By Harry McCracken | Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm
Reasonable people can disagree about just what Michael Jackson’s legacy is, and whether or not he was the biggest pop star of all time. But this much seems pretty much undeniable: He’s the biggest pop star to have died in the Web age. And so the Web is reflecting things about the reaction to his passing that give us more knowledge than we had when Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon left us.
Amazon.com and Apple’s iTunes Store, for instance, both tell us their top sellers on a continuous basis, and as I write this, both are awash in Michael Jackson and Jackson Five items. More details after the jump.
Right now, all ten of the top Amazon CDs are his…
And so are nineteen of the top 25 Amazon MP3 downloads…
And eight of the top ten DVDs.
At Apple’s iTunes store, seven of the top ten songs, nine of the top ten albums, two of the top five ringtones, and all five top videos are Jackson’s.
I was startled for a moment that so much Michael Jackson is selling so well–I mean, Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, so doesn’t almost everybody who wants it already have it? Naive me. Clearly, news of his death has piqued the interest both of dedicated fans and those who weren’t even alive when his fame was at its height. I also forgot factors such as the fact that a very, very high percentage of those copies of Thriller were sold on vinyl or tape. (Trivia: Both CDs and Thriller first reached the public in November of 1982.) I’ll bet a lot of people who loved the album in 1982 are just now getting it in CD or MP3 form. And people who loved Jackson in the 1980s may be catching up on his later albums.
The Jacksonmania will fade away over time, but it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes. Will he still be at the top of the charts a month from now?