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Old 01-27-2020, 11:57 AM
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Eagles – Their Greatest Hits…. Why so many album sales?


The two top selling albums are Thriller and the Eagles greatest hits album. I’ve wondered why the Eagles album sells more than other greatest hits albums and almost every album.

Speaking for someone responsible for two of them… Until the Hotel California album, the Eagles were just a group with a few good songs. Then with Hotel California they became one of my favorites and then I went back to their earlier music. To me they had some very good singles but so-so albums (to me). The greatest hits album basically had all I wanted.
Then when it was time to get digital versions of my music the required albums for the Eagles were their greatest hits, Hotel California and The Long Run. Then add about four or five other songs and my Eagles music is complete.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:48 PM
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It was the first album I bought with my own money, and looking back at the track listing, there isn't a dud on it. Having said that, there's some dispute about the claim of top selling album.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:55 PM
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The 1975-77 period seems to account for a lot a crazy sales figures in individual Rock albums. Frampton Comes Alive, Rumors, Bat out of Hell, Saturday Night Fever, Hotel California. Everybody I knew back then had all of these albums. Our tastes were a lot less diverse and segmented back then and we REALLY liked physically owning music.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:57 PM
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I was a Target cashier in the early 1980s, and it seemed that not a day went by that I didn't ring up a copy of that album with the dusty blue cover and a cow skull on it.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:01 PM
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It may be because the Eagles had a full album's worth of Greatest Hits. A lot of Greatest Hits albums contained some filler.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:54 PM
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I'd imagine the best-selling album for many established artists will be their "greatest hits."

From the RIAA's 100 best-selling albums list, I count at least 25 that are greatest hits, live albums, or other types of compilations.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I was a Target cashier in the early 1980s, and it seemed that not a day went by that I didn't ring up a copy of that album with the dusty blue cover and a cow skull on it.
It's actually an eagle's skull .
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:03 PM
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...The greatest hits album basically had all I wanted...
I think this is a reason for its popularity. As a purchase, it fits a lot of bills, so to speak. Safe bet as a gift for someone else and as an addition to your own record collection. Holds different kinds of appeal for those who aren't necessarily among the group's biggest fans. And, "had a full album's worth of Greatest Hits" as said upthread.

Last edited by jerez; 01-27-2020 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:04 PM
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It was the first album I bought with my own money, and looking back at the track listing, there isn't a dud on it. Having said that, there's some dispute about the claim of top selling album.
I don't think there's any dispute. Thriller is the best selling album worldwide, but the Eagle's greatest hits is the best selling counting US sales only. But there's no argument that Thriller holds the world's top spot.

Last edited by cochrane; 01-27-2020 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:40 PM
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OK -- I never miss an opportunity to tell one of my favorite stories.

Ca. 1976, when I was working in Hollywood, California, I got a phone call from a publisher. She said, "We have a new album being released tomorrow, and we forgot to copyright all the songs! Can you help?"

Since I specialized in writing lead sheets, the primary way to copyright songs under the latest (1909) law, I sure could. But it took me about an hour and a half to produce a single, finished lead sheet, and my usual time was about a week, sufficient for most music publishers.

"How many songs on the album?"

"About 10. But we need it right away!"

"That would be a rush job, at double fee, about 48 hours. OK?'

"Sure, sure. Can you do it faster?"

"What's the name of the album?"

"Hotel California, by the Eagles."

"No problem. But it will be triple fee."

My colleague and I stayed up all night, delivered the lead sheets the next day, then sacked out. Just another typical rush job, but one I'll never forget!
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:48 PM
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I don't think there's any dispute. Thriller is the best selling album worldwide, but the Eagle's greatest hits is the best selling counting US sales only. But there's no argument that Thriller holds the world's top spot.
Well, it was news to me, because I just reviewed the wiki before my first post, but the numbers may be inflated.

