Again, this seems to be the band that divides people into enemy lines more than any other. I do not get it.
Maybe I do… commercialism, perhaps? Selling out? The constant in-fighting?
Supposedly Don Henley and Glenn Frey still hate each other… I have met Don and he was wonderful. I have met Timothy B. Schmidt and he was not. Never met the others. Saw Joe Walsh on stage at the Grammy’s the other night. I love that man.
And I love this album. In fact, as you drive down the 101 heading East/South, just past the Canyon Club in Agoura you can see 100.3 The Sound’s billboard with the cover of Hotel California…
If that is not a “sign,” than what is???
For me, I can disregard that other stuff and focus on the music… and great music it is.
The Eagles – Hotel California
1976. Fifth studio album. A lot of change around this one… Joe Walsh is in… Founding member Bernie Leadon is out. And after this one bassist Randy Meisner would be out, too.
Don Henley said: “This is a concept album, there’s no way to hide it, but it’s not set in the old West, the cowboy thing, you know. It’s more urban this time (…) It’s our bicentennial year, you know, the country is 200 years old, so we figured since we are the Eagles and the Eagle is our national symbol, that we were obliged to make some kind of a little bicentennial statement using California as a microcosm of the whole United States, or the whole world, if you will, and to try to wake people up and say ‘We’ve been okay so far, for 200 years, but we’re gonna have to change if we’re gonna continue to be around.”
This album is glorious on so many levels… Each and every song, a gem. You know them all by heart.
“Hotel California” – A classic… One of the best and most widely known songs ever. Rolling Stone says: “The highlight is the title track, a monument to the rock-aristocrat decadence of the day and a feast of triple-guitar interplay.”
“New Kid In Town” – Another major radio and chart hit and something we all tried to learn to play on guitar! “It’s those restless hearts that never mend.”
“Life In The Fast Lane” – The Eagles kick it into gear with this rocker!
“Wasted Time” – Don sings like a mother——! I remember having the hardest time figuring out how someone can sing that beautifully and drum at the same time… I don’t know, I just did. “The autumn leaves have got you thinking, about the first time that you fell.” I’m sorry haters, but that is a great fricking lyric.
“Victim Of Love” – I love that funky growl they get here, which will come back big time on The Long Run.
“Pretty Maids All In A Row” – Joe Walsh breaks my heart with this amazing rock ballad. Are you kidding me with those harmonies and backing vocals??? Stunning!
“Try And Love Again” – This is my least favorite track on the record, but I still really like it. So there! “Gonna try, gonna try, gonna try, gonna try…”
“The Last Resort” – “They call it paradise, I don’t know why. You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye.”
I cannot tell you how much I love this song… Wait, I kind of just did, didn’t I? A beautiful song that actually says something… Glenn describes it this way… “It was the first time that Don took it upon himself to write an epic story and we were already starting to worry about the environment… we’re constantly screwing up paradise and that was the point of the song and that at some point there is going to be no more new frontiers. I mean we’re putting junk, er, garbage into space now.”
Rolling Stone places this album at #37 in their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time… It is up higher than that in my own musical heart chart… When it comes to The Eagles… their music flies high for me… and this, my friends, is as classic, soaring California rock as you get.