Soaring Oh So High With The Eagles

No, not literally… Not even metaphorically.  Well, I guess metaphorically since I am not actually up in the air flying, nor high on any substance other than what my ears are breathing in.

Yes, I can breathe through my ears.  Today, I am breathing music… Specifically the Eagles.

I just looked through my Eagles stash and realized that none of my CDs are of the remastered persuasion.  That sucks.  I mean I have had them for years so I suppose I was not expecting it… but it would have been nice.  According to some of the reviews on-line, the remastering is amazing.  The same cannot be said of some of the Stones remasters, which I guess have issues… Then again, there ALWAYS seem to be issues with remasters… People are so amazingly opinionated about it and if you read reviews you get the full gamut of emotions and critiques, good and bad and definitely in the middle.

I wish I was more of an audiophile, including having my old stereo equipment back.  I think I have a pretty good ear… and I still have some good pieces in my parents’ basement… but the irony of listening to iTunes through an iPod and not on a kick ass stereo with an equalizer is that you lose the highs and the lows… The files are very compressed and take away a lot of things a good ear can hear.

I am all for artists making money.  They certainly deserve it.  And I know technology changes quickly.  But it does make me crazy to buy a CD or DVD and then months later have a “reissue” or “remaster” come out… and then months after that have another new version with bonus tracks and unreleased goodies.

To their credit, The Eagles have not done this so far.  It looks like one set of remasters and that is it.  So for all of those who call them money-grubbing sell outs, you can kiss my —!

Every time I write about this band I always have to address the rift they seem to cause… Either folks love them, like me… or they hate them… and when I say hate, I actually mean HATE!  What gives people?

This is a band who honors those who came before them… The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, et. al… and honor country and rock and the singer-songwriter tradition.

Eagles – Eagles

I guess they are not, technically THE Eagles… just Eagles… Get it?  Got it?  Good.

The original four were bassist Randy Meisner, multi-instrumentalist Bernie Leadon, Detroit boy Glenn Frey and Texan Don Henley.  Of course all four sang, and lush and rich vocal and harmonies would become their signature.

This was their debut and it came out in 1972.

AllMusic describes the way they came together… “Frey and Henley were hired to play in Linda Ronstadt’s backup band. Meisner and Leadon also played backup for Ronstadt during her summer tour, though the four only did one gig together: a July show at Disneyland. They did, however, all appear on Ronstadt’s next album, Linda Ronstadt.  In September 1971, Frey, Henley, Leadon, and Meisner signed with manager David Geffen, agreeing to record for his soon-to-be-launched label, Asylum Records; soon after, they adopted the name the Eagles. In February 1972, they flew to England and spent two weeks recording their debut album, Eagles, with producer Glyn Johns. It was released in June, reaching the Top 20 and going gold in a little over a year and a half on the strength of two Top Ten hits — “Take It Easy” and “Witchy Woman” — and one Top 20 hit, “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”

We all know who would take over the band… and other members would come and go, sometimes in rather harsh fashion like the bitter break with Don Felder… But the core duo of Don and Glenn, along with Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit have stuck it out for quite a while.

Their music has always meant a lot to me… My second concert ever was at Giants Stadium in 1980 with The Little River Band, Heart and The Eagles… What a day and what a show that was.  Many years later, out in LA, I got to meet Don Henley and wound up having a long, wonderful conversation with him about education… Amazing man.

This is one of those bands who has just stuck with me and given me a lot of listening pleasure… And this style of music… country/folk/singer-songwriter rock… makes up a lot of what I listen to… from the classic makers like this band and Jackson Browne to alt. country bands and artists like Wilco, Ryan Adams and Dawes.

I can also tell you I tried to learn almost all of these songs on the guitar… Did not get too far, which explains my lack of a career as a rock star… but I did all right… Sigh…

So go and enjoy your long weekend… fly high and stay thirsty, my friends.


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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