Quote:
There is skepticism of the album's certifications. From 1993 to 1995 the album received certifications for an additional eight million units, yet per Nielsen SoundScan it sold fewer than a million copies during that time. The album sold just over five million copies from 1991, when SoundScan began tracking, to 2006, although certifications indicate 17 million albums shipped between that time.[26][27][28] In 2018 Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer stated the album had only sold 2.3 million album-equivalent units from 2006 to 2018 yet it received certification for nine million units during that time. Warner Music, which distributed Their Greatest Hits, claims the figure comes from newly-discovered sales dating back to 1976. A representative from Jackson's estate stated "The notion that they can go back 10, 15, 20 or 30 years and find units that were never counted before is absurd, they reviewed these records before. Why didn’t they find those uncounted records then?" and noted sales audits are usually restricted to three years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Their_...al_performance
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:19 PM
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I got it the same way I got the Beach Boys and the Guess Who's greatest hots

Columbia House Record Club. 8 for a penny!

Man, am I ever old.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:23 PM
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Well, it was news to me, because I just reviewed the wiki before my first post, but the numbers may be inflated.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Their_...al_performance
The article also states that the album became #1 again in 2018.

Quote:
In August 2018, it was certified 38x platinum under a new system that tallies album and track sales as well as streams. It again became the highest-certified album by the RIAA, surpassing Michael Jackson's Thriller which is certified 33× platinum.
A fact also confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...riller-1135954
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:26 PM
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I got it the same way I got the Beach Boys and the Guess Who's greatest hots

Columbia House Record Club. 8 for a penny!

Man, am I ever old.
You got ripped off. I got 12 for a penny from BMG!

Doing a tiny bit of research, it turns out they're the same company now; BMG bought out Columbia House in 2005, and they were subsequently bought by another company and became "Direct Brands, Inc." They stopped selling music in 2009 but their "negative option billing" business model still lives on in DVD and Blu-Ray sales.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:02 PM
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OK -- I never miss an opportunity to tell one of my favorite stories.

Ca. 1976, when I was working in Hollywood, California, I got a phone call from a publisher. She said, "We have a new album being released tomorrow, and we forgot to copyright all the songs! Can you help?"

Since I specialized in writing lead sheets, the primary way to copyright songs under the latest (1909) law, I sure could. But it took me about an hour and a half to produce a single, finished lead sheet, and my usual time was about a week, sufficient for most music publishers.

"How many songs on the album?"

"About 10. But we need it right away!"

"That would be a rush job, at double fee, about 48 hours. OK?'

"Sure, sure. Can you do it faster?"

"What's the name of the album?"

"Hotel California, by the Eagles."

"No problem. But it will be triple fee."

My colleague and I stayed up all night, delivered the lead sheets the next day, then sacked out. Just another typical rush job, but one I'll never forget!
I would love to better understand this story, if it isn't too much of a hijack. How did your work affect the publisher's copyright?
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:12 PM
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I would love to better understand this story, if it isn't too much of a hijack. How did your work affect the publisher's copyright?
Presumably, they filed my work with the standard USA copyright application, as most publishers did pre-1977, when the US law changed. Unless they were Ninja'd by someone else (unlikely), they obtained the copyright they expected. I haven't heard of any dispute.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:34 PM
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It's actually an eagle's skull .
D'oh! Anyway, I never owned it myself. Sorry.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:39 PM
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I would love to better understand this story, if it isn't too much of a hijack. How did your work affect the publisher's copyright?
I don't exactly understand either. In my experience, the writer files for copyright, not the publisher. And why did you have to write out new lead sheets, weren't there existing ones? I mean, the guys who wrote the songs must have written something down. And if the album was coming out the next day, dd that mean no copyrights were in effect on the day of release? The Copyright Office doesn't turn around applications overnight.

Also not sure why it would take 2 guys all night to write lead sheets for 10 Eagles songs. We're not talking Beethoven here. Maybe I'm missing something.

