Don Henley’s Defense Against ‘Sell-Out’ Accusations Aimed At The Eagles

Greatest Hits albums are fairly popular among artists with extensive discographies. Even though it’s quite normal for record companies to want to release these albums to make a decent buck from sales, some fans are not on board with the idea. Following The Eagles’ release of ‘The Greatest Hits 1971-1975’, some fans were unhappy with the band’s decision, with some even calling them ‘sell-outs.’

During a 1976 interview with Melody Maker, Don Henley was asked about their ‘Greatest Hits’ album and how he feels about the feedback from their fans. The singer explained how he was on the same page with fans by saying:

“Let us say that we aren’t really advocates of ‘Greatest Hits’ albums. They are more or less a ploy by the record company to get free sales. They don’t have to spend any money to make them and they get a lot of money back.”

Henley also mentioned the hate letters they received calling them ‘sell-outs.’ He added:

“We got a couple of hate letters after the ‘Greatest Hits’ album came out that said we were selling out… They said that us and Steve Miller were the last bands who were holding off selling out this way.”

Even though Don understood why the Greatest Hits album was a controversial topic, he went on to explain how they didn’t have a say in the decision to release the album. He expressed:

“But we didn’t have anything to do with it. The record company put it out, and we couldn’t stop them. We had a say in picking the tracks, sequencing them and doing the graphics.”

At the end of the day, the band did not expect the album to be this successful and sell five million copies. Since the record was a hit and also encompassed the band’s previous work from those five years, Don was neutral about the album’s release. The singer said:

“Another reason why I didn’t feel bad about putting a ‘Greatest Hits’ album out was that it definitely marked the end of a phase for us. It marked the end of five years, and this new album opens up a whole new era for us.”

You can read Don Henley’s 1976 interview with Melody Maker here and listen to ‘Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975’ below.