DISCOGRAPHY : Invincible Album

Invincible is the tenth and final studio album to be released in Michael Jackson‘s lifetime. The album was released by Epic Records on October 30, 2001, six years after Jackson’s 1995 double disc studio album HIStory, and the first featuring all new tracks since Dangerous in 1991. The album art, an image of Jackson’s face, is available in five different colors – red, green, orange, blue and silver. To date, Invincible has sold as much as eight to ten million copies worldwide.

The album was to be the first release featuring all new tracks since Dangerous in 1991.In addition to production being handled by contemporary artists such as Rodney Jerkins, R. Kelly and former Jodeci member DeVante Swing, Hip Hop producer Dr. Dre was asked to produce, but declined

 

Promotion and singles

To help promote the album, a special 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden occurred in September 2001 to mark the singer’s 30th year as a solo artist. Jackson appeared onstage alongside his brothers for the first time since 1984. The show also featured performances by Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, ‘N Sync, and Slash, among other artists. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.. The concert was aired on October 21, 2001, and included performances from dozens of major artists, including Jackson, who performed his song “What More Can I Give” as the finale.[5] The album spawned three singles, “You Rock My World“, “Cry” and “Butterflies“, the latter of which did not have a music video. “You Rock My World” peaked at #10 in its third week on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and “Butterflies” later peaked at #14 on the same chart, and at #2 for 5 weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart. “Heaven Can Wait” also charted at the bottom of the R&B/Hip-Hop charts due to radio airplay without an official release.

Reception

Commercial

Being his first studio album in six years (after 1995’s HIStory), expectations were high. Invincible competed a race for the top of the Billboard 200 with some other big releases, being Enrique Iglesias‘s new album Escape its biggest contender. In the end, Invincible won the top, selling 366,275 copies during its debut week, almost 100,000 copies more than the 267,000 sold by Escape. Jackson’s other big rival of the week, the first Backstreet Boys compilation (called The Hits: Chapter One), was relegated to number four. Invincible not only debuted at number 1 in the U.S., but also 12 other countries, and sold between 8 and 10 million copies worldwide. It received double-platinum certification in the US.However, the sales for Invincible were notably low compared to his previous releases, due in part to a diminishing pop music industry, the lack of promotion, no supporting world tour and the label dispute.

Commenting on the sales of Invincible back in late 2003, which were reportedly six or seven million then, Bernard Zuel of The Sydney Morning Herald stated, “Holly Valance or Delta Goodrem would think their Christmases had come at once if they sold five or six million copies of their albums worldwide. Michael Jackson did something similar in the past two years with his seventh solo album, Invincible, and he’s been branded a failure in the industry and the media. Unfair? Yes, of course, because his Invincible figures are better than those for 95 per cent of the thousands of artists released each year and would provide a healthy retirement fund for anyone. What’s more, that failure tag is consistently applied by comparisons with his 1982 album, Thriller which has sold about 50 million copies and its follow-up, Bad, that sold about 25 million copies. Anything after that is a failure in relative terms if you want”.

Critical

Reviews of Invincible were generally favorable, but there was a consensus that it was one of Jackson’s least impressive records, mostly because it was too long; nearly 80 minutes. Allmusic gave the record three out of five stars saying, “Ultimately, the record runs too long, losing steam halfway through…[It’s] not enough to make Invincible the comeback Jackson needed…but it does offer a reminder that he can really craft good pop”.[14] NME gave the record six out of ten, stating, “Invincible is a relevant and rejuvenated comeback album made overlong”. Rolling Stone gave Invincible three out of five stars, believing that the early R&B tracks were good, but the later ballads made the record too long. Reviewer Robert Christgau gave the album an A-, saying, “His skills seem undiminished…his funk is steelier and his ballads are airier, both to disquieting effect. At 78 minutes this is too long.” This was the same grade he gave Jackson’s landmark album Thriller when originally released.