Last edited by jaycat; 01-27-2020 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:17 PM
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I mean, the guys who wrote the songs must have written something down.
Maybe some chords, if that, but a proper lead sheet with a melody line and chords? Not likely for a pop/rock band.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:19 PM
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I don't exactly understand either. In my experience, the writer files for copyright, not the publisher. And why did you have to write out new lead sheets, weren't there existing ones? I mean, the guys who wrote the songs must have written something down. And if the album was coming out the next day, dd that mean no copyrights were in effect on the day of release? The Copyright Office doesn't turn around applications overnight.

Also not sure why it would take 2 guys all night to write lead sheets for 10 Eagles songs. We're not talking Beethoven here. Maybe I'm missing something.
Lemme explain.

Most professional writers, ca. <1976, did not file for copyright; their publishers did, as they were (typically, by that time) under contract to the publishers. Performers were often more concerned with recording songs than the esoteric detail of the copyright & publishing business.

The writers (the Eagles) like many rock artists, typically did their arrangements "by head" or in the studio. They may not have had anything written down, and many rock musicians read music little, if at all. Between the concept of an Eagles' song and the final recording, there may not have been any written music. (exception: sweetening tracks)

So by the time of the final album release, it's entirely possible that no written music existed of the songs other than a scratch chord chart. Not only was that possible, it was common, which gave me an occupation -- writing down what was only, until then, a sound. I made a pretty decent living filling that gap.

The applicable copyright law was from 1909. In 1909, audio recordings, although they existed, were not a serious medium. If you had written a new song <1909, your medium for reproduction was the printed "piano/vocal" sound sheet. Millions were sold. Sound recordings, not so much. Logically, when the law was codified, a written copy ("the best copy") of your composition was required for deposit in the US Government Copyright Office.

If you, in 1909, could write music, you filed that with the CO. If not, you hired someone to write down what you played on your instrument in some readable form.

A lead (pronounced "leed") sheet, for those who are not familiar with the term, is defined as follows (my definition). It contains, in written form, the following:
  1. The melody, if any, in standard musical notation,
  2. The harmony, if any, usually expressed in chordal symbols,
  3. The lyrics, if any.

A lead sheet (theoretically) is sufficient for a professional musician to recreate the original composition. Obviously, given the 60+ years that had elapsed since the 1909 law, there was much to be desired. Nevertheless, a lead sheet was a useful tool for many purposes, including the arranger of the sweetening charts.

The US copyright office accepted lead sheets for song copyrights for a very long time, so long that Hollywood publishers came to use lead sheets for the de facto copyright medium. I made an occupation of writing lead sheets for pop songwriters; you write a song, you have me make a lead sheet, and with a simple recording, you are good to go.
(Lead sheets became so much the de facto copyright submission medium that when I was hired to write lead sheets for John Williams' full-orchestral scores for Star Wars, I convinced 20th Century Fox studios that a Xerox of Williams' scores was a much better CO submission. I lost a lot of money on that one.)
Quote:
Why would it take 2 guys all night to write out lead sheets for 10 Eagles songs?
Consider the circumstances. Neither of us had ever heard any of the Hotel California songs. We had to hear them for the first time, transcribe the melody, harmony, and lyrics on to paper, using pen & ink, into a sharp, graphics-quality, camera-ready master that could be reproduced (no computers or digital printers, remember) and was unambiguous, enough to sustain any likely copyright challenges. Can you do that in less that 12 hours?

Last edited by Musicat; 01-27-2020 at 07:22 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:43 PM
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Consider me educated. I have always heard the term "lead sheet" as just referring to lyrics with chords. (I've never written out melody lines for the 100+ songs I've copyrighted). I'm still unclear, though, as to the part about the copyrights being granted overnight.

Last edited by jaycat; 01-27-2020 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:03 PM
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Consider me educated. I have always heard the term "lead sheet" as just referring to lyrics with chords. (I've never written out melody lines for the 100+ songs I've copyrighted). I'm still unclear, though, as to the part about the copyrights being granted overnight.
Although I worked in a related field, I am not a legal expert in copyrights, and the US law has changed in the last 50 years.

