Eagles so powerful, they force change in 'Billboard' policy

Eagles_lSo, yesterday it seemed like Britney Spears’ Blackout would top the Billboard 200 today, despite the fact that it was not the bestselling album in the country last week. That distinction actually goes to the Eagles’ new double-disc set, Long Road Out of Eden.

Less than twelve hours ago, Eden, which has sold over 700,000 copies (nearly twice as much as Blackout) was ineligible for the chart because it’s only available at Wal-Mart (and through the band’s website) — and Billboard does not list albums sold in a single retail outlet.  Last night, however, the trade magazine announced an official change in its reporting policy. According to a press release, "Billboard will now allow exclusive album titles that are only available through one retailer to appear on The Billboard 200 and other Billboard charts," effective pronto.

The upshot: The Eagles are No. 1, baby! (Not a huge surprise considering the band’s Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 is the bestselling album in American music ever. But, whatever…)

Now, certain people will celebrate Billboard‘s change of heart as a victory for classic California rock over ultra-synthetic, producer-based teen pop. Others may view it as a simple triumph of age over beauty. And some may even take it as a comforting reaffirmation of their faith in charts. Me, I can’t help but see it as testimony to the undeniable market dominance of Wal-Mart.

addCredit(“Eagles: Andrew Macpherson”)


Comments (56 total) Add your comment
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  • Ellipsian

    Oooooh, Britney be HATIN’ Wal-Mart right now!

  • furry_tom

    Britney’s feeling like The Dude right now. (nsfw language)

  • hmmm

    I don’t know, I think this change is a little too conveniently timed. If Britney hadn’t been released last week, would the change still have been made?

  • jill

    All is right in the music world when REAL MUSICIANS (ones who really sing, play instruments and write their songs) can beat out fake, lip-synching no talents who should retire early.

  • junior

    I too think this is a little strange. Normally, with changes like this you hear “at the end of the month/year/quarter, Billboard will allow…” but to make a sudden change right now seems odd. Do The Eagles really care about Britney Spears?

  • EvilCornbread

    “700,000 thousand copies”
    Woah. That’s got to be a record.

  • Krissy

    The change was made because Billboard wants to retain some sort of respectablity. If their chart doesn’t list the best selling cd of the week, what good is it?
    Plus, the fact that retailers like Wal-Mart and Target are the BIGGEST sellers of cds right now. Music stores are going out of business left and right, so it was only a matter of time before Billboard had to recognise this change.

  • sharlin

    nsync actually holds the record. they sold 2.4 million in a week.

  • GingerCat

    I applaud this change. As other posters have noted, the Billboard charts should accurately list what sells the most, regardless of where it’s sold–particularly since Wal-Mart does indeed participate in SoundScan.
    Also thrilled Britney’s CD was beaten by one with, you know, actual music on it. There’s no conspiracy here–Billboard has no reason to have a vendetta against Britney. Besides, they list total sales amounts, so we can all see what the Britbot sold relative to all the other artists on the charts. The sales info won’t be kept under wraps just because she’s not listed at #1.
    However, I must protest the fact that the Eagles made the deal with Wal-Mart in the first place. Don Henley is supposed to be so politically and socially conscious–Wal-Mart is the last place he should be doing exclusive business with.

  • Paul U.

    Blackout is actually a good CD, if you actually listen to it instead of bashing her. And this coming from a former Britney hater!

  • Lena

    I’m just excited to see them perform on the CMAs tonight.

  • Phil

    Wow, Don Henley must be REALLY good friends with one of the Billboard publishers! I totally agree with junior, this decision came virtually overnight, since when does anything happen like that?? Sounds fishy, if this were April 1st, I’d wonder if this were an April Fool’s Joke! However, since this change is now being made, i guess that also allows the Spice Girls to be eligible to chart next week when they release their “Greatest Hits” to the Victoria’s Secrets chain! YAY! Sorry Brit. Guess you’ll just have to settle for a #2 debut!

  • M. Mirage

    Let us not forget that the eagles actually sold approx. 350K units, only 50K units or so more than Britney. Their album is counted twice because of the 2nd disc & was offered for $11.99 per unit at Wal-Mart. So, not only was the cd deep-discounted (a trick employed by Sony to make sure Mariah Carey always had #1 singles), it was a double cd.

  • Hmmm

    The real score ain’t about Britney.
    The real score:
    Eagles: 1
    Radiohead: 0

  • hmmmm

    “700,000 thousand” is a typo…unless the Eagles did actually sell 700 MILLION records.

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