Jackson and his supporters maintain that reviews were unfair, often discussing the singer’s perceived eccentric image and past troubles, or making him the subject of ridicule.NME called him “Michael ‘Actually Quite Scary Now’ Jackson”, a “Fucking freak” and “a bit of a wanker”.Allmusic brought up “[Jackson’s] truly ugly public scandal, and swirling rumors about his diminishing finances”. Rolling Stone believed that “every song is full of grandiose desperation. It’s an excruciatingly self-referential place, worsened further by its namesake’s unmatched controversies and weirdnesses.”  Robert Christgau believed Jackson had a “grotesque life magnified by his grotesque wealth”. He was also of the opinion that Jackson singing about helping children was “offensive”.

Dedication to Benjamin Hermansen

Invincible is dedicated to the 15 year old Afro-Norwegian boy Benjamin Hermansen who was stabbed to death by a group of neo-Nazis in Oslo on January 26, 2001. The reason for this tribute has partly to do with the fact that the Oslo boy Omar (or Omer) Bhatti and Jackson were close friends, and Bhatti was at the same time a good friend of Benjamin Hermansen. The album was also dedicated to Jackson’s own parents and grandmother. In the album’s booklet, next to the image of a rose, it reads:

Michael Jackson gives “special thanks”:

This album is dedicated to Benjamin “Benny” Hermansen. May we continue to remember not to judge man by the color of his skin, but the content of his Character. Benjamin … we love you … may you rest in peace.

Track listing

Invincible
# Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Unbreakable” (Featuring The Notorious B.I.G.; background vocals by Brandy Norwood) Jackson, Daniels, Jerkis, Payne, Smith, Wallace 6:26
2. “Heartbreaker”   Jackson, Jerkins, Jerkins III, Daniels, Mischke, Gregg 5:09
3. “Invincible”   Jackson, Daniels, Gregg, Jerkins, Jerkins 4:46
4. “Break of Dawn”   Jackson, Dr. Freeze 5:32
5. “Heaven Can Wait”   Jackson, Riley, Heard, Smith, Teron Beal, Laues, Quiller 4:49
6. You Rock My World” (Introductory skit featuring Chris Tucker) Jackson, Daniels, Jerkins, Jerkins, Payne 5:39
7. Butterflies”   Harris, Ambrosius 4:40
8. “Speechless”   Jackson 3:18
9. “2000 Watts” (Backing vocals by Teddy Riley) Jackson, Riley, Gibson, Henson 4:24
10. “You Are My Life”   Jackson, Babyface, Sager, McClain 4:33
11. “Privacy”   Jackson, Belle, Daniels, Jerkins, Jerkins 5:05
12. “Don’t Walk Away”   Jackson, Riley, Stites, Vertelney 4:24
13. Cry” (also titled Cry (We Can Change The World)) R. Kelly 5:00
14. “The Lost Children”   Jackson 4:00
15. “Whatever Happens” (Guitar by Carlos Santana) Jackson, Riley, Quay, Williams 4:56
16. “Threatened” (Contains snippets of Rod Serling) Jackson, Jerkins, Jerkins III, Daniels 4:18
77:08

[edit] Charts

Chart (2001/2002) Peak
position
Certification Sales/Shipments
Argentinian Albums Chart   Gold[21] 20,000
Australian Albums Chart 1[22] 2x Platinum [23] 140,000
Austrian Albums Chart 2[24] Gold[25] 20,000
Canadian Top 50 3 Uncertified [26] <50,000
Danish Albums Chart 1[27] Gold[28] 15,000
Dutch Albums Chart 1[29] Platinum[30] 60,000
Finnish Albums Chart 7[31] Gold[32] 16,621
French Albums Chart 1[33] 2x Platinum 575,000[34]
German Albums Chart 1 Platinum[35] 200,000
Japanese Albums Chart 5 Platinum 200,000[36]
New Zealand Albums Chart 4[37] Platinum[38] 15,000[39]
Norwegian Albums Chart 1[40] Platinum[41] 30,000
Portuguese Albums Chart 8[42] Gold[43] 20,000
Swedish Albums Chart 1[44] Gold 40,000
Swiss Albums Chart 1[45] Platinum 40,000
Turkish Albums Chart 1[44] Platinum 120,000
U.S. Billboard 200 1 2x Platinum[46] 2,100,000[47][48][49]
UK Albums Chart 1 Platinum[50] 300,000

The IFPI European Double Platinum Award includes sales in the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom

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