The Eagles were one of the most successful bands to come out of Southern California in the 70s. This was due, in no small amount, to the crossover sound for which they were known, great Pop hooks and nicely crafted harmonies in their Country Rock approach. Their influence can be heard today, more so in the songs of the Indy music scene and on Country radio than your standard Top 40 fare.
The band was formed in the late 60s with members (Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Glen Frey and Don Henley) cutting their teeth in the bands Poco and The Flying Burrito Brothers as well as the backing bands for Ricky Nelson and Linda Ronstadt.
David Geffen signed them to Asylum Records and they released their first album, The Eagles in 1972. With three Top 20 hits Take It Easy, Witchy Woman and Peaceful Easy Feeling they were soon filling stadiums.
The band saw personnel changes in the mid70s when Joe Walsh joined the band, giving them a bit more punch in the Rock genre.
With increasing internal strife they called it quits in the early 80s. All members embarked on solo projects with Glenn Frey and Don Henley achieving the most commercial success.
In the mid90s they put aside their differences and reunited for a world tour. The success of that tour led them to repeat the process every few years since. The last tour wrapped in 2015.
There’s a great scene in The Big Lebowski where Jeff Bridges’ character, The Dude, tells a cab driver to change the radio station because he hates The Eagles. The cabby pulls the car over and makes The Dude get out and walk. Glen Frey wasn’t pleased with the scene and confronted Bridges at a party. Bridges had to explain that he actually liked The Eagles and it was a line of dialog in the script indicating that the character in the film did not like The Eagles.
Sadly Glenn Frey passed away in January of this year.
The Eagles had fourteen Top 40 hits with 5 songs reaching number one. And they have two of the best-selling albums of all time Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) and Hotel California.
My pics from The Eagles body of work are:
Desperado (1973) Asylum Records
A concept album with an old west theme, this was the recording where Don Henley moved front and center. Doolin’ Dalton, Tequila Sunrise and Desperado are my favorite tracks.
Hotel California (1976) Asylum Records
This was the band’s first album with guitarist Joe Walsh and is the last recording with bassist and founding member, Randy Meisner. It was nominated for Album of the Year, but lost to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Hotel California and Life in the Fast Lane are my favorite tracks.
The Long Run (1979) Asylum Records
This was the first album with Timothy B. Schmit, who replaced founding member Randy Meisner on bass. The Long Run was the band’s last studio album until 2007's Long Road Out of Eden. The Long Run, In the City and I Can’t Tell You Why are my favorite tracks.
Also look for The History of the Eagles on DVD. It’s a wonderful documentary chronicling the ups and downs of the band.
The library has copies of all of these great releases so head on down to your local branch, pick up one or two!