You may have seen lead sheets as lyrics with chords, but that is definitely not the musician's definition. As long ago as 1965, I saw "fake books" (illegal, as they did not pay any royalties) with 1000 songs, 3 lead sheets to a page, with melody, chords, and lyrics. I used these in bars to play songs that I never heard, but a bar patron requested. How else could you play the song without the melody if you didn't know it?

AFAIK, copyrights, trademarks or patents aren't granted overnight. But the date of the submission is critical. Cf. Alex Bell's patent and Elisha Gray's patent application of the telephone.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:48 PM
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Also not sure why it would take 2 guys all night to write lead sheets for 10 Eagles songs. We're not talking Beethoven here. Maybe I'm missing something.
But we are talking Hotel California. It probably took at least half the night to write out Joe Walsh's guitar solo.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:49 PM
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I got it the same way I got the Beach Boys and the Guess Who's greatest hots

Columbia House Record Club. 8 for a penny!

Man, am I ever old.
Actually, that may be the main reason it sold so many. This article from a chart obsessed website uses a lot of hard facts to conclude as many as 8 million copies of "Greatest Hits" were sold by Columbia House alone. That also explains the Soundscan/RIAA differences, since mail order sales such as record clubs aren't covered by Soundscan. I wonder how many of those copies were really bought and how much were given away as record club freebies.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:05 PM
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:07 PM
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But we are talking Hotel California. It probably took at least half the night to write out Joe Walsh's guitar solo.
No doubt it would have. But a lead sheet doesn't (typically) include the details of a solo, just the chord progression, and maybe not even any solo sections. The lead sheet is the "meat" of the song; the nucleus, the basics.

There are exceptions.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:17 PM
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speaking of the 70s Dark Side of the Moon from Pink Floyd in 73 sold around 45 million copies. It was on the Billboard top 200 album chart for over 900 weeks / 17 years.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:29 PM
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But we are talking Hotel California. It probably took at least half the night to write out Joe Walsh's guitar solo.
Except Hotel California was not on the Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:37 PM
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But did it come in the mail with packets of Tide?



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Old 01-27-2020, 10:38 PM
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Except Hotel California was not on the Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975.
But Musicat was talking about Hotel California.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:17 PM
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I'd imagine the best-selling album for many established artists will be their "greatest hits."

From the RIAA's 100 best-selling albums list, I count at least 25 that are greatest hits, live albums, or other types of compilations.
It still is. If you go to iTunes too 100 album list any day, many of them are greatest hits albums.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:43 AM
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I think it's easily explainable. Eagles wrote some very catchy hits that had huge crossover appeal. They were country enough to appeal to country fans, they rocked hard enough to be acceptable to rock fans. Parents and their kids liked them.

They were really also a singles band. For the vast majority of people, if you owned that CD and maybe Hotel California, you had all the Eagles you really needed.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:25 AM
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Lemme explain.

Most professional writers, ca. <1976, did not file for copyright; their publishers did, as they were (typically, by that time) under contract to the publishers. Performers were often more concerned with recording songs than the esoteric detail of the copyright & publishing business.

The writers (the Eagles) like many rock artists, typically did their arrangements "by head" or in the studio. They may not have had anything written down, and many rock musicians read music little, if at all. Between the concept of an Eagles' song and the final recording, there may not have been any written music. (exception: sweetening tracks)

So by the time of the final album release, it's entirely possible that no written music existed of the songs other than a scratch chord chart. Not only was that possible, it was common, which gave me an occupation -- writing down what was only, until then, a sound. I made a pretty decent living filling that gap.

The applicable copyright law was from 1909. In 1909, audio recordings, although they existed, were not a serious medium. If you had written a new song <1909, your medium for reproduction was the printed "piano/vocal" sound sheet. Millions were sold. Sound recordings, not so much. Logically, when the law was codified, a written copy ("the best copy") of your composition was required for deposit in the US Government Copyright Office.

If you, in 1909, could write music, you filed that with the CO. If not, you hired someone to write down what you played on your instrument in some readable form.

A lead (pronounced "leed") sheet, for those who are not familiar with the term, is defined as follows (my definition). It contains, in written form, the following:
  1. The melody, if any, in standard musical notation,
  2. The harmony, if any, usually expressed in chordal symbols,
  3. The lyrics, if any.

