Michael Jackson’s Thriller is no longer the all-conquering king of the US charts, as it’s been usurped by a compilation album.
For several years the album that almost had more singles than actual tracks ruled the US sales roost, with an impressive 33 million albums sold. But now it’s been toppled as the best selling album of all time – by The Eagles.
Their compilation album Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has nabbed the top position, with an alarming sales tally of 38 million. If that isn’t enough platinum for Don Henley and friends to wallpaper their mansions with, they also have the third best-selling album in the States ever with Hotel California, it having sold an astounding 26 million units to date.
In fairness to The Eagles, this compilation was the best-selling US album of the 20th century, so it’s just taking back its top perch. Thriller overtook it after the untimely death of Michael Jackson in 2009.
All of these figures are according to the RIAA – the Recording Industry Association of America, who made the big announcement on their website.
“Congratulations to the Eagles, who now claim the jaw-dropping feat of writing and recording two of the top three albums in music history,” said RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman. “Both of these transcendent albums have impressively stood the test of time, only gaining more currency and popularity as the years have passed, much like The Eagles themselves. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum Program this year, it is only fitting that we can recognise the Eagles for their singular contribution to the history of American music.”
Erm, a greatest hits album is “transcendent”? Somebody’s watched Almost Famous too many times…
Anyway, the Earth’s axis can rest easy, for worldwide sales of Thriller see it still firmly at number one – with some 66 million units sold.