On this day in 1984: The Jacksons’ Victory Tour broke the record for concert ticket sales after they surpassed the 1.1 million mark in two months.
The Victory Tour was a concert tour of the United States and Canada between July and December 1984. It was the only tour with all six Jackson brothers, even though Jackie was injured for some of it. The group performed 55 concerts to an audience of approximately 2 million. Most came to see Michael, whose album ‘Thriller’ had been dominating the popular music world at the time. Many consider it to be his Thriller tour, with most of the songs on the set list coming from his Off the Wall and Thriller albums. The tour reportedly grossed approximately $75 million and set a new record for the highest grossing tour. It showcased Michael’s single decorated glove, black sequined jacket and moonwalk.
Despite its focus on Michael, it was named after the Jacksons’ album ‘Victory.’ The album was released four days before the tour’s first show in Birmingham, Alabama, and turned out to be a commercial success. However, none of the album’s songs were performed on the tour. Jermaine had a successful new album out as well, which had been released in April 1984 and some material from that album was performed. Also, all three of the Jacksons’ sisters released new albums that year, but Rebbie, LaToya and Janet were not part of the tour (aside from a cameo appearance for a few moments at the end of the final show with other family members).
According to Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson refused to rehearse or perform any of the songs from ‘Victory’. Marlon also stated that Michael had only reluctantly joined his brothers, who needed the income while he himself did not. On the tour, tensions between Michael and his brothers increased so much that at the December 9th concert he announced that it would be the last time they would perform together, ending plans for a European and Australian leg of the tour in the spring and summer of 1985.
The Jacksons and promoter Don King did make money from the tour. Michael donated his share to several charities as he had promised before it, but the rancor between him and his brothers had a deep and lasting effect on the Jacksons as a family, alienating him from them for most of his later life and it effectively ended the Jacksons as a performing group. They made one more album together in 1989, but aside from a concert celebrating Michael’s 30 years as a solo artist in 2001, they never toured again during Michael’s lifetime.
The tour was also a financial disaster for promoter Chuck Sullivan, who along with his father Billy was eventually forced to sell the New England Patriots football team they owned, along with Foxboro Stadium, the team’s home field, as a result of the losses he incurred.
Let’s take a look at the Top 20 songs on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1984:
1 1 GHOSTBUSTERS –•– Ray Parker, Jr. (Arista)-11 (3 Weeks at #1) (1)
2 2 WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT –•– Tina Turner (Capitol)-15 (2)
3 5 STUCK ON YOU –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-10 (3)
4 4 WHEN DOVES CRY –•– Prince (Warner Brothers)-13 (1)
5 7 MISSING YOU –•– John Waite (EMI-America)-10 (5)
6 6 I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU –•– Dan Hartman (MCA)-17 (6)
7 3 STATE OF SHOCK –•– The Jacksons with Mick Jagger (Epic)-9 (3)
8 9 SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT –•– Corey Hart (EMI-America)-14 (8)
9 15 SHE BOP –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-6 (9)
10 10 IF EVER YOU’RE IN MY ARMS AGAIN –•–Peabo Bryson (Elektra)-16 (10)
11 16 IF THIS IS IT –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-6 (11)
12 14 ROUND AND ROUND –•– Ratt (Atlantic)-11 (12)
13 17 THE WARRIOR –•– Scandal Featuring Patty Smyth (Columbia)-9 (13)
14 8 SAD SONGS (Say So Much) –•– Elton John (Geffen)-12 (5)
15 18 LIGHTS OUT –•– Peter Wolf (EMI-America)-7 (15)
16 23 LET’S GO CRAZY –•– Prince & The Revolution (Warner Brothers)-4 (16)
17 19 ROCK ME TONITE –•– Billy Squier (Capitol)-8 (17)
18 27 DRIVE –•– The Cars (Elektra)-4 (18)
19 12 DANCING IN THE DARK –•– Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)-14 (2)
20 20 SEXY GIRL –•– Glenn Frey (MCA)-9 (20)