Michael Jackson’s New Album Still Expected to Sell Well

Posted November 30, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in News

Michael, the first posthumous album lined up for the late King of Pop, is still expected to become of the year’s best-selling albums, even after controversial questioning of its authenticity

When “Breaking News,” the first single released digitally from Michael Jackson’s highly-anticipated album Michael, broke out, controversy began to loom over its authenticity. Some questioned if Jackson’s vocals were really on the track, including family members like LaToya Jackson and Joe Jackson. “Breaking News” wasn’t a bad track, since it possessed some of the energy from Jackson’s Teddy Riley-produced “Jam” and lyrical direction he would normally entertain. But it didn’t add up to MJ’s best.

Still, merchants believe the controversy surrounding the song will not dent record sales for Michael, which is scheduled to hit stands December 14 and is predicted to be one of the end-of-the-year best-selling records.

“Any publicity is good publicity,” says Sue Bryan, GM of music and video at J&R Music World. “I heard about the controversy, but I think it will help sales and the album will do well.”

After “Breaking News” was sent to radio, it instantly drew mixed emotions from programmers and listeners. It managed to log 1.1 million impressions at radio on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop stations after two days of airplay and registered 302 plays on 177 stations, according to Nielsen data. But quickly slipped in its enthusiasm for the single as Nov. 8 data suggested that only 50 stations played the song on Nov. 8 and just four on Nov. 9.

A second single was released, the Akon-supported “Hold My Hand” and drew attention back to the record. The song features an undeniable Michael Jackson on a smooth midtempo track that clearly stands up well against some of his latter singles. Merchants believe the single will prove to be a worthy re-introduction to the Michael album, which will carry a $13.98 list price in retail stores. Sony plans to ship 900,000 units and is projecting in its first-week to sale CD versions somewhere between 340,000 and 400,000. Digital sales will probably be near 60,000.

More singles from Michael are expected.  According to Billboard, two tracks produced by Grammy Award-winning C. “Tricky” Stewart (“Stay” and a gospel-pop offering “Keep Your Head Up”) are expectedto appear on the project. Still, no word on the official track listing and producer credits from Sony.

A while back after the passing of Jackson, a leaked 20-second sample appeared on YouTube of what sounded like a cover of America’s “Horse With No Name,.” No word if that song will also make its appearance on the Michael set.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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