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RIP: King of Pop (of the 80s) June 26, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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I never got into Michael Jackson’s music very much. A few songs and a small handful of nice videos. But his biggest accomplishment was getting his PR people to successfully sell him as The King of Pop. The generation XY and Z people born after about 1965 or so lapped that up.

This gave Jackson equal status with Elvis Presley and the Beatles as All-time mega-superstars of music. The numbers just do not hold up. Jackson had about a dozen US number 1 hits, only 7 albums in the top-ten. Thriller makes the rest all seem to be there when it is not. Its worldwide sales are the most ever, boosted by phenomenal sales in Asian countries. In the US and European markets, Thriller is way, way down the list 0 even with the necro-sales boost his death caused.

Each decade had someone who dominated the charts. Jackson was the 80s’, as Rudy Vallee did the 20s. He’ll not have a million seller twenty years after he died, but Elvis and John Lennon’s Beatles did more than once. Rest in Peace, King of Pop Hype.

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Comments»

1. organikchemist - June 26, 2009

But he only had 10 albums. only four were made after thriller…. He was no Elvis, but he certainly had a large impact on popular music.

2. fetzthechemist - June 26, 2009

Yes, a large impact, but not the mega-superstar he is being eulogized as. He had a solo run of less than ten years in the top echelon of music. But when I hear these tearful fans saying his success was bigger than Elvis or the Beatles, I think that they never ever saw the impact those two had.

3. Carmen - July 1, 2009

Tearful fans will be tearful fans, I suppose. I’m too young to remember the height of his fame, but I thought his impact was less about numbers and more about breaking racial barriers in pop music. Of course, Elvis laid some of the foundation, by popularizing black musical styles with white fans.


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