The Big News: Four new releases stormed the top of the charts, but the King of Pop outsold them all — again — as sales of Michael Jackson's catalog topped over 800,000 copies in the first full week since the singer's death. Leading the charge was Jackson's Number Ones, selling 339,000 copies to rank Number One on the Top Albums chart (Jackson's discography is ineligible for the Top 200 chart because the releases are older than 18 months). Thriller came in at Number Two with 187,000 copies. Both albums sold more than the week's Top 200 champ the Now 31 compilation, which sold 169,000 units.
Other members of the over 100K club this week include Brad Paisley's American Saturday Night (Number Two on Top 200, Four on Top Albums) with 129,000 copies, the Essential Michael Jackson collection at Number Five on the Top Albums list thanks to 125,000 copies and Rob Thomas' Cradlesong, which sold 121,000 copies to place Number Three on the Top 200. Jackson also grabbed all of the Top 10 spots on the Top Catalog Albums chart. Amazingly, roughly 82 percent of Jackson's album sales have come from CD purchases and not digital outlets, Billboard reports.
Debuts: Jackson's chart reign almost overshadows the stellar debut of Wilco's Wilco (The Album), which tied the debut of 2007's Sky Blue Sky by bowing in at Number Four, selling 98,000 copies in the process. A pair of self-titled albums entered the charts at Six and Seven as Jeremih and Killswitch Engage made the cut with their eponymous releases. Other notables include Moby's Wait For Me at 22, Levon Helm's Electric Dirt at 36 and the Wu-Tang Clan project Chamber Music at 49.
Last Week's Heroes: Michael Jackson's increased sales kept him in the game while the rest of last week's Top 10 took a tumble. Regina Spektor's Far, a shocker in the Number Three spot seven days ago, dropped down to 26. The Jonas Brothers' Lines, Vines and Trying Times fell from Two to Eight while Eminem's Relapse was finally booted from the Top Five, falling from Five to Nine. Next week, with no major releases on this week's slate, we'll find out if the Michael Jackson discography can make a run at outselling the entire Top 200.