The compilation is now certified 38-times platinum, calculated by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) from a combination of album sales and streams. As well as actual physical copies sold, since 2013 the RIAA has counted plays on YouTube and major streaming services such as Spotify towards a song’s “sales”, with 1,500 streams or 10 song downloads the equivalent to an album sale.
The change at the top of the biggest-seller charts comes after the RIAA tallied sales figures for the Eagles’ compilation for the first time since 2006, and found it trumped Thriller, which is 33-times platinum.
The Eagles’ biggest hit, Hotel California, is not included on the compilation as it was released in 1977 – the album of the same name is now the third-biggest selling record in the US.
“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 the band’s singer and drummer Don Henley in a statement. “It’s been quite a ride.”
Those ups and downs include an acrimonious breakup in 1980, with Henley assuring fans that “hell would freeze over” before they toured again. Sure enough though, they returned 14 years later for the Hell Freezes Over tour. Since then, guitarist Don Felder was fired in 2001, subsequently suing the band and settling out of court, while founder singer-guitarist Glenn Frey died in 2016.
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