Michael Jackson must be smiling in heaven. Not only does he have the No. 1 movie, but he’s got the No. 1 album. And the No. 14 album, number whatever.
The companion album to Jackson’s “This Is It” sold about 385,000 copies this week, landing it at the top spot. What’s funny about this is that with the exception of two tracks, all of the music is already available. In fact, Jackson sold around 65,000 copies of his other CDs this week, including a greatest hits package.
Meantime, the other big chart news is that Sting’s “If on s Winter’s Night” — a classical album, certainly — landed in the top 10 with about 80,000 copies. And Rod Stewart’s “Soul Songbook,” the best covers package he’s put out in several tries, did just a smidge better than Sting. It’s full of Rod singing classic R&B songs. Go figure!
Is real music back? For the moment, at least.
Meantime, the Beatles have a huge headache. Their entire catalog has been put on a downloading site illegally. The owners of the site are selling the group’s albums for $3.99. This is absolutely unauthorized, and totally against the law. The problem is that the owners of the site have masked their Web address. I’m told lawyers are working feverishly on this.
The bigger question is how this particular site, Blue Beat, has been functioning so long. They have tons of music on there, all presumably without permission. You’d think that the RIAA’s dogs of war, the ones who sue grandmothers and schoolchildren, would be all over this.
At the same time, the Beatles announced, in a weird way albeit, that they’re going to be selling a USB stick next month with their whole catalog on it. How weird! After refusing to sell downloads through iTunes or Amazon, Apple Records is going to sell this stick — with a green apple — in limited editions in the U.S. and U.K. A great souvenir — but what’s the point? This should lead to massive file sharing, I would think. The 10,000-piece edition will likely sell for several hundred dollars per apple. (And boy — isn’t this a great way to get back at Apple Computers? Yes!)