Jacko's album sales aren't Bad

SALES of Michael Jackson CDs were booming at East Anglian record stores this week despite his admission on a television documentary that he allows young children in his bed.

SALES of Michael Jackson CDs were booming at East Anglian record stores this week despite his admission on a television documentary that he allows young children in his bed.

More than 14million viewers tuned in to ITV's Living With Michael Jackson on Monday and saw interviewer Martin Bashir tease the startling revelations from the king of pop.

The broadcast showed him entertaining scores of disadvantaged children at his Neverland ranch in California. One clip him saw him holding hands with a teenage boy and joking about his infamous nights when children slept at his home overnight.

The news has not shaken fans' faith in his music, however, with many devotees claiming society is sick - and not the singer.

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Nationally, sales soared by 500% on the day following the broadcast in some stores and Jackson's Greatest Hits: History Volume 1 album is now tipped to re-enter the UK Top 40 at the weekend.

Gail Costello, assistant manager at Andys Records, in the Buttermarket Centre, Ipswich, said sales of Jackson's Greatest Hits: History Volume 1 album had rocketed since the programme went out.

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She added: "I'm a fan myself. I've grown up listening to him. My general impression of him, from the documentary, was of quite a sad and very lonely man. It is quite sad, really.

"I do believe he would genuinely think it would be alright for boys to sleep in his bed and I don't think he would mean anything by it. Perhaps it is just our cynical society which makes it out to be something different."

A spokeswoman at Virgin Megastore in Westgate Street, Ipswich, said sales had been "flying" since Monday, although she was not able to give exact figures.

She added: "This appears to have totally renewed people's interest in him. Our customers seem to genuinely feel he hasn't done anything wrong. I was chatting to a guy buying the Greatest Hits about it and an older woman behind joined in and wanted to get it too. I just think everyone likes him."

At HMV in Tavern Street, Ipswich, The Greatest Hits, Thriller, Blood on the Dance Floor and History: Past, Present & Future had all seen a revival in sales.

A spokesman said: "Sales have continued to climb over the last couple of days. I think it helped that the soundtrack was very good on the documentary."

Andy's Records in Bury St Edmunds also said the show had improved sales - given that, prior to documentary, interest in Jackson's music had been minimal.

Andy's Records in Bury St Edmunds said the midweek show had improved record sales.

A store spokesman said: "If anything demand for his record has increased since the programme. It is hard to tell because he hasn't got any new music out at the moment, but we have sold three of his History albums this week .

"I have spoken to people in other stores and they say interest in Michael Jackson products have increased sine the programme was on television."

At MVC Entertainment in Crouch Street, Colchester, store manager, Paul Kidd-Stanton said he felt nothing but sympathy for Jackson and the flak he has been facing.

He said: "He was created by the public that are criticising him and that is what is upsetting to me.

We created the 'monster' and now we want to kill the monster.

"He is a child and always has been a child. The most positive thing that has come out of this documentary is that a lot of people have remembered how much his music meant to them."

He added sales of Jackson's CD's had been fantastic with copies of "History" selling really well and the programme had also inspired a lot of conversation between staff and customers.

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