Early sales of the much-heralded 'Invincible' in the UK are extremely strong...

MICHAEL JACKSON is on course for a Number One album with his new record ‘INVINCIBLE’.

According to midweek sales figures published today (October 30) based on first day’s sales, Jackson‘s first new material in six years is outselling its nearest rival Steps at a rate of three to one. By the end of the week, it is anticipated the record will sell in the region of 100,000 copies.

A chart expert at HMV in London said: “This demonstrates there is still a huge interest in Michael Jackson. His contribution to musical heritage is outstanding and the magic is clearly still there for many people. Because he is such an iconic artist, lots of fans want to own everything he ever releases, but his evolving music is winning him a whole new generation of fans. While this album may not be on the same scale as ‘Thriller’, it looks set to be a huge seller over a long period of time.”

In the battle for Number One in the single charts, a host of new entries are currently unable to knock Afroman’s ‘Because I Got High’ from the top of the pile. Of the new releases, Lio are currently at Number Two with ‘Rapture’, Alicia Keys’ ‘Fallin’ is at Number Three, Jennifer Lopez is at Four with ‘I’m Real’ and the Dandy Warhols are at Number Five with ‘Bohemian Like You’. The only other new entry in the Top Ten is Natalie Imbruglia, who is at Number Ten with ‘That Day’.