure and utter ignorance. Bad was the first album to have 5 hot 100 #1s - the only one for more than 2 decades. It sold more than 25 million records (confirmed sales only ) while Dangerous sold more than 23 million records (confirmed sales only that means estimates are not taken into account) worldwide making the latter the best selling new jack swing album of all time. His HIStory album was another big hit, selling more than 15 million albums (confirmed sales only) worldwide and is the best selling double album of all time. Blood on the dance floor with more than 4.5 million records sold worldwide (again confirmed sales only) remains the best selling remix album of all time. He sold out 50 concerts in 2009 in the O2 arena - 1 million tickets in less than 6 hours.

Now I do believe his record sales are exaggerated - but not unlike theBeatles' and Elvis' (1 billion and 1.5 billion records sold respectively which are much more laughable). No one gives a damn about them but MJ.. Everyone likes to gang up on MJ. I would advise you to tone down the way you discredit MJ fans because they take a lot of things into account. (Not just talking about the hype - but the facts as well ;) )

At no time have we ever claimed that Michael Jackson was a "one hit wonder", our ranking places him in the all time top 20 artists of all time. He did participate in two "one hit wonder" acts, "Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson" (whose sole hit was "Scream") and "The Jackson 5, Mick Jagger & Michael Jackson" (whose sole hit was "State of Shock").

We have never targeted MJ fans. We welcome any discussion that uses reasonable facts to support an argument and presents it in an articulate way, such as your post above.

We do, however, strongly dislike those that makes ridiculous claims without justification and anyone that insults us, threatens us or tells us without justification, for example, that our results are "the most ridiculously stupid list ever", anyone who behaves like that deserves to be ridiculed. Unfortunately badly behaved posters (to this site at least) seem to cluster round certain acts (MJ being one, but by no means the only one).

We hope to discredit anyone that is ignorant, aggressive or wrong, whoever they are a fan of.


18 Jan 2015

DoDouble Listing - The Essential Michael Jackson

#11 & #14 are the same.

Data fixed, thanks


11 Jul 2011

Biases

I fail to understand why the Beatles and Elvis Presley and a myriad of other early artists are in the listing at all.

The inclusion of these causes light to blind speculation. Personally, I would recognise the contribution of Crosby, Presley or the Beatles, but should not attempt to calculate number of hits.

I would personally select a decade where there were more charts to top. As a person with no skills or the where with all to conduct such research, I would suggest 1970 as a starting point.

As always the research done here is inherently biased towards certain artists, but then again all lists are biased, as you rightly pointed out.

Though, I can't seem to find the website. I read somewhere that the unexaggerated sales of Jackson's Thriller was around 69.1 million. I am certain it was between 60-70 million and somewhat certain that it was the late 60's. Now, I didn't find out how that figure was found out. Anyway, it seems to correspond comewhat with your range.

Before the 1950s most people got their music from the radio and movies. The fact that there were few record sales and no contemporary regular charts doesn't mean that Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong had no success, it just makes measuring it a challenge. Remember also that a significant proportion of all the music sold in 2010 was first recorded before CDs existed, the success of the Beatles on iTunes shows that.

We have more than 20 charts available for every year since 1938, from 1955 to 2008 there are more than 50 charts each year, and no single year has more than 130 charts. Now some of the charts from the 1940s are pretty unreliable, however combining them together increases the reliability of the results. Our estimate is that combining the results of 7 charts at least doubles the reliability of the results. So depending on how much potential error we're willing to tolerate we could start serious analysis in 1920, 1938 or 1955. Starting after 1967 (when 100 charts were available) would not significantly increase the reliability of the results.

The two largest English speaking music markets (the US and UK) both had established weekly charts by 1958, combined together those two have been responsible for about 50% of all music revenue for each of the last 10 years (at least). We can see good arguments for starting analysis in 1952 (the year regular charts started in the UK), 1955 (the year record sales took off in the USA) or 1958 (the year the Billboard chart became fully established).

Starting any analysis in 1970, the year that the Beatles broke up, would seem to us to be a strange approach. But if that makes sense to you, the go for it, the spreadsheet data is available here, if you find any interesting results we'd be happy to hear about them.

