The “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, will always reign supreme in the hearts of fans. But he’s been dethroned by another band when it comes to history’s best-selling album of all time.
The Eagles’ greatest hits album, titled Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as a 38-time platinum record. A platinum album is one which has sold or been streamed a million times. This means hit songs such as “Desperado” have been bought and played more than 38 million times–and no one is apparently sick of it yet.
The rating means that the Eagles beat out the “King of Pop,” whose album, Thriller, has reached a mere 33-time platinum certification. The Eagles’ album came out in 1976, while Thriller dropped in 1982, so the band does have an advantage with a longer passage of time.
The Eagles scored a second win by the RIAA, which also said that the album, Hotel California, which released in 1977, has become a 26-time platinum record. This designation makes that album the third best-selling album 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. It’s been quite a ride,” Don Henley said in a statement, as reported by AP News.
According to the RIAA website the latest certification was made on August 20, 2018. Fans of Michael Jackson may try to band together to flip this verdict. After the announcement was made, Jack Hamilton, author of Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination, took to his Twitter account to urge Michael Jackson fans to “do something about this.”
Hamilton suggested that some sort of fund be set up to allow fans to purchase “Thriller” en masse for “at risk youths.” As of now, his tweet had only been retweeted two times, but fans could be seeing the beginnings of a musical mass action to reverse history.
There’s no doubt that the Eagles are one of history’s most successful bands. The band formed in California in 1971 and they had enough hits by 1975 to release a greatest hits album. Founding member Glenn Frey died on January 18, 2016, leaving Don Henley as the most well-known living member. Shortly after Frey died, the Star Tribune released an article explaining why people love the band. The author said they are loved because they “gave a fresh, peaceful, easy feeling in a turbulent era of psychedelic and hard rock” as well as because they made “pretty, catchy, singalong music, with lovely harmonies, meticulous sounds and well-crafted words.”