Michael is certified as the 7th best selling artist in the United States by the RIAA

troubleman84

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NOTE, FOLKS: The United States certifies albums on SHIPMENTS (and units maybe in the case of "double, triple, quadruple-set albums"), not actual sales.

SO stop saying Elvis or Michael "sold" that much. This is coming from their record labels. And Sony owns RCA and Epic so Sony played a hand in the shipments for Elvis as well as MJ because their estates asked the labels to audit these shipments to the RIAA for a new certification.
 

HIStory

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And worldwide, of course, there were fewer markets when Elvis and the Beatles were popular because only a handful (in only the Western world) sold music (U.S., Canada, UK, West Germany, Italy and Australia). Other countries slowly jumped to take part by the late 1960s.

Actually during Michael's hey-day the market wasn't too much bigger. The Iron Wall was still up until the end of the 80s, so a lot of countries did not get as much western music. And when people bought music they bought pirate copies because originals were either very expensive or you could not get them at all. I know because I'm from an Eastern European country.
 

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Well actually, what worked in Michael's favor was MTV. MTV wasn't that popular when Michael's videos started getting popular. Like I said, Michael benefited more than Elvis and the Beatles did. Elvis went through barriers though: being a "hillbilly" doing rhythm and blues music (rockabilly) was tough initially. Radio DJs in country music didn't wanna play him because he sounded too R&B and R&B DJs didn't play him because he was a "hillbilly". He basically helped country music sell lots of copies during his heyday. And he gets credit as one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

Michael came at a time when Motown broke barriers so Michael was actually luckier.


Maybe you should read this article if you really think Michael had it easy:
http://www.billboard.com/features/michael-jackson-s-thriller-at-30-how-one-1008031662.story

IMO Elvis was the epitome of white privilage. No, I'm not saying he personally was a racist (I disagree with those accusations against him) but his success showed how white people were willing to accept black music at the time only if it was played by a white artist. Even if black counterparts actually did it better and were more creative than him (eg. by writing their own songs, which Elvis did not do.) He was not the only example of that phenomenon.
 

HIStory

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Yeah, Michael had it sooooo easy. Despite of Off The Wall being one of the most successful albums of the year, Rolling Stone did not want to feature Michael in a cover story: "We would very much like to do a major piece on Michael Jackson, but feel it is not a cover story."
Imagine how much more successful OTW had been if it got the same kind of support that white artists got!

black+or+white+rolling+stone+letter.jpg


He also had to fight for MTV to play his videos. They basically started to play him because his videos were so good that he could not be ignored any more. But he had fights and constant struggles against covert racism in the industry. So to say he had it easier than Elvis...

And while we are at it. I don't remember Elvis being attacked and constantly trashed to the point of having been accused of crimes in attempts of character assassinations. Even though he did everything that Michael was only accused of but he never did. Go ask Priscilla! (I actually have her book, so these are things that she said.) So do you really think Michael had it easier than Elvis?
 
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mjchris

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^ Because they update the numbers of shipments for Elvis. It's not unusual.

oh, thats what i see too. ^^ but that didnt answer the question why 13 mio, when he didnt sold anything. and if 13 mio shipped. for what? noone in the world would buy 13 mio elvis albums in the usa in one year. noone buy this music anymore. theres no need anymore. no company would ship that amount for this artist anymore. elvis time is over decades ago, and didnt sell well anymore.
caus if so, the shipments of michael jackson would gain each year 20 mio.
and its a fact that michael jackson is always selling more albums. each week, each month and year than the beatles or elvis. the weekly charts shows that. proven by fans they show the weekly sales in their posts. so this 13 mio is not reasonable. elvis 13 mio, dead, no big sales, no new music, but get each year big big shippings in the RIAA chart. michael jackson, dead, big sales (example this is it), new music, always in the media, no big shippings in the RIAA charts.
i think i will do someday a chart (last 8 years) do show the difference between both to show how elvis is prefered on shippings on this FAKE chart when nothing was sold.

THATS FAKE, THATS FAKE! 100%
 
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LindavG

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Actually during Michael's hey-day the market wasn't too much bigger. The Iron Wall was still up until the end of the 80s, so a lot of countries did not get as much western music. And when people bought music they bought pirate copies because originals were either very expensive or you could not get them at all. I know because I'm from an Eastern European country.

