Number Ones (video)

Number Ones (video)
Number Ones
Video by Michael Jackson
Released November 18, 2003
Recorded 1979 - 2001
Genre Pop, rock, funk, dance-pop, urban, new jack swing
Length 91 minutes
Label Epic Music Video
Director Various
Producer Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson video chronology
HIStory World Tour: Live in Seoul Number Ones
The One

Number Ones is a video album by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released on DVD on November 13, 2003 under the Epic Records record label, in conjunction with the promotion for Jackson's greatest hits album, of the same name (although the album and DVD have different songs). The DVD, which is Jackson's fourth DVD album, contained fifteen music videos, which was directed and produced by various people. It consists of music videos filmed and released by Jackson since 1979s Off the Wall to 2001s Invincible.

Notable music videos included on the DVD were "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller—which received heavy rotation on MTV in the 1980s, and are credited as having transformed the music video from a promotional tool and into an art form, and "Black or White" and "Scream" which were also prominent on channels like MTV in the 1990s. Number Ones received praise from contemporary music critics and was commercially successful internationally. The DVD peaked at number one on the Australian Top 40 Music DVD in Australia. Number Ones has been certified twenty one times platinum in Australia by the Australian Recording Industry Association and is the best selling music DVD ever by a male solo artist in Australia. It is also thirteen times platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America.



In 1972, while still a member of the band The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson released his first of what would be ten studio albums, Got to Be There. Four singles were taken from the album, although they were not promoted by music videos, and this pattern continued for his next three studio albums, Ben (1972), Music & Me (1973) and Forever, Michael (1975). Unlike in the past, Jackson released his debut music video for the lead single, "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough", from his 1979 album, Off the Wall.[1] Jackson subsequently began releasing music videos for his singles to promote both the song itself and the album. His music videos from the 1980s — particularly the music video for "Billie Jean" and Thriller — received heavy rotation on channels like Music Television (MTV).[2][3] The popularity of his music videos that aired on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller — credited for transforming the music video from a promotional tool and into an art form — helped bring the relatively new channel to fame.[4][5] Music videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s.[5] Due to length, some of Jackson's music videos are considered to be short films. Some of them drew criticism for their violent and sexual content, others were lauded by critics and awarded Guinness World Records for their length, success and expense.[6][7] From 1979 to 2003, Jackson released thirty-six music videos.

Content and release

Number Ones was released in conjunction with Jackson's greatest number one hits of the same name on November 18, 2003.[8] The DVD was released worldwide on November 13, 2003.[8] Number Ones is the fourth DVD album to be released by Jackson, the previous three were Dangerous – The Short Films, Video Greatest Hits – HIStory and HIStory on Film, Volume II. The DVD contained ninety one minutes of music video Jackson had already released from as early as 1979, to as late as 2001. This compilation was also released in Asia on double Video CD format.

Music videos from both Jackson's studio and compilation albums, which were Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997) and Invincible (2001), were featured on the DVD. The DVD consisted of fifteen music videos, both long and short form versions.[8] "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (1987), "Scream" (1995), "Break of Dawn" (2001) the then newly recorded "One More Chance" (2003) and a live version of "Ben" (1972) did not make it onto the DVD, while "Blood on the Dance Floor" (1997) which was on the DVD, was not on the U.S. version of the album of the same name.[8]


Commercial reception

Number Ones peaked at number one the ARIA Top 40 Music DVD chart in Australia.[9] It was ranked at number two, charting behind only Funhouse Tour: Live In Australia by Pink, on the Australian Highest Selling Music DVD chart for 2009.[10] It also peaked at number three on the Swedish DVD Albums Chart.[11] In Czech Republic, Number Ones peaked at number fourteen on the DVD chart.[12] Number Ones peaked at number three on the Hungarian Top 20 DVD chart.[13] In Italy, Number Ones peaked at number nine on the country's DVD album chart, as of the first week of May 2010, it has stayed on the chart for forty five weeks.[14] The DVD album was certified thirteen times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for the sales of over 1.3 million units in the United States.[15] Number Ones was also certified twenty one times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for the sales of over 315,000 units in Australia.[16] Recording Industry Association of Japan certified the DVD gold for the sales of over 100,000 units in Japan.[17] For the sales of over 25,000 units in Spain, Productores de Música de España gave the album two times platinum certification.[18] Number Ones was also certified six times platinum for the sales of 30,000 units in New Zealand,[19] as well as gold by the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry for the sales of at least 5,000 units in Poland.[20]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic Positive[8]
Philadelphia Inquirer Positive[21]

Number Ones was generally well received by contemporary music critics. William Ruhlmann, a writer for Allmusic, stated that watching the videos in order made him 'experience' Jackson's changing appearance over the year; noting things such as Jackson's skin becoming lighter (a result of his Vitiligo).[8] Ruhlmann commented that seeing Jackson's changing appearance, as well as the videos itself helped him understand Jackson's career more, commenting, "Number Ones was released at what appeared to be the end of Michael Jackson's long, troubled reign as a pop star, and it contained many clues to both his success and his downfall."[8] Ruhlmann further noted that "a messianic theme ran through many of the videos" like the relatively modest "Beat It," which is about stopping violence, to "Earth Song," in which Jackson restored ravaged rain forests and even brought the dead back to life.[8] Dan LeLuca of the Philadelphia Inquirer described Number Ones as being a "reminder" of the "MTV era".[21] Jeff Mires of News Pop Music Critic felt that the release of both the Number Ones CD and DVD was a good opportunity to "revisit Jackson's music".[22]

