Michael Jackson Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29th 1958 in Gary, Indiana, USA and died on June 25th 2009 in Los Angeles, California USA. In a career that lasted more than 40 years, Michael Jackson became one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century.
He started out with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1964 and went on to become a solo artist in 1971. He developed complicated dance moves, contributed to the world of fashion and created popular music styles that have influenced many artists.
Michael Jackson has been called “The King Of Pop” and is said to have been responsible for breaking racial barriers and transferring popular music into an art form.
Best Michael Jackson Albums Of All Time
Michael Jackson released 10 solo albums and as always, we will rank them as we see them from the rest to the best.
10. Music & Me (1973)
This was Michael Jackson’s 3rd studio album which was originally released on April 13th 1973 and re-released in 2009 as part of a 3-album compilation called “Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection”.
Michael wanted to include some of the songs he’d written himself but Motown wouldn’t allow him to. So he had to sing the songs they told him to. When the album was released, Michael was on tour with the Jackson 5 which meant this album wasn’t that well promoted.
There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “With A Child’s Heart”, “Happy” and “Music And Me”.
The album peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and number 92 on the Billboard 200 chart.
9. Forever, Michael (1975)
Released on January 16th 1975, this was Michael Jackson’s 4th studio album. This was his last solo album until his breakthrough album “Off The Wall” in 1979. It was also his last for the Motown record label as he and his brothers moved to CBS Records soon after its release.
The tracks on this album were all recorded in 1974 and the album was ready to be released. But due to the success of the Jackson 5’s hit song “Dancing Machine”, Michael’s album was held back until it was felt it would receive the publicity it deserved.
This is the only Michael Jackson album that doesn’t share its title with one of the tracks from the album.
“Forever, Michael” peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop albums chart and number 101 on the Billboard 200 chart.
8. Ben (1972)
This was Michael’s 2nd album which was released on August 4th 1972. He was still a member of the Jackson 5 at this time and this album received some positive comments from music critics.
This album was much more successful than Michael’s first solo album. It peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, number 4 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop albums chart and number 17 on the UK albums chart.
The album’s title track (released as a single) was the theme song for the 1972 film “Ben” and won a Golden Globe award.
7. Got To Be There (1972)
Released on January 24th 1972, this was Michael Jackson’s debut solo album. The title track was released as Michael’s debut solo single and there were 3 more singles released from this album which were; “Rockin’ Robin”, “I Wanna Be Where You Are” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”.
The album peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and number 3 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart.
It sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide and was included on the 2009 3-disc compilation “Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection”.
6. Invincible (2001)
This was the 10th and final studio album released by Michael Jackson during his lifetime. It was released on October 30th 2001 by Epic Records.
This album featured guest appearances by Slash, Carlos Santana and the Notorious B.I.G and took 4 years to produce. It was estimated to have cost somewhere in the region of $30 million to make this album, making it the most expensive album ever.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the US and it was number one in 10 other countries as well.
There were 3 singles released from this album which were; “You Rock My World”, “Butterflies” and “Cry”.
SEE ALSO: What Guitar Does Slash Use?
5. Dangerous (1991)
Released on November 26th 1991, “Dangerous” was Michael Jackson’s 8th studio album. This was the album where Michael appeared to get serious about many subjects including poverty, racism, love, the welfare of children and the planet.
The album featured guest appearances by Slash, Heavy D, Princess Stephanie of Monaco and Wreckx-N-Effect.
There were several experimental sounds incorporated on this album including; synthetic basslines, drum machines, scratching, car horns, sliding chains, breaking glass, swinging gates, beatboxing, scat singing and finger snapping.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart and was also number one in 13 other countries. It sold 5 million copies worldwide in its first week of release and went on to become the best selling album in the world in 1992.
There were 9 singles released from this album which were; “Black Or White”, “Remember The Time”, “In The Closet”, “Jam”, “Who Is It”, “Heal The World”, “Give In To Me”, “Will You Be There” and “Gone Too Soon”.
4. Off The Wall (1979)
This was Michael’s 5th studio album which was released on August 10th 1979 and his first for Epic Records.
There are songs on this album written or co-written by Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Tom Bahler, David Foster and Rod Temperton. As well as 3 songs written by Michael Jackson himself.
This album was a huge change from his previous albums and is considered to be a breakthrough album for him.
In 2008 “Off The Wall” was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
There were 5 singles released from this album which were; “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, “Rock With You”, “Off The Wall”, “She’s Out of My Life” and “Girlfriend”.
The album peaked at number 5 in the UK, number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Billboard Top Black Albums chart.
SEE ALSO: Off The Wall Lyrics & Guitar Chords
3. HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995)
This was Michael’s 9th studio album which was released on June 20th 1995. It was his 5th album released through Epic Records and consisted of 2 discs; “HIStory Begins”, which was a greatest hits compilation and “HIStory Continues”, which was an album of new songs written and produced by Michael Jackson and others.
The album features guest appearances by Shaquille O’Neal, Janet Jackson, Slash, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Gale and the Notorious B.I.G. There are influences from the world of R&B, pop, funk and heavy rock.
The album touches on the themes of injustice, greed, isolation and environmental issues as well as Michael’s battles with the media.
There were 7 singles released from the album which were; “Scream”, “Childhood”, “You Are Not Alone”, “Earth Song”, “This Time Around”, “They Don’t Care About Us” and “Stranger In Moscow”.
The album peaked at number one in the UK, the US, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, France, Canada, and many other countries.
SEE ALSO: Van Halen Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)
2. Thriller (1982)
Released on November 29th 1982, “Thriller” is the 6th studio album by Michael Jackson. Michael wanted to produce an album where every track could be a hit song-or a thriller.
This album featured Paul McCartney on the song “The Girl Is Mine”, which was the first time a featured artist was ever credited on a Michael Jackson album.
There were 7 singles released from this album which were; “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “ Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, “Human Nature”, “ P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” and “Thriller”.
The album “Thriller” became Michael’s first number one album on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart where it spent a total of 37 weeks at number one.
With album sales in excess of 70 million copies worldwide, “Thriller” has become the best selling album of all time.
SEE ALSO: P.Y.T. Pretty Young Thing Lyrics & Guitar Chords
1. Bad (1997)
Michael’s 7th studio album which was released on August 31st 1987, “Bad” was his 3rd and final album produced by Quincy Jones. This album has pop, rock, R&B, Soul, hard rock, funk and dance influences.
This album features guest appearances from Stevie Wonder and Siedah Garrett.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart and stayed there for 6 weeks. It was also number one in the UK, Canada and many European countries.
There were 9 singles released from this album which were; “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man In The Mirror”, “Dirty Diana”, “Another Part Of Me”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Leave Me Alone” and “Liberian Girl”.
“Bad” is a far heavier album than “Thriller” and as such appealed to a wider audience. It’s our number one because it showcases many of Michael’s talents in one album. It also shows just how influential his music was on a whole generation of artists.
SEE ALSO: Bad by Michael Jackson Lyrics & Guitar Chords
All Michael Jackson Albums In Chronological Order
|Got to Be There||1972|
|Music & Me||1973|
|Off The Wall||1979|
|HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I||1995|
Frequently Asked Questions
The best selling Michael Jackson album is “Thriller” which has sold in excess of 66 million copies worldwide.
The newest Michael Jackson album is “Invincible” which was released on October 30th 2001.
The first Michael Jackson album is “Got To Be There” which was released on January 24th 1972.
Michael Jackson’s most famous song is “Thriller” which was taken from the album of the same name.
Michael Jackson joined the Jackson 5 in 1964 and became a solo artist in 1972.
The genres ascribed to Michael Jackson are; pop, funk, soul, R&B, disco, rock, dance-pop, post-disco, hard rock and new jack swing.