A lead sheet (theoretically) is sufficient for a professional musician to recreate the original composition. Obviously, given the 60+ years that had elapsed since the 1909 law, there was much to be desired. Nevertheless, a lead sheet was a useful tool for many purposes, including the arranger of the sweetening charts.

The US copyright office accepted lead sheets for song copyrights for a very long time, so long that Hollywood publishers came to use lead sheets for the de facto copyright medium. I made an occupation of writing lead sheets for pop songwriters; you write a song, you have me make a lead sheet, and with a simple recording, you are good to go.
(Lead sheets became so much the de facto copyright submission medium that when I was hired to write lead sheets for John Williams' full-orchestral scores for Star Wars, I convinced 20th Century Fox studios that a Xerox of Williams' scores was a much better CO submission. I lost a lot of money on that one.)


Consider the circumstances. Neither of us had ever heard any of the Hotel California songs. We had to hear them for the first time, transcribe the melody, harmony, and lyrics on to paper, using pen & ink, into a sharp, graphics-quality, camera-ready master that could be reproduced (no computers or digital printers, remember) and was unambiguous, enough to sustain any likely copyright challenges. Can you do that in less that 12 hours?
On a strictly ignorance fought measure, this may be the greatest post I’ve ever read on this board.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:32 AM
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But we are talking Hotel California. It probably took at least half the night to write out Joe Walsh's guitar solo.
And the rest of the night for Don Felder’s guitar work.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:55 AM
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My guess is that they had some songs that told stories - like Lyin' Eyes and Take it to the Limit. I know that when I first heard those songs - long before the Greatest Hits albums came out, they really resonated with me and I felt there was something special about that band.

When the Greatest Hits album came out, I had never previously bought any of their albums and I thought it would be a great opportunity to have some of their best songs for the price of one album.

I'd also point to Don Henley. He has one of the best (most soulful) voices of any modern singer. I've never been able to discern that he is a better drummer than other drummers. But that is probably owing to my complete ignorance about what it takes to be a good drummer. I have no clue how to tell a good drummer from a bad one.

There are some excellent documentaries about The Eagles that document a lot about the way the band was formed and the problems they had.

The History of The Eagles is one of the best. So is the series, "Breaking the Bands - The Eagles". It documents the breakup of many popular music groups. The one about The Eagles is especially informative - except for the fact they hired some actors to play the parts of the band members and the actor they chose to play Glen Fry - IMHO - really doesn't do justice to Glenn Fry. He kind of spoiled the film for me. But it is still worth seeing.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:52 AM
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But Musicat was talking about Hotel California.
OK, somehow I forgot that. My apologies.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:13 AM
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Consider the circumstances. Neither of us had ever heard any of the Hotel California songs. We had to hear them for the first time, transcribe the melody, harmony, and lyrics on to paper, using pen & ink, into a sharp, graphics-quality, camera-ready master that could be reproduced (no computers or digital printers, remember) and was unambiguous, enough to sustain any likely copyright challenges. Can you do that in less that 12 hours?
How did they get the music to you? In a taxi? LP, mastertape, something else?

How did you handle unclear lyrics when doing that job?
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:59 AM
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How did they get the music to you? In a taxi? LP, mastertape, something else?

How did you handle unclear lyrics when doing that job?
I don't remember what format that particular album came in, but I got recordings in many formats: An LP retail pressing, a master acetate (copy), an open reel tape, a test pressing, or a Phillips cassette. When I first started doing this, cassettes were uncommon, and I didn't even have a player. 10 years later, most submissions were on cassette.

Since two of us were working on the same album, and since it was much easier to work with a tape than a record, I would have immediately made 2 open reel copies.

In L.A., where time is money, nobody has time to wait for a mail delivery, which might take 24 whole hours! So important stuff was always hand delivered by messenger. The normal delivery time around Hollywood was 4 hours, but you could request a rush delivery for extra cost. Since the studios and publishers paid the bills for this, I don't know what the cost was.