OT but I thought you were from Hungary? :unsure:

I totally agree with your comments about Elvis btw. I don't know how anyone can say with a straight face that Michael was "luckier" in his career than Elvis or the Beatles.
 

HIStory

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OT but I thought you were from Hungary? :unsure:

Yes. And Hungary was one of the most open and liberal Eastern Block countries if not THE most open and liberal. Buying western music was even more difficult and/or expensive in other Eastern Block countries.

And MTV Europe started in 1987. That was also about the time when the Iron Curtain came down. So that was the first time we got access to Western TVs. It was in 1988, at the age of 11, when I first saw and heard Michael Jackson.

I totally agree with your comments about Elvis btw. I don't know how anyone can say with a straight face that Michael was "luckier" in his career than Elvis or the Beatles.

20 years of Michael's life and career was spent in the shadow of very damaging false allegations and constant vile media attacks. How did Elvis and the Beatles had it more difficult? The way Michael was treated was totally unfair and dehumanizing. It was basically a witch hunt.
Even if there were things Elvis and the Beatles were criticized for, those were nowhere near as harmful and damaging as those allegations against Michael.
 
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troubleman84

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I meant "lucky" in terms of the exposure he got on TV. MTV wasn't even a big channel. They still dealt with racism after Michael got his videos on there. Rick James brought it up in 1983, a few months after "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" got on the channel and Prince got on. But according to Rick, MTV didn't wanna play his videos. And I don't recall them playing what was considered "authentic R&B" acts until those R&B acts went pop.

He complained that MTV refused to play him because his music wasn't considered "rock" enough. They could've well told Epic that about Michael but Epic was lucky in that Walter Yetnikoff allegedly stepped up. Motown couldn't get MTV to play Rick.
 

troubleman84

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Of course Elvis got it easier than MJ in the regards of the industry but don't think it was all that easy, he was good looking and marketable in the same way Harry Belafonte was good looking and marketable (his "Calypso" album was actually the best-selling album of 1956, not any of Elvis' albums). But who was even mentioning the scandals?

Not that many "black acts" sold as much as Michael because his music successfully crossed all boundaries.

And other countries who still weren't selling pop music (like in Russia) still bought MJ albums as imports from the United States. So he was reaching more people than Elvis ever did.

Also the interesting thing is Elvis, like many other acts of his generation, didn't sell mass quantities of albums, just singles. Same with the Beatles until the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.

Whereas with Michael, the U.S. market grew so much that Epic shipped those albums therefore increasing demand led to Epic promoting their product due to the exposure Michael got because his videos were different from anything in MTV's setlist.

Also MTV only played to predominantly white suburbs, it did not reach black inner cities until after 1983, possibly 1984.

MJ was also played on TBS' Night Tracks (with no problems).

After 1984, when inner cities finally got MTV, black artists did make some progress on MTV therefore changing its set list from AOR rock to pop-R&B. Michael's popularity had a lot to do with it.
 
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HIStory

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I meant "lucky" in terms of the exposure he got on TV. MTV wasn't even a big channel. They still dealt with racism after Michael got his videos on there. Rick James brought it up in 1983, a few months after "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" got on the channel and Prince got on. But according to Rick, MTV didn't wanna play his videos. And I don't recall them playing what was considered "authentic R&B" acts until those R&B acts went pop.

He complained that MTV refused to play him because his music wasn't considered "rock" enough. They could've well told Epic that about Michael but Epic was lucky in that Walter Yetnikoff allegedly stepped up. Motown couldn't get MTV to play Rick.

I would not classify that as "luck" though. MTV resisted at first but they eventually had to give in because Michael's music and videos were so great. In my book that is not "luck". From the article I linked:

Despite the obvious quality of the Jackson videos, MTV initially resisted playing them, claiming it was a rock station and Jackson didn't fit the format. There is to this day some disagreement as to what led the channel to change its policy and add "Billie Jean." At the time, a story was widely circulated that CBS chief Walter Yetnikoff resorted to threatening to pull all of his label's videos off the channel if MTV didn't play "Billie Jean," but this claim has been refuted over the years by original MTV honchos Bob Pittman and Les Garland. They concede that the channel initially assumed it would not play the video, as its thumping beat and urban production did not fit the channel's "rock" image. They contend however that in mid-February, after seeing the clip--which was possibly the best that had ever come across their desks--they began to re-think things. Coupled with the fact that even without MTV, the song had just leaped in one week from No. 23 to No. 6 on the Hot 100, the MTV execs concluded they should give it a shot.
 

