Understanding: Music Clubs #2 – The Eagles, Mariah Carey

0005 - Eagles - Hotel California

Hotel California & Greatest Hits Volume II

Two more albums, both of them Diamond albums too, both of which sold mostly on the back of Hotel California single.

HOTEL CALIFORNIA 12/13/76 G
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 12/15/76 P
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 08/14/90 M (9)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 08/12/94 M (10)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 06/05/95 M (14)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 01/08/99 M (15)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 03/20/01 M (16)

GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 01/07/83 G
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 08/17/94 P
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 08/17/94 M (3)
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 06/05/95 M (7)
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 03/12/97 M (9)
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 03/20/01 M (10)
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 11/07/02 M (11)

As you can guess, Hotel California album was a huge #1 back in 1976. On its side, Greatest Hits Volume II, covering barely two studio albums that each sold bucket loads on their own, peaked at a low #52 position. Hotel California single is so strong though that it led both, the studio album and the compilation, to incredible sales in the end.

What must be noted on their respective certifications is that both albums followed the same audits as Greatest Hits 1971-1975. In fact, despite being certified in August 1994, after the rules change, Club sales were added only on June 1995 audit for those albums too. In 2016 this does still happen as after Sales Plus Streaming were made eligible various albums were certified as in the old days, based on their own sales alone.

So, what can we say about those two albums Club sales? Unlike Greatest Hits 1971-1975, both were Columbia exclusives, not selling copies at BMG end. Starting with Hotel California, the three relevant certifications are listed below.

HOTEL CALIFORNIA 08/12/94 M (10)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 06/05/95 M (14)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA 03/20/01 M (16)

Using the same method as previously, we will assume 10,9 million eligible sales by August 1994 to deduce the minimum Club sales it managed. By June 1995, it added 250,000 copies at Soundscan retailers. To reach over 14 million by that date, from the starting 11,15 million, it implies at least 2,85 million Club sales. By March 2001, the album had climbed to 16 million. Since its last certification the record had sold a bit more than 600,000 units. This puts Clubs estimate at 4,25 million units by that date, let round it at 4,3 million up to now as they went downhill just after. The record sold an additional 800,000 units since its last award.

Using the same logic for Greatest Hits Volume II thanks to below certifications gives us at least 5,75 million Club sales along with 900,000 copies sold since the last award.

GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 08/17/94 M (3)
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 06/05/95 M (7)
GREATEST HITS VOLUME II 11/07/02 M (11)

10 thoughts on “Understanding: Music Clubs #2 – The Eagles, Mariah Carey”

  1. Thank you so much MJ! You really invested a lot of your time for Mariah and cleared up all the stupid discussion concerning her “fake diamond albums”!

    I hope to see her overall CSPC article very soon! It’s about time 😉

  2. I have one further remark: I totally agree with you on all your estimations, but i find Rainbow’s shipment of 3,5 million a tad bit too low. Isn’t it reasonable to estimate 3,6-3,7 million considering the inaccuracy of SoundScan and further shipments?

    I would be very grateful if you’d have a word on this remark!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hello Luminator!

      As you can see there is slightly more than 4,4 million units confirmed. As the album is dead now, hardly stocked anywhere, nearly all copies shipped have either been sold – and track on its Soundscan tally – or returned. Also, in 1999 Soundscan was way more reliable than in the first half of the 90s.

      This being said, nobody – except owning all Sony bills related to the album – can know the to date net shipment number with less than a 2% margin. Considering known information and the lack of later certs to refine non-Soundscan sales I decided to stick with a round up figure of verified data but I would definitely consider a 4,6 million estimate fully acceptable. From 4,7 million, e.g. an addition of nearly 300,000 units, I would start to rate the estimate as an optimistic one. Higher would be a wished figure rather than a reasoned one!

  3. Fantastic job, as usual. I would like to see how high “Merry Christmas” can get if Sony requests an audit for it + streaming inclusion… it could easily get 7 platinum.

    I also wonder if Eagles’ “Greatest hits” can keep up the competition with “Thriller”… it seems unlikely now that streaming is a factor.

  4. Hi dear MJD !!!

    congratulations for the beautiful articles for Music Clubs 1 and 2. This weekend do you will realize CSPC analysis of some singer or groups ?
    I hope you realize CSPC analysis of The Beatles !!!

    1. Hi Anthony!

      There is two classic male acts CSPC studies in the making, plus two relatively recent bands which will be treated next. As we are nearing Christmas, I’ll try to drop such an article for every major act releasing a new album. I’m already collecting various information about The Beatles at the same time, as soon as I have a free week spot I’ll post their article!

      1. Sting is about to release a new album, let’s hope he – along with his band, The Police – are among those who will be treated next!

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