If you called for a messenger pickup, they would ask how big the package was, as they often used motorcycles. As long as you could carry it in a motorcycle, that was a pretty efficient way to get around L.A. Few traffic jams would stop you.
Slight hijack: I did the copying once for one of most prolific arrangers, Jimmie Haskell (think Ode to Billie Joe). A sweetening session was set up for 9AM. Sometime the previous afternoon, Haskell sent over the first string charts and I began copying the individual parts. I wasn't quite done when he sent me the second chart, then around 5AM I got the 3rd. I had the first two delivered to the recording studio by 9AM, and took the final one to the studio shortly after. Haskell got about 2 hours sleep that night, and me -- none.
I had a part-time assistant who came to the office a few days in the week to do the bookkeeping, make prints and file. I had regular pickup and delivery days (I think it was Tuesday & Thursday) and as long as the publishers could wait until the next one, there was no charge. Since most music publishers were clustered around downtown Hollywood and along the Sunset strip, she could hit several in just an hour.

Lyrics: After some discouraging experiences trying to get lyrics off of the recording, and finding out that the publishers often had lyric sheets in the file that they didn't give me ("you need that?"), I started charging more if the lyrics were not supplied, and gave no guarantee that my takedown would be accurate.

Then I modified that policy to say that the lyrics had to given to me on paper, after one publisher sent me a tape that Barry White had made. He played his final mix on speakers, and spoke into a mic on a portable tape recorder, repeating what he said. Not very helpful. Put it on paper. Typed!

Sometimes I would get lyric sheets from the composer, other times the secretaries wrote them down. I didn't care; I just wanted a guide to save me time. If the songwriter ever complained (rarely), I told them to get me the lyrics in advance next time. And if they wanted me to rewrite the lead sheet (that was a rare request), I just charged by the hour.
  #39  
Old 01-28-2020, 10:08 AM
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I think it's easily explainable. Eagles wrote some very catchy hits that had huge crossover appeal. They were country enough to appeal to country fans, they rocked hard enough to be acceptable to rock fans. Parents and their kids liked them.

They were really also a singles band. For the vast majority of people, if you owned that CD and maybe Hotel California, you had all the Eagles you really needed.
Yeah, this is my take on it, also. Very rockabilly stuff that appealed to most everyone.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:56 AM
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Thank you Musicat, very interesting.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:00 AM
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Musicat - Am I imagining things or did you at some point do an AMA ("ask me anything") type of thread about your musical transcription career? I tried searching for it, but couldn't find the right search terms. Or perhaps it was only mentioned in another thread as a possible spin-off thread but just never got spun out.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:03 PM
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It was a great album, I bought both the Eagles greatest hits albums in the 1990s and listened to them many times. They are almost 100% good songs. Those albums are still on the SDcard in my car media library, on my computer, and on my phone.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:12 PM
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AFAIK, copyrights, trademarks or patents aren't granted overnight.
Copyrights and trademarks are indeed granted overnight. Faster, even. For copyrights, at least at the time of this album, you just put "Copyright (c) this year" on a book or whatever, and presto! It's copyrighted. My assumption is that the lead sheet mentioned is a handy or even essential place to put that magic phrase and record that it was done.

Trademarks are kinda just as easy. Put "tm" on your logo art -- boom, it's trademarked. For additional protection you can register the trademark with the feds (I don't know the procedure), and if that's granted you get to use the "(r)" mark. Trademarks are a little weird though -- you can have regional trademarks, for example, that only protect the trademarks in some areas. You can also lose your trademark if you're not using it or fail to defend it from infringement.

Patents, on the other hand, are much more formal, and require a long process involving a proper description of the patentable thing, reasons why it is unique and not prior art, and so forth. Then you get to spar with the Patent Office to prove your claim, and eventually get your patent if you do so. The date on applying for a patent is crucial, but a fairly informal proof of priority may be adequate, e.g. mail yourself a letter with a description of the invention. The person who establishes the claim first can patent the invention, which becomes unpatentable prior art for the next guy.