troubleman84

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Like I said, Michael was in a label (Motown) that prior to the arrival of "the album" sold on how catchy their songs were with everybody. When you're marketable and good looking, you'll get coverage. Considering the J5 got their own cartoon show and appeared in their own commercials, I say that Michael didn't need any help "breaking a barrier". Whereas someone like, say, Sammy Davis bust a few doors down, Michael (and for a minute his family) basically knocked it over.

Michael didn't get on Rolling Stone due to them not thinking R&B (or black) artists didn't "sell magazine covers". Thriller was aimed to force Rolling Stone to change its guard, its sound more pop than R&B (even if there was some R&B on it). It's not hard to say that Michael knew exactly what he was doing with Thriller, but even then it's still hard for black artists to get that coverage. No one got coverage like Michael.

And that's a fact.
 

troubleman84

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I would not classify that as "luck" though. MTV resisted at first but they eventually had to give in because Michael's music and videos were so great. In my book that is not "luck". From the article I linked:

MTV only had one type of set list. CBS kinda forced their hand to play it due to its popularity. I don't know how MTV made any artist popular. Like take Hall & Oates for instance. They were considered one of the early faces of MTV but like MJ, they obviously didn't need them. Their videos weren't much to write home about.

Matter of fact, wasn't MTV in danger of being deleted in 1983? Michael literally saved that company. His "short films" brought in much needed money. Everything has to do with money. Once they knew someone could bring the bread, they would promote whoever, regardless of who it is. Michael brought the bread. OK, maybe that wasn't luck (because Michael's talent won out in the end) but that surely was an easier sell to the mainstream than "Elvis the Pelvis" lmao
 

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troubleman84;3851608 said:
And worldwide, of course, there were fewer markets when Elvis and the Beatles were popular because only a handful (in only the Western world) sold music (U.S., Canada, UK, West Germany, Italy and Australia). Other countries slowly jumped to take part by the late 1960s.

Anyway, here's the Beatles' RIAA figures:

Studio
Please Please Me (1963) - platinum
With the Beatles (1963) - gold
Meet the Beatles! (1964) - 5x platinum
The Beatles' Second Album (1964) - 2x platinum
A Hard Day's Night (1964) - 4x platinum
Something New (1964) - 2x platinum
Beatles for Sale (1964) - platinum
Beatles '65 (1964) - 3x platinum
Beatles VI (1965) - platinum
Help! (1965) - 3x platinum
Rubber Soul (1966) - 6x platinum
Yesterday and Today (1966) - 2x platinum
Revolver (1966) - 5x platinum
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) - 11x platinum
Magical Mystery Tour (1967) - 6x platinum
The Beatles (1968) - 19x platinum (actually 9.5 million in shipments but "19 million units"??? nah...)
Yellow Submarine (1969) - platinum
Abbey Road (1969) - 12x platinum
Let It Be (1970) - 4x platinum

Total: 88.50 million "units"/shipments whatever lol (19 studio albums)

Live albums
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (1977) - platinum
Live at the BBC (1994) - 4x platinum

Total: 5 million shipments

Compilation albums
The Beatles' Story - gold
The Early Beatles - platinum
Hey Jude - 3x platinum
1962-1966 - 15x platinum (7.5 million shipments)
1967-1970 - 17x platinum (8.5 million shipments)
Rock 'n' Roll Music - platinum
Love Songs - 3x platinum
Rarities - gold
Rock 'n' Roll Music, Vol. 1 - platinum
Rock 'n' Roll Music, Vol. 2 - platinum
Reel Music - gold
20 Greatest Hits - 2x platinum
The Early Tapes of the Beatles - 2x platinum
Past Masters, Vol. 1 - platinum
Past Masters, Vol. 2 - platinum
The Beatles Box Set - platinum
Anthology 1 - 8x platinum (4 million in shipments)
Anthology 2 - 4x platinum (2 million in shipments)
Anthology 3 - 3x platinum (1.5 million in shipments)
Yellow Submarine Songtrack - platinum
1 - 11x platinum
Let It Be... Naked - platinum
The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 - platinum
The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 - gold
Love - 2x platinum
The Beatles in Mono - platinum
The Beatles' Stereo Box Set - 3x platinum

