Eagles Beat Out Michael Jackson for the Best-Selling Album of All Time
The Eagles have set a record by selling more copies of a single record album than any other artist — ever. The California-based rock band recently surpassed Michael Jackson as the king of all-time record sales when the album Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) was certified 38 times platinum (with sales of over 38 million units) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), according to the Associated Press.
The sales figures for the compilation album, which includes massive hits such as Take It Easy, Desperado, Tequila Sunrise, and One of These Nights, reportedly hadn’t been retallied by the RIAA since 2006. Until they were, Jackson’s smash-hit Thriller album — which was certified 33 times platinum just last year — was deemed by the RIAA as the best-selling album of all time. For those interested, sales figures are tallied by looking at both physical and digital music sales, as well as music streams (as of 2013).
Speaking of interesting facts: You may not realize it, but Hotel California, the most popular song ever released by The Eagles, does not actually appear on Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975), because it was released in 1977. But that’s not to say the song doesn’t get it’s fair share of limelight (and produce a ridiculous amount of residuals for the band). Hotel California, the 1977 album of the same name, currently ranks as the third best-selling album of all time, with 29 million units moved to date.
Die-hard Michael Jackson fans still have a solid argument that Jackson’s record should be considered the best-selling album ever because Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) is a compilation album, as opposed to Thriller, which is a single studio album of original material. The RIAA, it appears, doesn’t agree. And with two albums in the top three best-selling records of all time, Eagles fans have their fair share of ammunition in that debate.
The Eagles have won countless accolades since they first wrote and recorded material in the golden age of rock. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor in 2016.
“We are grateful for our families, our management, our crew, the people at radio, and, most of all, the loyal fans who have stuck with us through the ups and downs of 46 years,” said drummer and vocalist Don Henley in a statement. “It’s been quite a ride.”