We'll start this week's iTunes Chart Watch with help from our good friend, Mr. Michael Stipe. "Death is pretty final, I'm collecting vinyl." Okay, so we're not so much collecting vinyl as digital bits of 1s and 0s, but death turned out to be a pretty good career move for Michael Jackson. I know that's being a little glib, but take a look at our singles and album charts. It's all Michael Jackson. Anyone who released an album last week caught a bad break, although I think it's fair to say it sucked a good deal worse for Michael.
It's not surprising, but it is pretty amazing. Michael Jackson's death reminded us why there was so much hype in the first place. As I mentioned in the piece I co-wrote with several Blogcritics colleagues, Michael hadn't been musically relevant in a long time but his death reminded us of a time when he was. These charts are a little time portal to 25 years ago when he reigned supreme as the undisputed King of Pop. In subsequent years, erratic behavior and sinister rumors and allegations overshadowed his musical achievements. In death, his music got remembered one more time. The only question is how long this sales surge will last.
Non-Michael Jackson singles come from Black Eyed Peas, who continue to keep two songs in the Top 10 along with Sean Kingston and Drake. The big loser here is Lady GaGa, who has kept two song in the Top 10 since I started this feature. This week? Zero. Are listeners tired of her or is this a one-week hiatus? My guess is the latter, but I'm hoping for the former.