Total: 86 million in shipments

---
Total sales: 179.5 million, so they're above 177...
troubleman84 you are posting WRONG figures, and you are also mixing shipments and certified units, 2 completely different terms.
Total amount of certified units for The Beatles is 177 million. You got 179.5 million because you have 2 mistakes on your list (I assume wikipedia is your source). Album THE EARLY TAPES of THE BEATLES (1984) doesn't have 2x platinum RIAA certification and album YELLOW SUBMARINE SONGTRACK (1999) is GOLD not platinum. Also I'll repeat, total certified units for The Beatles is 177 million but to get shipment number (total number of separate products) you must count shipment figures for each album not units figures. The difference between the number of units and shipment appears for albums (products) that spans over multiple disks:

THE BEATLES (1968) (2 discs) is 19×P but RIAA shipment is 9,5 million
THE BEATLES 1962 - 1966 (1973) (2 discs) is 15×P but RIAA shipment is 7,5 million
THE BEATLES 1967 - 1970 (1973) (2 discs) is 17×P but RIAA shipment is 8,5 million
LOVE SONGS (1977) (2 discs) is 3×P but RIAA shipment is 1,5 million
BOXED SET - MULTISELECTION (1988) (16 discs) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is ~ 63k
LIVE AT THE BBC (1994) (2 discs) is 4×P but RIAA shipment is 2 million
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME 1 (1996) (2 discs) is 8×P but RIAA shipment is 4 million
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME 2 (1996) (2 discs) is 4×P but RIAA shipment is 2 million
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME 3 (1996) (2 discs) is 3×P but RIAA shipment is 1,5 million
THE CAPITOL ALBUMS, VOL. I (2006) (4 discs) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is 250k
THE CAPITOL ALBUMS, VOL. II (2006) (4 discs) is Gold but RIAA shipment is 125k
BEATLES IN MONO (2009) (13 discs) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is ~ 77k
BEATLES IN STEREO (2009) (16 discs) is 3×P but RIAA shipment is ~ 188k

Total amount of certified units for these albums is 79,5 million but total number of separate products is 37,203 million. Difference is ~ 42,3 million so to get total number of RIAA shipment for The Beatles you must subtract 42,3 million from 177 million --> ~ 134.7 million and that's RIAA shipment for THE BEATLES.

I will not write analysis for Elvis, but the principle is the same. Elvis has 134,5 million certified unites (your 138,5 million figure is wrong, for example you counted From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis (1969) twice, once as studio album and then again as live album etc. etc.) but his RIAA shipment figure is slightly lower.

Michael Jackson has 75 million certified units but his RIAA shipment (which represents total number of products) is 69,25 million:

HISTORY: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE BOOK I (1995) (2 discs) is 7×P but RIAA shipment is 3,5 million
THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION (2004) (4 music discs + video DVD) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is 250k
THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON (2005) (2 discs) is 3×P but the RIAA shipment is 1,5 million

So total amount of certified units for these 3 albums is 11 million but total number of separate products is 5,25 million. Difference is 5,75 million so to get total number of RIAA shipment for MJ you must subtract 5,75 million from 75 million --> 69,25 million and that's RIAA shipment for Michael Jackson.
 
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troubleman84

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Also, like I said, going back on topic, Epic had a demand in shipments for Michael's albums, therefore his albums shipped more than his predecessors.
 

HIStory

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But who was even mentioning the scandals?

We are talking about record sales here and all the factors which affected them. You cannot ignore the allegations when talking about Michael's record sales. Especially when you made the claim Michael had it easier than Elvis.

Of course Elvis got it easier than MJ in the regards of the industry but don't think it was all that easy, he was good looking and marketable in the same way Harry Belafonte was good looking and marketable (his "Calypso" album was actually the best-selling album of 1956, not any of Elvis' albums).


