Original Album Sales – Comments
1972 Eagles – 2,950,000
1973 Desperado– 3,800,000
1974 On The Border – 4,275,000
1975 One Of These Nights – 7,175,000
1976 Hotel California – 30,050,000
1979 The Long Road – 11,150,000
2007 Long Road Out Of Eden – 6,025,000
The steady growth of the Eagles reached its peak in 1976 with the release of Hotel California. This huge album has been a global juggernaut since day 1 and never really stopped selling. A smash of this magnitude may generate millions of back catalog sales, especially for a rock band.
How come then albums like Eagles and Desperado sold so little? They do include relevant hits like Take It Easy and Desperado respectively. The Eagles are the perfect illustration of the cannibalization phenomenon. Less than a year before the release of Hotel California, Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 was issued covering singles from their first four albums. This is why those early albums enjoyed very moderate success after the smash of their follow up as consumers jumped into the compilation instead. Compilations are treated on a separated section coming later on this article.
The Long Run hasn’t been as massive but it still sold a whopping 11 million units. Their much hyped reunion album Long Road Out Of Eden moved a huge 6 million. All told, the band sold 65,4 million units from its 7 studio albums, an average of more than 9 million in spite of their gigantic sales of compilations.