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SWAGGER, NOT STYLE

The worldwide headquarters and hindquarters of freelance writer Chris Klimek

Reports of my influence . . .

Chris Klimek

eagles.jpg. . . would doubtless be greatly exaggerated if they existed at all. Repent, Ye Sinners, because it can't be long now: The Eagles' stunningly craptacular Wal-Mart-exlcusive double album Long Road Out of Eden sold 711,000 copies its first week, which in this waning era of the traditional record business qualifies as a massive hit.Let's put that in perspective: Bruce Springsteen's Magic, released four weeks before the Eagles opus, sold 77,000 in its debut frame. The Eagles album is an abomination, a heinous crime against taste, and also the best-selling "rock" album of 2007. Henley, Frey, & Co. were the beneficiaries of a rule change at Billboard that that allowed Long Road to be included on the Billboard 200 chart even though it's not available from all retail outlets.Previously, exclusive releases had been barred from the Billboard 200, which is why Britney was supposed to win the week, having moved not quite 300k units of her "comeback" disc. One can't imagine that the bafflingly positive tenor of the reviews (save for mine, The Guardian's, and the Sound Opinions guys') had much to do with Long Road's popularity among Wal-Mart shoppers, though the $11.88 price tag probably did. After all, that's a bargain, right? Twenty new -- okay, kind of new, not counting the lead-off single from 1972 and the Joe Walsh song from the 1995 soundtrack album to RoboCop: The Series -- for under $12. You can't afford not to buy it!I especially like the paragraph-three quote in the LiveDaily story from Gary Severson, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of Entertainment, about notifying the RIAA immediately to certify the album's "multi-platinum status." Yo, Gary: 711,000 does not equal two million. I'm sure they'll get there the day after Thanksgiving if not before, but you're jumping the gun a little, Pal. (Check their excellent values on guns in the Sporting Goods section, by the way.)