Last night, Channel Nine aired a very good George Michael documentary which, as is often the case after an artist’s death, was part fawning fan letter, part music biography, and part critical reappraisal of his catalogue, taking into consideration his place in the ’80s pop pantheon, his crossover to “black” radio in the U.S., and the undeniable difficulties of parlaying a faddish teen boy band into a global solo career spanning decades.

Ricky Gervais was even in the documentary.

As is also often the case after one of these things airs, George Michael’s discography has flooded the iTunes charts, with the artist looking likely to land a number of albums in this weekend’s ARIA charts.

As I type, there are ten solo George Michael albums in the Top 100 charts, plus two Wham! records (albeit: variations of the same record). He is occupying five spots in the top ten, and seven in the top 20.

A closer look reveals a huge flaw in the way various versions of albums are counted: as separate releases.

The only thing that separates the two versions of Twenty-Five that sit in the chart is that one was remastered. Ditto with the Wham! best of The Final.

Listen Without Prejudice / MTV Unplugged sits at both #3 and #6, because one is the deluxe version.

As I said, it’s a huge flaw – and actually acts as disincentive for labels, as it splits sales of a new release on the charts.

#3 and #6 is impressive, but it’s not a number one.

Check out George’s current chart reign, below.


2 George Michael Twenty Five

3 George Michael Listen Without Prejudice / MTV Unplugged

4 George Michael Ladies & Gentlemen

6 George Michael Listen Without Prejudice / MTV Unplugged (Deluxe)

7 George Michael Older

11 George Michael Faith (Remastered)

17 George Michael Twenty Five (Remastered)

25 Wham! The Final (Deluxe Edition)

38 George Michael Symphonica (Deluxe Version)

65 George Michael Songs from the Last Century

87 Wham! The Final

88 George Michael Patience (Bonus Track Version)