I don't know how many Belafonte's album sold and how many Elvis' two 1956 albums, but Belafonte's albums are certified Gold and Elvis' are certified Platinum.
Also those were Elvis' debut albums, while for Belafonte that was the peak. Belafonte had his limits in how big he could eventually grew, while the possibilites for Elvis were bigger.
 

troubleman84

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Kikuchiyo;3851691 said:
troubleman84 you are posting WRONG figures, and you are also mixing shipments and certified units, 2 completely different terms.
Total amount of certified units for The Beatles is 177 million. You got 179.5 million because you have 2 mistakes on your list (I assume wikipedia is your source). Album THE EARLY TAPES of THE BEATLES (1984) doesn't have 2x platinum RIAA certification and album YELLOW SUBMARINE SONGTRACK (1999) is GOLD not platinum. Also I'll repeat, total certified units for The Beatles is 177 million but to get shipment number (total number of separate products) you must count shipment figures for each album not units figures. The difference between the number of units and shipment appears for albums (products) that spans over multiple disks:

THE BEATLES (1968) (2 discs) is 19×P but RIAA shipment is 9,5 million
THE BEATLES 1962 - 1966 (1973) (2 discs) is 15×P but RIAA shipment is 7,5 million
THE BEATLES 1967 - 1970 (1973) (2 discs) is 17×P but RIAA shipment is 8,5 million
LOVE SONGS (1977) (2 discs) is 3×P but RIAA shipment is 1,5 million
BOXED SET - MULTISELECTION (1988) (16 discs) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is ~ 63k
LIVE AT THE BBC (1994) (2 discs) is 4×P but RIAA shipment is 2 million
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME 1 (1996) (2 discs) is 8×P but RIAA shipment is 4 million
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME 2 (1996) (2 discs) is 4×P but RIAA shipment is 2 million
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME 3 (1996) (2 discs) is 3×P but RIAA shipment is 1,5 million
THE CAPITOL ALBUMS, VOL. I (2006) (4 discs) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is 250k
THE CAPITOL ALBUMS, VOL. II (2006) (4 discs) is Gold but RIAA shipment is 125k
BEATLES IN MONO (2009) (13 discs) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is ~ 77k
BEATLES IN STEREO (2009) (16 discs) is 3×P but RIAA shipment is ~ 188k

Total amount of certified units for these albums is 79,5 million but total number of separate products is 37,203 million. Difference is ~ 42,3 million so to get total number of RIAA shipment for The Beatles you must subtract 42,3 million from 177 million --> ~ 134.7 million and that's RIAA shipment for THE BEATLES.

I will now write analysis for Elvis, but the principle is the same. Elvis has 134 million certified unites (your 138,5 million figure is wrong, for example you counted From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis (1969) twice, once as studio album and then again as live album etc. etc.) but his RIAA shipment figure is slightly lower.

Michael Jackson has 75 million certified units but his RIAA shipment (which represents total number of products) is 69,25 million:

HISTORY: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE BOOK I (1995) (2 discs) is 7×P but RIAA shipment is 3,5 million
THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION (2004) (4 music discs + video DVD) is 1×P but RIAA shipment is 250k
THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON (2005) (2 discs) is 3×P but the RIAA shipment is 1,5 million

So total amount of certified units for these 3 albums is 11 million but total number of separate products is 5,25 million. Difference is 5,75 million so to get total number of RIAA shipment for MJ you must subtract 5,75 million from 75 million --> 69,25 million and that's RIAA shipment for Michael Jackson.

I'm gonna have to re-check those Beatles and Elvis figures then to see if someone edited them, if so I'll edit them back because you can edit anything on Wikipedia (which is a blessing and a curse lol).

OK, so it's 69 million for MJ but of course the RIAA credited 75 million units. That's why it's a confusing number. So if we're going on shipments then, everyone's totals would actually be lesser than they are.
 

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I don't know how many Belafonte's album sold and how many Elvis' two 1956 albums, but Belafonte's albums are certified Gold and Elvis' are certified Platinum.
Also those were Elvis' debut albums, while for Belafonte that was the peak. Belafonte had his limits in how big he could eventually grew, while the possibilites for Elvis were bigger.

Belafonte's album was the top-selling album of 1956 according to Billboard.

Elvis' albums got the gold cert in 1966 and platinum in 2011.
 

