E is for Eagles

Liking Eagles music is uncool in certain crowds.

Eagles - Walsh, Henley, Frey, Schmit
Walsh, Henley, Frey, Schmit
The Eagles was an American rock band based on Los Angeles who became one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. In 1971, Linda Ronstadt her then-manager recruited local musicians Glenn Frey and Don Henley for her band. They, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon played on her eponymous third album, before recording the first Eagles’ album. The songwriting partnership of Frey and Henley really was established with the group’s second LP.

The country-folk-rock band had some hits, but wanted a bit of a harder sound. Leadon’s childhood friend Don Felder played on a couple songs on the third album, and then joined the band full time.

But it was the fourth studio album, One of These Nights (1975) that really broke through on the charts, the first of four albums to reach #1. The title track also went to #1, Lyin’ Eyes reached #2 on the charts and won the band their first Grammy. The final single, Take It to the Limit, went to #4. The song reached number 4 on the charts. The album was nominated for a Grammy award for Album of the Year.

At this point, they released the Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) album that has challenged Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the all-time best selling album in the United States.

Bernie Leadon left the band, unhappy with the harder edge of the music. He was replaced by Joe Walsh of the James Gang. The next album was the massively successful Hotel California. It contained two #1 singles, New Kid in Town and the mysterious title track. But after an exhausting tour, Randy Meisner left the band, replaced by “the same musician who had succeeded him in Poco, Timothy B. Schmit.”

The 1979 album The Long Run was successful, less so than its predecessor, and the band went “on hiatus” for 14 years until they reunited in 1994, and put out a popular live album, Hell Freezes Over, and a profitable tour. “In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For the induction ceremony, all seven Eagles members (Frey, Henley, Felder, Walsh, Schmit, Leadon, and Meisner) played together for two songs.”

One last album, Long Road to Eden, came out in 2007, without Don Felder, who had been involved with lawsuits against the band.

The band was “slated to receive Kennedy Center Honors in 2015, but this was deferred to 2016 due to Frey’s medical problems. Then on “January 18, 2016, founding member Glenn Frey died in the Washington Heights section of New York City at the age of 67, leaving Don Henley as the only remaining original member. According to the band’s website, the causes of his death were rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia while recovering from intestinal surgery.” in short order, Henley confirmed the dissolution of the band.

Liking Eagles music is uncool in certain crowds. I appreciate their sound, particularly their tight harmonies.

Some favorite songs – links to all:

10. Take it Easy (Eagles) – written by Frey with his then-neighbor Jackson Browne
9. Already Gone (On the Border)
8. Heartache Tonight (The Long Run) – sounds like a Bob Seger song, in the good sense; written by Henley, Frey, Seger, and J. D. Souther
7. Desperado (Desperado) – particularly hated for its alleged faux profundity; whatever
6. Life in the Fast Lane (Hotel California) – some rockin’ Joe Walsh

5. Tequila Sunrise (Desperado) – one of my drinks of choice in college
4. I Can’t Tell You Why (The Long Run) – I think it’s lovely, and sad
3. Take it to the Limit (One of These Nights) – written by Meisner, Henley, and Frey, the only Eagles single to feature Meisner on lead vocals; reminds me of a coffeehouse in my college town that I lived in, and a young woman with long light brown hair, with whom absolutely nothing happened
2. Hotel California (Hotel California) – the Stairway to Heaven of the Eagles’ oeuvre, it shouldn’t be diminished because it was overplayed
1. Wasted Time (Hotel California) – I gravitate towards songs about lost love


ABC Wednesday – Round 19

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

17 thoughts on “E is for Eagles”

  1. Living in California in late 1970s and early 1980s I swear there must have been a State law that every radio station was required to play at least one Eagle’s song every half hour, with subsidies awarded for playing them more often. I’m convinced of it. You couldn’t go anywhere without their songs playing in the background.

  2. OMG! Other than Van Morrison on his own, this is my all-time favourite group! I could listen to them for hours on end! And I was personally quite upset when Glen Frey passed away – he was amazing on his own!

    abcw team

  3. Speaking of Bob Seger: Frey, Henley and Schmit sang backgrounds on “Fire Lake.”

    I dearly love “Take It To The Limit,” though I occasionally wonder if the station is playing that or “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

  4. I still enjoy hearing the Eagles’ music. Hats off to your introduction on ABC- people who are entrepreneurs are courageous in the first place, but it’s wonderful that they get a boost from SBDC. Thanks for maintaining this meme.

  5. Most informative Roger,
    I must confess that I wasn’t a great fan but i recognise
    some of their work which is very good…I was rather busy
    having babies in the seventies so didn’t keep up with the
    pop world.

    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

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