Beat It, Thriller. The Eagles Now Have The Best-Selling Album Of All Time Because Of New Math

This combination photo shows cover images from the Eagles albums Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, left, and Hotel California. (Rhino/Elektra via AP)

Take it easy, MJ. Your record is already gone.

This is no monsters-dancing-in-the-street horror movie-esque interlude — this is real life. The legendary Los Angeles rock act are reclaiming a title they previously held: best-selling U.S. album of all time. The Eagles had the top spot until Michael Jackson's death in 2009. Now, a decade later, the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has soared back to its platinum perch.

The reason for the change? Apparently, the Recording Industry Association of America wanna be startin' somethin'. They recalculated the Eagles' totals with new platforms thrown in — the latest numbers add streams and downloads to traditional record sales.

It used to be that platinum meant selling a million albums, but in 2013 streaming numbers from YouTube, Spotify, and other services were added in. So 1,500 streams make up one "album" sale, or downloads of 10 songs.

And the Eagles' record label were the ones who asked for those numbers to be recalculated. Wanting higher record sales? That's just human nature.

The new calculations bump the Eagles from 29x platinum, last calculated in 2006, to 38x platinum. Thriller remains a huge seller with 33x platinum numbers as of when they were calculated last year, along with remaining number 1 when it comes to worldwide sales, so no need for it to drink away its sorrows with a tequila sunrise. The number crunchers also goosed the Eagles' Hotel California album, which moves to 29x platinum.

"We are grateful for our families, our management, our crew, the people at radio and, most of all, the loyal fans who have stuck with us through the ups and downs of 46 years. It's been quite a ride," the Eagles' Don Henley said in a statement.

So congratulations on your new top slot, Eagles. Sorry everyone's so mad about it. "Your prison is walking through this world all alone."


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