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Like I said, Michael was in a label (Motown) that prior to the arrival of "the album" sold on how catchy their songs were with everybody. When you're marketable and good looking, you'll get coverage. Considering the J5 got their own cartoon show and appeared in their own commercials, I say that Michael didn't need any help "breaking a barrier". Whereas someone like, say, Sammy Davis bust a few doors down, Michael (and for a minute his family) basically knocked it over.

Yes, there are black artists who had their hardships and fights too, but your claim was Elvis having it more difficult and Michael being "lucky" compared to him.

Michael didn't get on Rolling Stone due to them not thinking R&B (or black) artists didn't "sell magazine covers".

Yeah, that was the excuse for white media not to play and cover black artists at the time. And that stems from racism.
 

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Belafonte's album was the top-selling album of 1956 according to Billboard.

Elvis' albums got the gold cert in 1966 and platinum in 2011.

Thanks. But the second part of my argument still stands. That was as far as Belafonte could get. Unlike Elvis.
 

troubleman84

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Going back...

The RIAA only certified gold for albums that sold over a million units back in the late 1950s. Elvis' first several albums weren't giving its certs until after 1966 and even then it was only "gold". They updated to "platinum" over 45 years later (2011).

By the time Michael released his albums on Epic, gold albums were 500,000 and platinum albums over a million.

I think Elvis/The Beatles sold the number of copies it did over a few years, not immediately. Because as you can tell, they released tons of albums, sometimes four or five the same year. I think the Beatles had like 7 albums released in 1964 alone! :blink:

If you were said to sell a "million units", it would usually have this headline: "XXX's album grossed $1 million." That's what they did with Elvis and the RIAA would give what's called a "gold award". For some reason, Elvis had to wait until 1966 to get his.
 

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Thanks. But the second part of my argument still stands. That was as far as Belafonte could get. Unlike Elvis.

That's confusing because there's no telling how much Elvis' albums really sold (if we're gonna go with that theory). It only went platinum two years ago. So we don't know how much it sold. It probably only did sold just a million. Rock albums weren't selling like jazz/standard albums. Shoot, Johnny Mathis' hits set was the best-selling album of all time for years. None of Elvis' albums ever achieved that. Elvis sold more singles than albums. But then again the market was real small so for someone to sell in a big amount in just one year was big for its time.
 

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Yes. And Hungary was one of the most open and liberal Eastern Block countries if not THE most open and liberal. Buying western music was even more difficult and/or expensive in other Eastern Block countries.

And MTV Europe started in 1987. That was also about the time when the Iron Curtain came down. So that was the first time we got access to Western TVs. It was in 1988, at the age of 11, when I first saw and heard Michael Jackson.

I asked because Hungary is not generally considered Eastern European (especially not by Hungarians) so I thought I might be mistaking you for someone else. But in the context of the Iron curtain and the East/West divide it makes sense ;)

20 years of Michael's life and career was spent in the shadow of very damaging false allegations and constant vile media attacks. How did Elvis and the Beatles had it more difficult? The way Michael was treated was totally unfair and dehumanizing. It was basically a witch hunt.
Even if there were things Elvis and the Beatles were criticized for, those were nowhere near as harmful and damaging as those allegations against Michael.

Elvis and the Beatles may have been criticised in the past, when they were still performing, but in my experience the media are extremely favourable to them in recent times. It's almost sacrilegious for journalists to write anything negative about them (the Beatles in particular). It seems you cannot be taken seriously as a music critic if you don't worship the Beatles as the greatest musical act of all time. To me, the Beatles are a tremendously overrated boyband who were not particularly brilliant at anything. They were not the best songwriters, not the best singers, not the best musicians, etc. I'm not saying they were bad, not at all, but I don't think they deserve all the praise they're getting either. I'll personally take Queen over the Beatles anytime. (OT: We have an annual holiday here called Queenday (when we celebrate the Queen's birthday) and this year there was a music festival where artists sang songs from Queen. As I was listening to them, I realised that I could sing along to every song and I thought to myself, "this is a pretty damn great catalogue of music!" Not only are the songs better, but Freddy Mercury is a better vocalist than all of the Beatles combined, imo). People are so not used to hearing a negative opinion on the Beatles though that they think you must be insane or a music barbarian if you don't agree with the "universal consensus" that the Beatles are the greatest gift to music ever. Even people who never even listen to the Beatles think they're great because that's all you ever hear in the media. I wonder where the Beatles or Elvis would stand if they had received the same kind of horrible media treatment for decades that MJ did.
 

