Michael Jackson’s catalog contains some of the most successful singles of the past half-century, and there’s a reason he is still referred to as the King of Pop to this day. Years after his passing, one of his collections of all those tunes continues to perform especially well in the U.K., and it recently reached a milestone that remains out of reach for the vast majority of artists.
Last week, Jackson’s Number Ones hit 520 frames on the U.K. albums chart, or exactly 10 years on the list. It’s extremely rare for any release to make it to a decade on the ranking of the most-consumed full-lengths and EPs in the nation, and by arriving at, and then passing, that mark, the legendary musician joined an incredibly exclusive club.
Jackson is just the second solo musician in U.K. history to see one of their releases spend a decade on the albums chart. He joined Meat Loaf in this showing, and they are alone in this incredible accomplishment. Something that separates the two in their wins is that while Jackson’s title is a greatest hits compilation, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell is a traditional album of new material. That set has thus far appeared on the chart for 522 weeks.
This week, Number Ones dips from No. 26 to No. 34, and there’s no reason to believe it will disappear anytime soon. Chances are very good that when the Official Charts Company refreshes its list again in a few days, Jackson will match Meat Loaf’s most impressive feat on the albums chart. Then, in one more week, Number Ones will likely snag the title of longest-charting album by a solo musician in U.K. history for itself.
Looking at all releases, just five albums have lasted longer on the U.K. chart than Bat Out of Hell, and they are ABBA’s Gold (1019 weeks), Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend (1003 weeks), Queen’s Greatest Hits (971 weeks), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (914 weeks) and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (539 weeks).
Released in 2003, Number Ones features at least 18 songs from across many years of Jackson’s impressive career. The tracklist includes such beloved smashes as “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Smooth Criminal” and “Thriller,” to name just a few. The compilation worked its way to No. 1 in the U.K., and it is one of his 10 chart-toppers in the country.