Michael Jackson is about to rock the Billboard charts.
Nielsen SoundScan’s sales numbers won’t be released until Wednesday (July 1) morning, but industry prognosticators indicate that 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.
Last year, Jackson’s expanded reissue of “Thriller” pushed the set to a re-entry at No. 1 on the Pop Catalog tally with 166,000 copies sold in its first week.
With the Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” looking to recapture the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 chart with slightly less than 100,000, this week will mark the first time a catalog album has sold more than the No. 1 current release.
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.
The digital impact will also be felt on our Hot Digital Songs chart, where the King of Pop is certain to make a big splash. His digital track sales went from about 40,000 the week ending June 21 to — label sources say — around 1.8 million last week. His top sellers will include “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Billie Jean” and “Smooth Criminal.”