Whenever a washed-up popstars need a quick influx of cash, the path of least resisitance is to release a Greatest Hits album. The profitability of Best Of compilations is high, because they cost almost nothing to produce.
Which is likely why Michael Jackson, widely rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy and an artist who can't seem to record anything new without spend months and millions of dollars in the studio, decided to put another Greatest Hits CD, following on the massive success of HIStory, which flopped badly. The Essential Michael Jackson features, not insignificantly, a photo of Jackson post-plastic surgery but pre-freakishness.
Yeah, well, if Jackson was counting on fast profits to keep his sinking ship afloat, results from the marketplace suggest that the deposed King of Pop might want to develop a Plan B:
Pop star Michael Jackson's dreams to make an impressive comeback after being cleared of child abuse charges last month, have been shattered with his new greatest hits CD just selling 8,000 copies in its first week in the US.
To put those sales figures in perspective, it's worth noting that 1970s niche hottie Carly Simon's new CD sold 58,000 copies last week. Carly Simon hasn't outsold Jackson since...well, ever, to be exact. As a pre-teen novelty act, Jackson outsold Simon during her braless moment in the pop culture sun. And I'll bet you didn't even know Simon was still recording and releasing new material.
As a result of Jackson's recent experience, the long-held show business belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity is being revised to include the phrase, "...except if the only media attention you can get is being accused of child molestation." Even in today's infinite airtime cable environment, Jackson can't find an outlet to promote his product. Where can he go to talk about his music without having to answer questions about his creepy-if-unconvicted affection for youngsters?
The situation is so desperate that Jackson's few remaining supporters are reduced to playing the race card. Janet Jackson's hubby-to-be, producer Jermaine Dupri, has recently suggested that Jackson is the victim of a racist conspiracy. Dupri thinks African-Americans ought to run out and buy Jackson's product as a show of respect and support, whether it stinks or not. This may be Jackson's Plan B:
The Atlanta, Georgia-based mogul, who is dating JANET JACKSON, admits he was appalled with the way America's black population turned their backs on the King of Pop when he needed them most - at the height of his child molestation trial.
Michael Jackson as affirmative action case? If that's what they've got they must be getting pretty close to the bottom. The last ditch will likely be an appeal to American patriotism and then the very public settlement of accounts.