Thursday, July 02, 2009


Nielsen SoundScan says Michael Jackson's album sales have exploded - three of his albums are in the top three spots and 2.3 million tracks have been downloaded in the United States since his death.

Album sales for the week through Sunday hit 422,000 in the U.S., up from 10,000 a week earlier. The week's tally was greater than all the Jackson albums sold from the start of the year to June 21.

The top three albums were "Number Ones," "Essential Michael Jackson," and "Thriller."

In other Michael Jackson news, -- an Internet retail site specializing in reissues of Universal Music Group items -- will release “Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection” on Friday. The three-CD set features every Jackson solo recording released between 1971 and ‘75, plus all Motown-era songs issued after he left the company to sign with Epic in 1975.

The latter recordings include “Farewell My Summer Love,” originally released in 1984 as a “lostJackson solo album slated to hit the racks a decade earlier, and “Looking Back to Yesterday,” a 1986 compilation of then-unreleased tracks from Jackson and the Jackson 5. And while all the music has been available before, Hip-OSelect touts bonus tracks on the new collection in its “original, undubbed mixes.”

Curiously, the U.S. Copyright Office lists more than 1,000 titles under Jackson’s name; a good number of have been recorded but many have not. Titles range from the seemingly sentimental “Elizabeth I Love You” to the cryptically named “(I Took an) Overdose.” Signal Hill Capital Group and Fortress Credit Corp. are listed among copyright owners, presumably as future collateral to settle the singer’s debts, reported to be in the $400 million range. Neither firm returned calls.