Grief! Anguish! Confusion! Ire? Well sure — if you’re any number of pop aspirants or B-list pop idols seriously gunning for a comeback, Michael Jackson’s untimely death may be something of a nuisance. As seen from a number of trends on iTunes sales charts across the world, the King’s death has derailed the usual goings-on in some countries, while in others, his presence remains detectable, but not so earth-shattering.
U.S.: Top of the pops this week is Jackson’s “The Man In the Mirror,” while remaining a monopoly on the rest of the Top 10, including the third best-selling single and those from 5 to 10. Inside the Top 10, his only competition comes from Black Eyed Peas, but I suppose there’s no accounting for America’s hit-and-miss taste. He has dominion of a considerable chunk of the Top 100 as well.
U.K.: But the Brits are feeling us on this one too. In fact, like us, “The Man In the Mirror” sits atop the chart. It fends off stiff competition from this alt-pop chick with the Zac Efron-inspired haircut, and Kelly Rowland, Lady Gaga. However, counting Jackson 5 hits, over 40% of the British Top 100 is currently dominated by the singer anyway. This is however most depressing for Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who was #1 in CD sales, but otherwise, just outside of the Top 10. Also, Number Ones, one of Jackson’s best-of compilations, leaped an incredible 120 spots to the top this weekend.
Finland: In Finland’s Top 100, where only two of Jackson’s songs appear in the Top 20 — and oddly, way below Don Henley, although a whole bunch of them round out the rest of the Top 100. Although he does occupy five of the country’s Top 10 albums, including the top spot. But you can never fault the taste of a country that sent a song like this to #1.
Greece: Music-buyers here are kind of like their Finnish friends — Jackson sits on the edge of the Top 10 with “Billie Jean,” but otherwise almost has a monopoly on the Top 10 albums.
Japan: Not so surprisingly, the only major sign of Jackson’s legacy is in the #11 chart placing of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You” — which remains shut out of the Top 10 by singers such as this and this and even Utada Hikaru, whose American success has been slim to nil. Although other Jackson 5 hits like “ABC” and “I’ll Be There” sit comfortably inside the Top 40.