The Eagles Greatest Hits compilation surpasses Michael Jackson's Thriller to become the best selling album of all time.
Since its release in February of 1976, the Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 album has been a perennial best seller, residing near the top of the sales charts week in and week out. In fact, it spent nearly a decade as the best selling album of all time until Thriller blew past it after Michael Jackson's death in 2009. And that is how the ranking remained until recently.
With the advent of song streaming, album sales calculations changed. Before the online streaming universe, sales of 1 Million albums on any physical medium - LP, vinyl, cassette, CD or yes, 8-tracks back in the day - equaled platinum status. Now in addition to physical sales of an LP (CD's and resurgent vinyl lately), 10 song downloads or 1,500 streams of an album are considered 1 album sale.
The RIAA, the organization which tracks album sales, song streams, YouTube plays, downloads and airplay, recently recalculated their data and certified Eagles Their Greatest Hits as 38X Platinum (38 Million sales), surpassing Michael Jackson's Thriller at 33X platinum as the best selling album of all time.
But The Eagles also got another bump from the RIAA's recalculation. The band's legendary Hotel California LP was certified 26X platinum, making it #3 on the all-time best sellers list.
The Eagles formed in Los Angeles in 1971 after a brief stint as the backup band for Linda Ronstadt. Since their first album was released in 1972, they became one of the most successful rock and pop bands of the era, with five #1 singles, 6 Grammy Awards, and six #1 albums.They are one of the world's best selling bands of all time, with more than 150 million record sales worldwide, including 100 million in the U.S. alone. Their 1976 classic Hotel California is considered one of the 100 Greatest Albums of all time by the majority of music critics and music publications.
The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016.