Books & Music

The Eagles Just Beat Out Michael Jackson For The No. 1 Album Of All Time

They broke a historic record!

The Eagles are back on top.

The legendary rock band’s 1976 album, “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975,” is now the best-selling album in U.S. history, passing the late Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified the album 38x platinum — meaning sales and streams of the album have totaled 38 million copies.

The album actually was the best-selling album for some time before Jackson’s death in 2009 caused “Thriller” sales to skyrocket.


But a lot has changed in how people listen to music since then.

RIAA’s platinum status used to simply mean selling 1 million albums or songs, but in 2013 the company began counting streaming numbers from YouTube, Spotify and other sources.

the eagles don photo
Getty Images | Danny E. Martindale

Now 1,500 streams of an album are equivalent to an album sale while 10 song downloads also equal an album sale.

So, the RIAA did a new tally of the Eagles’ album sales for the first time since 2006, and “Their Greatest Hits” once again took the top spot as Jackson’s “Thriller,” which is 33x platinum, fell to second place.

the eagles don photo
Getty Images | Rick Diamond

The band’s album “Hotel California” also benefited from the new numbers, as it is now in third place with 26x platinum, giving the Eagles two of the top three U.S. albums of all time.


“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,” The Eagles’ Don Henley said in a statement to the Associated Press. “It’s been quite a ride.”

the eagles don photo
Getty Images | Larry Busacca

“Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” is, well, exactly as its title suggests.

The compilation includes 10 songs from the band’s four albums in that four-year span: “Eagles,” “One of These Nights,” “Desperado” and “On the Border.”

The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

They’ve “taken a break” more than an on-again, off-again high school couple over the years, and they also lost a core member in Glenn Frey, who died in 2015, but the group is still touring and going strong. If you’re a big Eagles fan, you can still catch them in concert this year in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Hartford, Connecticut.