Friday, September 7, 2018


The best-selling album of all time honors has seesawed back to the Eagles. The band's Greatest Hits 1971-1975 maintained that crown for nearly a decade until Michael Jackson's Thriller bypassed it in 2009, a surge due to his untimely death. Readers of this site know my opinions of "Greatest Hits" collections, and while I am not in possession of the biggest selling LP of all time, I cannot argue its validity, with the Eagles’ 1976 recording at 38x platinum, once again bumping Thriller out of the top spot at 33x platinum.

Until 2013, platinum status equated to the sale of 1 million albums or songs. But the dominance of digital music services forced a change to include streaming from YouTube, Spotify and other services. The new formula equates 1,500 streams of an album to one album sale and 10 song downloads to one album sale. Seems arbitrary, but whatever. The RIAA last tallied sales of the Eagles' album in 2006 (29x platinum at the time). Rather an amazing statistic and a valid indicator that rock is a reckoning force – take that Drake. More importantly for this writer, the band's 1977 Hotel California album has been recertified as 26x platinum, placing it as the third best-selling album of all time.

While the country-rock genre more specifically goes back to The Byrds, particularly with Graham Parsons, and to bands like Poco and The Flying Burrito Brothers, it was the Eagles (or Eagles - no "The" - more appropriately) who brought the genre into mainstream rock and crushed it.

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