CSPC: Eagles Popularity Analysis

EAGLES Madison Square Garden

Physical Singles Sales – Part 2
Hotel California (1976) – 1,737,000 equivalent albums

New Kid In Town – 1,640,000
Hotel California – 3,500,000
Life In The Fast Lane – 650,000

The Long Run (1979) – 921,000 equivalent albums

Heartache Tonight – 1,490,000
The Long Run – 880,000
I Can’t Tell You Why – 690,000
Sad Café – 10,000

Long Road Out Of Eden (2007) – 0 equivalent albums

No physical single released.

Orphan – 420,000 equivalent albums

Please Come Home For Christmas – 740,000
Seven Bridges Road – 340,000
Get Over It – 70,000
Love Will Keep Us Alive – 40,000
Learn To Be Still – 60,000
Hole In The World – 150,000

By their 4th album the Eagles were still not managing to break most foreign markets. They were strong in the US, solid in remaining English-speaking countries plus the Netherlands, surprisingly great sellers in Japan, but then unknown in continental Europe or Latin America. New Kid in Town mostly followed those patterns although its #1 success in the US was enough to grant it more than 1 million sales. The song Hotel California was very different though. It was big everywhere.

Ironically, the track peaked at a shockingly low #60 position in Australia and at a modest #8 spot in the UK. The cannibalization factor worked the other way around this time: rather than a single that ate into sales of an album, the song Hotel California was so popular that it convinced music consumers to go after the LP. Despite this, the single still moved a healthy 3,5 million units. Life In The Fast Lane broke a string of 6 consecutive US Top 5 hits by stalling just outside at #11 due to the success of the album which reduced the number of possible buyers tremendously.

Heartache Tonight was one more US #1 hit while both The Long Run and I Can’t Tell You Why were Top 10 successes. They sold 3 million copies combined.

In terms of physical singles this was the last proper era of the Eagles as no song was released physically from Long Road Out Of Eden. From 1978 to 2003 new singles popped up here and there though. The most successful of them has been their Christmas tune Please Come Home For Christmas. 

Over their career the group sold 16,6 million singles. It may look disappointing for a band with 5 #1 hits plus 5 more Top 10 singles, but we need to keep in mind their huge airplay which fueled their US chart performances, as well as their lackluster results abroad during their entire career minus Hotel California, which remains their only Top 10 hit in countries as important as the UK, France and Germany.

42 thoughts on “CSPC: Eagles Popularity Analysis”

  1. Not an act I was thinking would be up next but a nice one to see. I’ve never really liked their music, just doesn’t get me but I’ve always been very impressed with their popularity and sales, especially in the US
    and with so few studio releases, although as seen, their compilation releases play a very big part.

    Wasn’t thinking they’d crack the Top 10, obviously they wont stay there once acts like Elvis & Elton are done but they wont be very far away.

    “At 171 million equivalent album sales, the Eagles are the most successful act ever with 8 studio albums or less.”. Should that not be 7, as Led Zeppelin have 8 and have 200.5 million, as of their last update.

  2. I spent years listening to the Eagles…………one of my favorites………..I bet if you add in Don Henley solo career (he was involved in EVERY Eagles record), He’d be flirting with Celine Dion for that 190 million mark. (11.5 million in U.S. alone)

    Can’t wait to see if Rod Stewarts HUUUGEEE catalogue and international appeal can beat it.
    (I was thinking somewhere around 160 million for Rod)

    I agree with above poster………..Elton and Elvis are gonna crush it

    1. I’m not sure about Rod. I’d love him to be up there and I’m sure he will be but just not right up there. His studios are not great sellers or lasters and his GH’s aint The Eagles, Queen or ABBA.

          1. Just for the fun we can try to predict-guess CSPC numbers for some artists…..:-)

            Elton John 22o
            AC/DC 180
            CCR 100
            Frank Sinatra 100
            Phil Collins 140
            Rod Stewart 120
            Elvis Presley 300
            Aerosmith 120
            Barbra Streisand 160
            Dire Straits 100
            Prince 100


          2. Frank sold over 100 million album, plus contritions from singles…must be more.
            Barbra sold over 150 m albums, 30 m singles US alone, may be 170 m?!
            Elvis’s coms and singles may put the total higher than 330m

  3. 70+ million! VOW! I knew Hotel California was big, but not this BIG!
    Surprising since the gigantic GH71-75 is not included in that 70 mio figure. But GH2, latter compilations and Hell Freezes Over is very much fueled by the HC album, and especially that one song. 51.84m EAS – holy crap!!!