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That's confusing because there's no telling how much Elvis' albums really sold. It only went platinum two years ago. So we don't know how much it sold. It probably only did sold just a million. Rock albums weren't selling like jazz/standard albums. Shoot, Johnny Mathis' hits set was the best-selling album of all time for years. None of Elvis' albums ever achieved that. Elvis sold more singles than albums.

The way I understood it that you brought Belafonte in the discussion to make the point how race did not matter much. And I don't think that Belafonte's 1956 success proves that point, when overall his career obviously does not compare to Elvis': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Belafonte_discography

You can pinpoint certain successful singles or albums by black artists, but I don't think any black artist could have reached Elvis-like status at the time, no matter how great. And race did play a part in that.
 

HIStory

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I asked because Hungary is not generally considered Eastern European (especially not by Hungarians) so I thought I might be mistaking you for someone else. But in the context of the Iron curtain and the East/West divide it makes sense ;)

Sometimes people here call it Eastern Europe, sometimes Middle Europe, sometimes Eastern-Middle Europe. I did not realize a particular disdain for any of those terms.


Yes, I agree. The Beatles are the holy cows of the music industry. I tried to get into them but never could. But then they mean a lot to a lot of people so they must have something that resonates with so many people. Just not with me.


I wonder where the Beatles or Elvis would stand if they had received the same kind of horrible media treatment for decades that MJ did.

It speaks for Michael's strength as an artist that his career survived all that. I'm not saying intact, because no career can remain unaffected by something like that. He still sold records and sold out stadiums but obviously would have sold more without the allegations and other forms of character assassinations. And also he could have focused more on his art and creative work without that. I have never seen such a vile campaign against any artist! Well, maybe silent film star Roscoe Arbuckle in the 1920s ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Arbuckle ) But not anyone in modern popculture.
 

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OK, I found this info from MJDangerous on UK Mix (this was around 2009-ish):

US
Charts Peak
Certified sales
Soundscan sales
Published sales
BMG Music Club sales
Weeks catalog chart

ALBUMS
Motown Studio Albums
1972 none Got to Be There - 14 - 10,000 - about 350,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
1972 none Ben - 5 - 8,000 - about 350,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
1973 none Music and Me - 92 - 80,286
1975 none Forever Michael - 101 - 99,311
1984 none Farewell My Summer Love - 46 - 106,000


Epic/Sony Studio Albums
1979 2009 Off the Wall - 3 - 8,000,000 - 1,996,856 - 44 weeks (as of 02/12/2009)
1982 2009 Thriller - 1 - 29,000,000 - 4,683,000 - 923,000 - 173 weeks (#1 (12)) (as of 08/04/2010)
1987 1994 Bad - 1 - 8,000,000 - 1,552,000 - 879,000 - 58 weeks (as of 25/02/2010)
1991 2000 Dangerous - 1 - 7,000,000 - 6,300,000 - 298,000 - 26 weeks (as of 02/12/2009)
2001 2002 Invincible - 1 - 2,000,000 - 2,221,024 - 14 weeks (as of 02/12/2009)

New Material/Old Material
1995 1999 History - 1 - 3,500,000 - 2,584,000 - 730,000 - 6 weeks (as of 07/2009)
1997 2000 Blood on the Dance Floor - 24 - 1,000,000 - 352,000 - 12 weeks (as of 31/09/2009)

Motown Compilations
1975 none The Best Of - 156 - 146,000 - 24 weeks (as of 13/01/2008)
1981 none One Day in Your Life - 144 - 32,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
1983 none Great Songs And Performances That Inspired The Motown 25th Anniversary TV Special - 50 weeks
1984 none 14 Greatest Hits - 168
1986 none Anthology - 50,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
1987 none The Original Soul Of Michael Jackson - 1,000
1993 none Rockin' Robin - 62,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
1995 none Best Of, Anthology - 31,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
2000 none 20th Century Masters - 54,000 - 1 week (as of 13/01/2008)
2002 none Love Songs - 26,000 (as of 13/01/2008)
2008 none Gold - 139 - 13,267 (as of 07/2009)
2009 none Stripped Mixes - 57 - 45,747 (as of 02/12/2009)
2009 none Definitive Collection - 39 - 68,671 (as of 02/12/2009)
2009 none The Remix Suite - 175 - 8,730 (as of 02/12/2009)

