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.
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.
^ Because they update the numbers of shipments for Elvis. It's not unusual.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
troubleman84 you are posting WRONG figures, and you are also mixing shipments and certified units, 2 completely different terms.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:
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)
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (1977) - platinum
Live at the BBC (1994) - 4x platinum
Total: 5 million shipments
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...
But who was even mentioning the scandals?
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).
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 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.
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".
Thanks. But the second part of my argument still stands. That was as far as Belafonte could get. Unlike Elvis.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
BMG Music Club sales
Weeks catalog chart
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)
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)
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
Total Soundscan in 2009 - 8,286,000
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).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.
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).
troubleman84;3851729 said:One guy on UK Mix argued that Sony is being lazy with some figures. :mellow: