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10 by Jackson



It’s not surprising that only 2 of Jackson’s songs have landed in the pop charts. First, songs that chart are the most POPULAR songs, not necessarily the BEST songs. Second, he’s not that kind of an artist. His songs are far more thoughtful and subtle than most hit songs, and more artful. A hit song is usually obvious and hits you immediately with a simple hook. Hit songs are usually faddish in some way, sometimes just by their language — new slang, a new expression, a new way of saying something. A lot of hit songs are sung by new artists making a initial splash, and then they may fade away.


Jackson has always been a  major artist because of his quality, but he’s not a “big” artist or group like the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin or all the others whose new songs almost always land in the charts. A hit song is one that’s played constantly on the radio in the United States, 2 or 3 times an hour by every station, and sells 1 million or more copies. Jackson doesn’t do that. By comparison, Dylan hasn't had many chart songs, either. Most records — or CDs — are purchased by the 14-19 year old group, and that’s not Jackson’s audience.