Epic/Sony Compilations
2001 2005 Greatest Hits Vol 1 - 28 - 500,000 - 1,102,039 - 33 weeks (as of 02/12/2009)
2003 2009 Number Ones - 1 - 3,000,000 - 4,220,276 - 116 weeks (#1 (28)) (as of 08/04/2010)
2004 none The Ultimate - 32 - 187,170 - 8 weeks (as of 14/10/2009)
2005 2009 The Essential - 2 - 1,000,000 - 1,620,412 - 41 weeks (#1 (1)) (as of 08/04/2010)
2009 2009 This Is It - 1 - 2,000,000 - 1,532,891 (as of 08/04/2010)

Epic/Sony random packages
2007 none X2 (Thriller/Off The Wall) - 25,000 (as of 17/09/2009)
2009 none 7 CD Album Mega Bundle - 78 - 8,749 - 1 week (as of 14/10/2009)
2009 none This Is It EP Selection - 91 - 6,075 (as of 04/11/2009)

Total Shipments - 65,000,000

Total Soundscan (May 1991 - December 31 1999) - 11,523,000
Total Soundscan (January 1 2000 - June 21 2009) - 9,145,000
Total Soundscan (June 21 2009 - September 31 2009) - 5,280,000
Total Soundscan (September 31 2009 - November 29 2009) - 1,736,000
Total Soundscan (November 29 2009 - January 3 2010) - 972,000
Total Soundscan (May 1991 - January 3 2010) - 28,656,000

NB:
Total Soundscan in 2009 - 8,286,000

----
So before he eventually reached 69.25 album shipments, the shipment total was 65 million.

As you can see, the Motown album sales weren't much (sadly) to brag about.
 
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Kikuchiyo

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troubleman84;3851647 said:
NOTE, FOLKS: The United States certifies albums on SHIPMENTS (and units maybe in the case of "double, triple, quadruple-set albums"), not actual sales.
Last 30 years, RIAA has a policy of making labels wait for a period of time (30 days after initial street date) before applying for a certification so RIAA doesn't give certification for initial shipments. RIAA certification is a result of net shipments (shipments minus returns).

Also last 22 years we have SoundScan system in the US for tracking actual sales (not shipments) in stores so for example from SoundScan numbers we know for sure that NUMBER ONES (2003) sold 4,92 million copies in stores monitored by SoundScan (so without doubt it's eligible for 5×P) and THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON (2005) has sold 2,09 million copies (eligible for 4×P).
 
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troubleman84

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Kikuchiyo;3851728 said:
Last 30 years, RIAA has a policy of making labels wait for a period of time (30 days after initial street date) before applying for a certification so RIAA doesn't give certification for initial shipments. RIAA certification is a result of net sales (shipments minus returns).

Also last 22 years we have SoundScan system in the US for tracking actual sales (not shipments) in stores so for example from SoundScan numbers we know for sure that NUMBER ONES (2003) sold 4,92 million copies in stores monitored by SoundScan (so without doubt it's eligible for 5×P) and THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON (2005) has sold 2,09 million copies (eligible for 4×P).

One guy on UK Mix argued that Sony is being lazy with some figures. :mellow:
 

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troubleman84;3851729 said:
One guy on UK Mix argued that Sony is being lazy with some figures. :mellow:

Well, for example, MJ has numerous digital singles eligible for RIAA awards but almost zero certification. Last month Billie Jean got 2×P even though it passed 2 million mark in paid downloads in November 2010. :rofl:
Thriller digital single passed 3 million mark in paid downloads in March 2012 and last certification (gold) is from 2005. :rofl:
MJ also has so many physical singles from 80's eligible for certification but...

Anyway for the purposes of RIAA certification the parent company makes the request and, simply put, it has to provide cumulative, aggregate report about certain product. In reality data collecting and making reports about certain product is not so simple process. I hope, that over time MJ will be properly certified (excluding Motown).
 
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