Here is a good trivia question for you: what's the biggest selling album in American history? You're probably not going to get it.
It's the Eagles' "Greatest Hits 1971-1975," which was released, ironically, a year before some of their greatest hits. Along with the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin and Garth Brooks, they are among the top five all-time best selling artists in the U.S.
As correspondent Steve Kroft reports, what's new is that three weeks ago they released their first new material in 28 years, a double album called "Long Road Out Of Eden," which opened at number one on the Billboard charts and has already gone platinum. But like everything else the Eagles have ever done, the process wasn't easy or peaceful, which is probably why you have never seen them sit down together for a television interview. Until now.
Kroft and the 60 Minutes team met them last month at a stripped down rehearsal hall in Los Angeles. Four lead singers, with just as many styles, careers and egos, were honing the first new Eagles songs in nearly three decades, saving harmony for their music.
"There's a certain sound that we make when we sing together. That over the past 35 years has become ingrained in people's minds. And you know, I can't sound like that with anybody else except these guys," Don Henley explains.
Co-founders Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit are all pushing 60 now, and have been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for nearly a decade. There is nothing left to prove except that they can do it again, one last time.
It all began in 1971 with a smooth California sound that was part country, part rock, and an antidote to the turmoil of the late 60's. Their debut album produced three of their many hits.
Thirty-six years later, Glenn Frey and the Eagles look different, but they still sound the same. And fans line up to pay hundreds of dollars for their rare three-hour concerts.
Asked why he thinks the band is still so popular, Frey tells Kroft, "Take It Easy, Witchy Woman, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Desperado, Tequila Sunrise, Already Gone, Best of My Love, One of These Nights, Lying Eyes, Take It to the Limit, Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, New Kid in Town, I Can't Tell You Why, The Long Run, Heartache Tonight."
"It was important for you guys to come up with new material and not just go out and play the old songs?" Kroft asks.
"Well weren't gonna, we were gonna be done. We'd been the guardians of the Eagles legacy for some time now and I wouldn't wanna have it end - you know you're just sort of doing a caricature of yourself, your just doing a tribute to yourself. We either had to fold our tent or make a record. And fortunately, and I'm so glad we did, we decided to make a record," Frey says.
There are 20 new songs crafted to fit with their body of work, and they feel comfortable and familiar. In Los Angeles, they were still learning how to play them in a drill they call the "circle of fear."
Why is it called the circle of fear?
Says Frey, "There's nowhere to hide. You like to kinda come out here and see that everybody's got it and we're all, you know, singing the right things."
"And to do that it's repetition. You have to do it over and over and over," Schmit explains.
"Yeah, just 'cause you wrote 'em don't mean you can play 'em," Walsh adds, laughing.