Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)
|Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)|
|Greatest hits album by the Eagles|
|Released||February 17, 1976|
|Genre||Rock, country rock|
|Producer||Glyn Johns, Bill Szymczyk|
|the Eagles chronology|
Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) is the first compilation album by the Eagles, released in 1976. The album contains a selection of songs from the Eagles' first four albums released in the period from the Eagles' formation in 1971 up to 1975. It is the best-selling album of the 20th century in the United States, and it stayed the best selling-album in the U.S. for some years until it was surpassed by Michael Jackson's Thriller after the artist's death in 2009. It is the second highest-certified album by the Recording Industry Association of America at 29x platinum, behind Thriller.
Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) comprises nine singles released between 1972 and 1975, plus the album track "Desperado." All of these singles except "Tequila Sunrise" charted in the top 40, with five in the top ten, and "One of These Nights" and "Best of My Love" both topping the singles chart.
The manager of Eagles, Irving Azoff, said: "We decided it was time to put out the first greatest-hits because we had enough hits." However, according to Don Felder, none of the band members had any say in the decision to release the compilation album. The band complained that the album was "nothing more than a ploy by the record company to sell product without having to pay additional production costs". Don Henley was unhappy that songs like "Tequila Sunrise" and "Desperado" were lifted out of the context of original album in a way that he thought detrimental to the nature, quality and meaning of the music. He said: "All the record company was worried about were their quarterly reports. They didn't give a shit whether the greatest hits album was good or not, they just wanted product."
The cover of the album is an image of an artwork created by Boyd Elder, also known as "El Chingadero", whose work was also used for the cover of One of These Nights. The work was created from a plastic cast of an eagle skull, which was then painted. The skull was set against a light-blue background made of silver mylar, and the bumpy appearance of the background gave rise to a myth that it was cocaine powder that they were using. Glenn Frey also noticed the resemblance, telling Elder that the background reminded him of "a field of blow", however the band chose not to debunk the myth. The artist was paid $5,000 for the work.
William Ruhlmann of AllMusic thought the songs in the compilations melodic and immediately engaging, and that they have lyrical consistency. He wrote: "... unlike the albums from which they come, these songs make up a collection consistent in mood and identity, which may help explain why Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) works so much better than the band's previous discs and practically makes them redundant. No wonder it was such a big hit out of the box ..." The album was described in iTunes reviews as having an element of "sunshine and comfort", being "solidly written", and "selling the fantasy of a golden lifestyle in sunny California".
Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 album chart on its first week of release, and reached number one in the following week, where it stayed for five weeks. It was ranked number four on the Billboard year-end album chart of 1976, but it continued to sell, and would eventually become the best-selling album of the 20th century in the United States.
The album has the distinction of being the first album to receive the RIAA platinum award, which was introduced in 1976 to honor album that shipped one million copies in the United States. It received its certification on February 24, 1976, a week after its release. In August 1990 it was certified 12×platinum, and on November 10, 1999, it became the all-time best-selling album in the United States when it was certified 26× multi-platinum. In a 2001 radio interview, Randy Meisner revealed neither he nor Bernie Leadon were even notified of the record-breaking award presented to them in 1999, and "...had to call and we finally received it." It was certified at 29×platinum on 30 January 2006, signifying shipment of 29 million copies in the U.S. Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) is listed at No. 2 on the RIAA's "Top 100 Albums", only surpassed by Michael Jackson's Thriller which is certified 32×multi-platinum. Worldwide, the album has sold over 42 million copies as of 2011.
The RIAA's second certification of the album came in August 1990, when it certified the release as 12 times platinum. The next certification established the album at 14 times platinum in December 1993, and then 22 times in June 1995, with sales of 919,000 in the U.S. during that period.
|1.||"Take It Easy" (from Eagles, 1972)||Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey||3:29|
|2.||"Witchy Woman" (from Eagles, 1972)||Don Henley, Bernie Leadon||4:10|
|3.||"Lyin' Eyes" (from One of These Nights, 1975)||Frey, Henley||6:21|
|4.||"Already Gone" (from On the Border, 1974)||Robb Strandlund, Jack Tempchin||4:13|
|5.||"Desperado" (from Desperado, 1973)||Frey, Henley||3:33|
|1.||"One of These Nights" (from One of These Nights, 1975)||Frey, Henley||4:51|
|2.||"Tequila Sunrise" (from Desperado, 1973)||Frey, Henley||2:52|
|3.||"Take It to the Limit" (from One of These Nights, 1975)||Frey, Henley, Randy Meisner||4:48|
|4.||"Peaceful Easy Feeling" (from Eagles, 1972)||Tempchin||4:16|
|5.||"Best of My Love" (from On the Border, 1974)||Frey, Henley, J.D. Souther||4:35|
- Glenn Frey – vocals, guitars, piano
- Bernie Leadon – guitars, banjo, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, backing vocals
- Randy Meisner – vocals, bass guitar
- Don Henley – vocals, drums
- Don Felder – guitars, backing vocals on "Lyin' Eyes," "Already Gone," "One of These Nights," and "Take It to the Limit"
- Production personnel
- Glyn Johns, Bill Szymczyk – producers
- Jim Ed Norman – string arrangements
- Allan Blazek, Michael Braunstein, Howard Kilgour, Ed Mashal, Michael Verdick, Don Wood – engineers
- Henry Diltz, Glen Christensen, Boyd Elder – art direction, design
- Irving Azoff – direction
- Steve Hoffman, Ted Jensen – digital remastering
Charts and certifications
|Canada Top Albums (RPM)||1|
|New Zealand (Official New Zealand Music Chart)||2|
|UK Albums (OCC)||2|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|Australia (ARIA)||8× Platinum||560,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Diamond||2,000,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Platinum||15,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||29× Platinum||29,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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