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03 June 2007

Invincible (2001)

Invincible is an album by Michael Jackson released on October 30, 2001. It was Jackson's first full album of all-new material since 1991's Dangerous (his previous album, HIStory, was sold with some of his greatest hits included as an extra CD). The cover art of this album was a simple design of just Michael's face. It was available in the standard silver edition, or four limited colours: red, green, yellow and blue. The singles released from the album include "You Rock My World", "Cry", and "Butterflies" (see Michael Jackson singles discography for chart positions). The album included guests performances by Carlos Santana, Brandy and posthumous appearances by The Notorious B.I.G. and Rod Serling. On Invincible, Michael Jackson expanded his vocal abilities as well as his instrumental involvement on the album, playing most of the instruments and performing much of the programming tasks in collaboration with producers Rodney Jerkins, Teddy Riley, and Dr. Freeze.

Track Listing:

1. Unbreakable | 6:25
2. Heartbreaker | 5:10
3. Invincible | 4:45
4. Break of Dawn | 5:32
5. Heaven Can Wait | 4:49
6. You Rock My World | 5:39
7. Butterflies | 4:40
8. Speechless | 3:18
9. 2000 Watts | 4:24
10. You Are My Life | 4:39
11. Privacy | 5:05
12. Don't Walk Away | 4:25
13. Cry | 5:01
14. The Lost Children | 4:00
15. Whatever Happens | 4:56
16. Threatened | 4:19

Chart Information

Highest Chart Position: UK #1 USA #1
Current Sales Award: UK Platinum USA 2 times Platinum
Current Sales Figure: 350,000 2.1 million

Latest Official World Sales Figure: 5.4 million (to end of 2001).
Current Best Estimate World Sales: 8 million.

UK (top 100) & USA (top 200) chart run:
UK: #1,5,18,32,39,44,49,52,65,95,out for 9 months,84,96,out for 7 months,63,65,70,96,out
USA: #1,3,4,11,17,25,28,26,25,27,24,25,27,27,35,40,46,53,71,89,104,126,123,130,124,174,174,198,out
USA R&B chart (top 100): #86,1,1,1,1,3,5,5,5,8,7,5,6,6,10,13,13,14,24,34,40,44,50,49,54,69,55,61,67,71,69,87,80,81,out 1 wk,100,out

Other Countries sales figures:

Australia: 70,000+
Brazil: 70,000+
France: 600,000+
Japan: 200,000+

Out takes

* "Another Day" (with Lenny Kravitz)
* "Ekam Satyam (The One Truth)"
* "Fall Again" - Demo appeared on Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection
* "Kick It"
* "Maybe We Can Do It" (with P. Diddy)
* "New Attitudes"
* "On My Anger"
* "Peaceful Journey"
* "She Was Loving Me"
* "Shout" - Later appeared on "Cry" single release 2001
* "Soldier's Entrance"
* "This Is Our Time"
* "True Life"
* "What You Do To Me"
* "What More Can I Give" - Later available as official download only)
* "Who Do U Be" - Later used on rapper Kurupt's album Kuruption!
* Untitled/Unknown track featuring Method Man produced by Swizz Beats

Other Information

Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson informed then Sony Music Entertainment head, Tommy Mottola, that he was not going to renew his contract, signed in 1991, which was about to expire in terms of supplying the label with albums of full-new material for release through Epic Records/Sony Music Entertainment. By 2002, sales and interest in the album had decreased rapidly, which prompted Mottola to cancel all single releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album. Due to this, Jackson made allegations about Sony not supporting its African-American artists. Jackson referred to Sony Entertainment's head, Tommy Mottola, as a "devil" and a "racist" who used black artists for his own personal gain. Jackson also insisted that Mottola called Irv Gotti a "fat nigger",. Sony issued a statement saying that they found the allegations strange, since Motolla used to be married to pop star Mariah Carey, who is of Venezuelan and African-American descent, and was currently married with Mexican pop star ThalĂ­a.

There were seven singles and videos that Sony and Jackson wanted to release from Invincible. Initially, Jackson wanted to release "Unbreakable" as the debut single from the album, partnered with a 20-minute music video. However, Sony wanted Jackson to release "You Rock My World" instead of "Unbreakable" due to shorter production time of the video accompanying the single. "You Rock My World" was the only worldwide single release from Invincible and would reach the top ten position in 22 countries. Jackson had also planned to release "The Lost Children", "Break of Dawn", "Butterflies", "Speechless", "Cry" and "Whatever Happens" (with Carlos Santana).

In 2002, Jackson announced that Invincible would be his last studio album with Epic Records.

Story Behind The Success

Invincible debuted at number one in the majority of record markets around the world including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and of course the UK & USA. Current sales are around 8 million which is a once in a lifetime achievement by most artists standards but a huge disappointment by MJ's previous record-breaking sales. The reason for this relative failure is as follows.

Up to the end of 2001 sales were at 5.4 million, (11th best seller worldwide) which was very good for 2 months of sales, but behind HIStory & Dangerous which had sold more in the same time period. The album was outselling HIStory in the USA & French markets however up until the early part of 2002. The album was absolutely huge in France where after release it was #1 for 3 weeks and top 10 for 2 months thereafter with sales to date of over 750,000 copies. The album was also doing very well in the USA, much to many peoples surprise, where it sold a million copies in just over a month but it dropped out of the top 200 mid 2002 due to no promotion/singles with sales at 2.1 million. It was also at the top of the R&B album chart for 4 weeks and remained in the top 10 for 14 weeks.

This showed that the album got off to a reasonable start but the album fell out of most international charts in early 2002 simply due to no promotion on Sony's part and the lack of an active singles. It was hoped the Cry single would help the album back up the chart in Christmas 2001 but due to it's chart failure it had little impact. The second single in the USA, Butterflies, had a much better effect in prolonging strong album sales, due to superb airplay, but the lack of a commercial release (and therefore #1 spot) inhibited its positive effect.

The album promotion/singles campaign halted in early 2002 due to Michael's problem's with Sony and his possible future departure from the label. The expected main commercial singles, Unbreakable & Whatever Happens, were crucial to the albums long-term success - but their releases were cancelled. Also in the USA all planned radio release singles after Butterflies were also cancelled. Due to this the album sales slowed to a trickle and it left most charts. It did however enjoy a brief re-entry in some world charts (inc an extra month in the UK) after the Bashir interview in early 2003 but the sales impact on Michael's other more well know albums was much greater.

The album had enormous potential for huge hit singles (and therefore sales) but Sony did everything possible so this did not happen. All Michael previous album have had strong or steady sales over a 2 year period due to multiple successful single releases and world tours. Tragically this has not happened with Invincible despite it containing some of the strongest tracks of his career.

Sony has now moved on and the only Invincible track's getting attention are You Rock My World and Break of Dawn which feature on the new 'Number Ones' compilation which in just 6 weeks sold triple the UK total sales of Invincible although in most other counties (especially the USA) Invincible's sales are still well ahead of Number Ones.

Information is collected from MJinf, Wikipedia, Mjtunes.com, etc


  1. MJ was truly cheated by Sony and making billions of dollars for them in profit.Tommy Mottola is surely a devil.

  2. The media would have people believe the album was less successful than it was. It was not quite successful by Michael Jackson standards or Thriller standards but by other one else's standards it was quite successful. Not only that it is a great album and all the songs are good, unlike other albums where you get one or two songs. Great blog by the way.

  3. nice read. I would love to follow you on twitter.