Last edited by squeegee; 01-28-2020 at 01:15 PM.
  #44  
Old 01-28-2020, 03:39 PM
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Copyrights and trademarks are indeed granted overnight. Faster, even. For copyrights, at least at the time of this album, you just put "Copyright (c) this year" on a book or whatever, and presto! It's copyrighted. My assumption is that the lead sheet mentioned is a handy or even essential place to put that magic phrase and record that it was done.
The law referencing copyright claims has been changed drastically over the last few decades. In the early 1970's, a notice was required, and a claim form had to be filed with the US Copyright office. The copyright wasn't officially granted until you received the form back with their stamp, because the claim might be denied. I know of two cases where this happened; one was a song that said "Words & music by X." The Copyright Office noted that the only words were a repeated phrase, "Feelin' the spirit," and they said that you couldn't claim writer credit for that, no matter how many times it was repeated.

The other case was one where the disc (this was a sound recording claim, not copyright) had "for demonstrations purposes only." The office said that didn't look like a serious recording, and denied the claim.

The first case was solved by resubmitting and omitting the "words by..." line. The second was solved by some clever and insistent wording by me, and they OK'd the copyright.

What you are describing is the current state, not the 1970 state of copyright.



pulykamell, I never started a thread exactly like that, although it has been suggested (maybe by you?). I guess after threads like this one, I feel I have told everything I know and used up all my stories! Still think I should?
  #45  
Old 01-28-2020, 08:24 PM
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What you are describing is the current state, not the 1970 state of copyright.
Ah, my bad. I remember the requirements had changed, but thought they may have become more formalized, not less formalized. I think even under the old regime you had a valid copyright until it was denied under review. Now you have a valid copyright upon publication - if the correct notice were made on the work - until challenged and the copyright thrown out or upheld.

Last edited by squeegee; 01-28-2020 at 08:29 PM.
  #46  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:23 AM
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I got it the same way I got the Beach Boys and the Guess Who's greatest hots

Columbia House Record Club. 8 for a penny!

Man, am I ever old.
do they still exist?
  #47  
Old 02-06-2020, 12:41 AM
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Greatest hits albums in the vinyl/cassette era were often not chronological, tracks were arranged primarily to align the playing time on each side, and suffered when there were wild stylistic or production swings from one track to the other. The Eagles Greatest Hits I all sounds like it fits together and makes up a cohesive album. It doesn't sound patched together.

Since around 2000, with the Beatles "1" and similar CD and digital compilations, Greatest Hits collections tend to be more comprehensive and almost always chronological - a real history of the group.
  #48  
Old 02-06-2020, 12:46 AM
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I got it the same way I got the Beach Boys and the Guess Who's greatest hots

Columbia House Record Club. 8 for a penny!

Man, am I ever old.
There were some albums that were promoted hard by those record clubs, Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" was featured for an eternity.

The catch was after you got the first eight records for a penny, you'd be charged $15 for a dud by Huey Lewis and the News that you couldn't return on time.

Last edited by syncrolecyne; 02-06-2020 at 12:48 AM.
  #49  
Old 02-06-2020, 01:41 AM
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The catch was after you got the first eight records for a penny, you'd be charged $15 for a dud by Huey Lewis and the News that you couldn't return on time.
That exact thing happened to my friend and that is is the story of how I got a free copy of Huey Lewis and the News's greatest hits.

Okay, my story might not be as cool as Musicat's.

Last edited by Asylum; 02-06-2020 at 01:45 AM.
  #50  
Old 02-06-2020, 08:01 AM
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do they still exist?
Yes in a technical sense. Read all about it on Wikipedia. Bought out a couple times, bankrupt in 2015, gave up music CD mail order a long time ago but kept the video disc business alive for a while longer.

Sony owns the brand name but it licenses it to the current "owner". Has promised to bring back vinyl record mail order sales with a consumer choice model.

Yeah, right. Won't believe it until I see the ads in my TV Guide. Wait a second there ...
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