  4. The band of America, with The Rolling Stone. Eagles’s coms’s sales in US is incredible. Not new studio album during 80s 90s even before middle of 00s, isnt new com including major singles of older will effect tue olders’ sales? It’s an unbelievble phon… as Elvis, they’s coms sold more than studios

  5. I’ve always considered them to be the most overrated band of all time…
    1 HUGE hit from 40 years ago… and i couldn’t find another song that i liked. I really tried.
    In any case, impressive numbers! Now i’m curious if Aerosmith will steal the title of “the best selling American band”.

    1. I’ve never thought of them as being overrated, as they have never received the same kind of press and critical acclaim as the The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Stones etc and none of their albums are ever thought of as truly classic and certainly never perform well in “all time lists”. In fact, if anything, I’d say they are underrated, as given their huge sales, they are just not praised or written about in the same reverential way as a lot of other acts, with far less sales.

      I can’t see Aerosmith topping their numbers.

    1. Hi Grendizer!

      The easiest way is to estimate sales in the US / UK / France / Italy during the “visible” (on charts) periods in Japan and look at the percentage they each represent to their to date tally on those countries. Then we cross-check YouTube views to see if the same songs are still remembered in Japan and apply the needed factors. Of course it is needed to adjust depending on local compilations that could cannibilize sales earlier / later than in other countries. In the case of HC, it sold roughly 40% of its to date tally during its promotional campaign.

  6. Their US albums sales are just mindblowing. Are they the best selling album acts ever there?

    And wow at Hotel California topping Billie Jean!

        1. Omg, are you Barbra hater? Barbra sold at least physical 95 million albums and 30 million singles, and her still produce no1 record now, she may be the biggest selling female in us forever. It’s interesting to read Barbra’s Popularity Analysis. I also want to know the record sales figure MJD will give

    1. Hi IE!

      Their success in the US is indeed unreal and using pro-rata to the catalog surely only the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Garth Brooks can challenge them. In overall units though the Beatles and Elvis are much ahead.

      1. MJD how big are the rolling stones in the usa? How many albums have they sold there? And what about Led zeppelin? I read in a forum that the stones sold 76 million albums while led zeppelin sold 105 million. Are these sales accurate?.

        Thank so much in advance you always do an amazing job with your analysis and make it really interesting to read( sorry for my english :$)

  7. Really impressive numbers! I’m wondering whether they sold more albums (and overall) than Creedence Clearwater Revival ? And, thanks again for the great work MJD!

    1. Eagles have a very american classic rock n’ roll sound, in my opinion is most successful type of music in US, fans of this type of music in the US are usually very loyal. Aerosmith, Van Halen and Journey are anothers bands that have a very American Rock n’ roll sound and they sold GAZILLIONS of records in US.
      Btw, I realized that the US is a country that follows trends, Michael Jackson and Madonna went out of style very fast, while in the rest of the world they continued to sell VERY well.

  8. I’ve heard Garth Brooks got a lot of his awards for shipments in the U.S., not for sales.
    Curious to see what his actual sales are…………instead of all the unsold albums that went in the discount rack like a dented can of beans (to quote Billy Joel “The Entertainer” loosely)

  9. As a side note: Song ‘Hotel California’ is based on/or stolen from a Jethro Tull song ‘We Used To Know’.

    Ian Anderson a frontman of Jethro Tull said once in interview: The Eagles used to be the opening act for Jethro Tull back in around 1970, when we used to play ‘We Used To Know’. And a year or so later they came out with Hotel California. I noticed the fact that they were very similar. So, if the Eagles decide to give me the royalties from Hotel California, I want you to know I’m going to take you all out to dinner!(laughing).

    We Used To Know-Jethro Tull


  10. Pictures of the two Eagles album sleeves are disappeared. On The Border (1974) and One Of These Nights (1975). Or at least I can’t see them. 🙂

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