If Wal-Mart chooses to report sales of its exclusive Eagles album, the veteran band could surpass Britney Spears next week on Billboard's Top Comprehensive Albums, according to Eagles manager Irving Azoff.

Spears' "Blackout," her first studio album since 2003, led Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart with 124,000 sold when the chart was released earlier today (Oct. 31). The Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" was missing from that list, which suggests Wal-Mart will choose not to report sales from the title, as was the case with exclusive Garth Brooks albums it sold in prior years.

“If the Eagles were SoundScanning this week, even though it's only available at one retailer, Britney wouldn't be No. 1” on the Building Chart, said Azoff, speaking by phone Wednesday from London, where the Eagles played a showcase for media and Universal Music Group honchos at Indigo2 Club.

Titles that are not generally available at retail are not eligible to appear on The Billboard 200, but are entitled to chart on Billboard's Top Comprehensive Albums, which includes catalog titles and proprietary albums from retailers willing to report those sales.

Best Buy, Starbucks and iTunes are the accounts that have been most willing for their exclusive titles appear on Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Comprehensive Music Videos, but most other chains have withheld charting their proprietary offerings.

Target had been among those holdouts, but did elect to allow Collective Soul's recent "Afterwords," sold only at Target stores and by iTunes to chart. It peaked at No. 25 on Top Comprehensive Albums.

Wal-Mart has until the end of the tracking week to decide whether it wishes to report sales of the Eagles album. A Wal-Mart source told ABC News Radio that "Eden" posted the best first-day total "by far" for that chain, which includes Sam's Club stores. The source did not reveal that total, but said it exceeded projections by 50%.

Aside from two compilations, "Eden" is the Eagles’ first album since the live "Hell Freezes Over," which led The Billboard 200 for two weeks in 1994.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print