New York, NY – “MICHAEL JACKSON’S THIS IS IT” made motion picture history as the highest grossing concert film of all time. And now, the two-disc album companion to the movie Michael Jackson’s This is It released by Sony Music’s Epic Records makes its first week debut in the #1 spot of the Billboard Top 200 album chart, as well as the Soundtrack album chart. U.S. sales of the album – which features new hit song “This is It” – totaled 373,100 units this week according to Nielsen Soundscan – this figure does not include significant sales from non-traditional retailers. Sales figures from other parts of the world are still being tallied although the album did hit #1 in 16 other countries including Canada, Japan, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Turkey, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the Middle East and Colombia and Top-3 in the UK, Australia, Argentina, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and Spain. A simultaneous #1 album and a #1 documentary film has not happened since 1971 when the Rolling Stones did it with the album Sticky Fingers and movie Gimme Shelter.
Michael Jackson albums now occupy the top five spots of Billboard catalog album chart at #1, #3 and #4; his Number Ones album is this year’s best-selling overall album year to date as of this week. Throughout his career, Michael Jackson has spent a total of 51 weeks at #1 on the Billboard album chart. Only The Beatles and Elvis Presley have spent more weeks at the top. His last #1 was Invincible in 2001 although Thriller hit the top of the Billboard catalog album chart last October.
Disc one features the original album masters of some of Michael’s biggest hits such as “Billie Jean,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Human Nature,” and “Thriller” arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film. The disc ends with two versions of “This Is It,” the original and an orchestral version. Disc two offers fans a rare listen to the early demo versions of classics “She’s Out Of My Life,” “Wanna Be Startin’,” “Somethin’,” and “Beat It.” This disc also features a recently discovered spoken word poem from Michael Jackson entitled “Planet Earth.”
Michael Jackson’s This Is It also includes a 36-page, commemorative booklet featuring exclusive photos of Michael from his last rehearsal.