Track listing and formats

No. Title Writer(s) Director(s)[23] Length
1. "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough[C]"   Michael Jackson Nick Saxton 4:11
2. "Rock with You"   Rod Temperton Bruce Gowers 3:22
3. "Billie Jean"   Michael Jackson Steve Barron 4:55
4. "Beat It"   Michael Jackson Bob Giraldi 4:56
5. "Thriller"   Rod Temperton John Landis 13:43
6. "Bad[A]"   Michael Jackson Martin Scorsese 4:20
7. "The Way You Make Me Feel[A]"   Michael Jackson Joe Pytka 6:43
8. "Man in the Mirror"   Siedah Garrett, Glen Ballard Donald Wilson 5:02
9. "Smooth Criminal[B][C]"   Michael Jackson Colin Chilvers 4:16
10. "Dirty Diana"   Michael Jackson Joe Pytka 5:08
11. "Black or White[A]"   Michael Jackson John Landis 6:22
12. "You Are Not Alone"   R. Kelly Wayne Isham 5:37
13. "Earth Song"   Michael Jackson Nicholas Brandt 7:29
14. "Blood on the Dance Floor[C]"   Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley Michael Jackson & Vincent Paterson 4:15
15. "You Rock My World[A]"   Michael Jackson, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels, Nora Payne Paul Hunter 10:26


  • ^A The short version of the music video was featured on Number Ones.
  • ^B The 'speed-up' version of the music video was featured on Number Ones.
  • ^C Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, Smooth Criminal, and Blood on the Dance Floor were excluded in China Version.[24]


The DVD album has been released in one version, as a one disc release.

Also available on double Video CD (in Asia market only).

Chart performance


Country Certification(s)
(sales thresholds)
United States 13x Platinum[15] 1,300,000+
Australia 21x Platinum[16] 315,000+
Finland Gold[25] 5,016
Japan Gold[17] 100,000+
New Zealand 6x Platinum[19] 30,000+
Spain Platinum[18] 25,000+
Poland Gold[20] 5,000+


Chart (2003/2009) Peak
Australian Top 40 Music DVD 1[9]
Czech Albums Chart 14[12]
Hungarian Top 20 DVD 3[13]
Italian DVD Albums Chart 9[14]
Swedish DVD Albums Chart 3[11]



  • Michael Jackson – vocals, producer, executive producer, video director
  • Julian Alexander - art direction
  • Steve Barron - video director
  • Bill Bottrell - producer
  • Nicholas Brandt - video director
  • Rance Brown - art direction, design
  • Colin Chilvers - video director
  • David Daoud Coleman - art direction
  • Nancy Donald - art direction
  • Sam Emerson - photography
  • Karen Faye - make-up, hair stylist
  • David Foster - producer
  • Bob Giraldi - video director
  • Bruce Gowers - video director
  • Stephen Harvey - photography
  • Wayne Isham - video director
  • Rodney Jerkins - producer
  • Quincy Jones - producer
  • R. Kelly - producer (You Are Not Alone)
  • John Landis - video director
  • Sheri G. Lee art direction
  • John McClain - executive producer
  • Adam Owett - art direction
  • Vince Peterson - video director
  • Joe Pytka video director
  • Seth Riggs - vocal consultant
  • Nick Saxton - video director
  • Martin Scorsese - video director
  • Don Wilson - video director
  • Dick Zimmerman - photography


  1. ^ Halstead, p. 92
  2. ^ Yardley, Jonathan (August 30, 1993). "Nothing More Than ... Feelings". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  3. ^ Day, Elizabeth (2009-04-08). "Off the wall but still invincible". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  4. ^ Kash, Tim (2009-06-30). "Jackson's Legacy: Passing the Torch". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  5. ^ a b "He Will Live Forever...". The Statesman. 2009-07-03. 
  6. ^ Guinness World Records 2002, p. 36
  7. ^ George, pp. 48–50
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Ruhlmann, William. "allmusic (((Number Ones DVD > Review)))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  9. ^ a b "ARIA Top 40 Music DVD" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Pandora.nla. 2009-10-05. pp. 24. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  10. ^ "Australian Highest Selling Music DVDs 2009" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Pandora.nla. 2009-12-31. pp. 25. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  11. ^ a b "Veckolista DVD Album - Vecka 17, 30 April 2010". Sverigetopplistan. 
  12. ^ a b "IFPI ČR Hitparáda - TOP50 Prodejní Týden - 200928". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ČR. Retrieved 2010-05-11. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b "2009. 07. 13. - 2009. 07. 19." (in Hungarian). Mahasz Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  14. ^ a b "Classifica settimanale dal 26/04/2010 al 02/05/2010". Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  15. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  16. ^ a b "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2010 DVD". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  17. ^ a b "財団法人 日本レコード協会 > 各種統計 > ゴールド等認定 > 2009年7月" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  18. ^ a b "Top 20 DVD Musical". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  19. ^ a b "Latest Gold / Platinum DVDs". Radio Scope. Media Sauce Ltd. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  20. ^ a b "Złote płyty DVD". Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry Retrieved on 2010-02-17. 
  21. ^ a b DeLuca, Dan. "Article: Personal and legal troubles aside, Jackson's still got it musically.". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  22. ^ Mires, Jeff (2003-11-25). "MICHAEL JACKSON -- THE MAN, HIS MUSIC, HIS MUTILATION". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  23. ^ (2003) "Inlay credits" [DVD/CD]. Album notes for Number Ones by Michael Jackson. Epic Records.
  24. ^ "迈克尔•杰克逊:独一无二(DVD)-音乐-卓越亚马逊". Retrieved 2011-3-4. 
  25. ^ "Tilastot". IFPI. IFPI. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  26. ^ "allmusic (((Number Ones DVD > Credits)))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  • Halstead, Craig (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors OnLine. ISBN 9780755202676. 
  • George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection booklet. Sony BMG.

External links

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