As for the sales numbers, our experience has been that all the estimates of sales volumes which quote actual sources end up with similar numbers for the sales of "Thriller". People that use the higher number usually do so without providing any justification for this extraordinary claim.


10 Apr 2010

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was undeniably the biggest and most successful artist of the 80s! Why is he at #4?? His album Thriller sold 100 million copies and become the biggest selling album of all time! He also won 8 Grammy awards in a single night. Also he released Bad in '87 which was very successful. And I think he should have been mentioned in the 90s section. This is the most ridiculously stupid list I've ever seen. It was made by someone that knows nothing about this.

No, despite your outburst, by our metrics Michael Jackson was not the most successful artist of the 1980s. While he had some years of enormous success he failed to sustain it, for example he had no solo hits in 1985.

In our lists Michael Jackson is the 9th placed artist of the 1990s, we feel that qualifies as "being mentioned".

Thriller may have been the biggest selling album of all time, however quoting the widely discredited 100 million sales claim just confirms that are not being objective in your comments.

On this site actual facts are more important than mere opinion, and by that we mean anyone's opinion including our own.

The decade rankings were calculated with data from external sources that can be easily verified and the metrics used are clearly described. The calculation is automated and cannot be "adjusted" for any reason.

If you disagree with the result you either feel that the data is in some way invalid or that the metrics are unfairly emphasising particular acts. Tell us which data is wrong or which alternate metric should be used, then we'll take your comments seriously.

Saying this is the "most ridiculously stupid list I've ever seen" just makes you sound like a petulant teenager (except of course few modern teenagers are Michael Jackson fans)


24 Nov 2009

Michael Jackson

Am I seeing something wrong? I count 4 Jackson albums in your top 100. I don't see that many from any other artist, of course I just tabbed thru quickly.

You raise an interesting point. We feel that the "standard" list is too heavily dependant on the input charts that are available. There are about 4 times as many entries for the 1980s as there are for the 1960s, so more recent music is scored too highly.

So when contrasting acts and releases across the years we feel that it is better to compensate for this modern bias. The "real list" of top albums adjusts the scores to give what we feel is a better comparison across the years. In this list Michael Jackson has an entry at number 2, his next album is at number 47.

There are some good reasons for not adopting this approach for the standard lists. The way this adjustment is made works well for acts and releases that are at the top of the list. But it is not clear that it works so well for later, less widely supported, entries. In addition the simplicity of the standard score makes the standard list more transparent. Also it could be argued that the larger number of entries after 1980 reflect the fact that more people are interested in that era, hence music from then should be over emphasised.

In the standard list Michael Jackson does have four albums in the top 100, however The Beatles, Madonna and U2 all have six. If we were to believe that this list was a good measure of success then "REM" (with two entries) would have to rate better than The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Radiohead, Dire Straits and Guns & Roses (who all have just one). We suspect there are few people that would be prepared to argue for that view.

Of course you are free to disagree with our analysis, that is why we make the standard data available in CSV form. If you have a different way to summarise the data that illustrates an alternate view we would be interested to hear from you.


5 Sep 2009

Artist of 1980.

Michael Jackson should be the most successful artist of the 1980s having produced the most successful albums of all time. He also holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records as The Most Successful of All Time.

First of all by any reasonable criteria Michael Jackson certainly didn't produce more than one album in the all time top 10, so the when you say "albums" you should rather use the word "album".

Secondly having the most successful album of an era is just one of the measures that are used here. Michael Jackson had 2 songs in the "1980s 100 songs" list, against Madonna's 5. He had 2 albums in the "1980s 100 albums" list, against Madonna's 3.

Finally even if we agreed that Michael Jackson's position in the "top artists of the 1980s" was too low we couldn't directly do anything about it within the rules of the website. The way that "success" is measured here is clearly defined and strictly follows a mechanical process, no-one gets to "adjust" the values later whatever their opinions. Even if one of the administrators wanted to boost his rating they couldn't, the best they could do would be to change the scoring mechanism. Prince, Madonna and U2 all had more number 1s in more countries than Michael Jackson in the 1980s, that is why they end up higher.