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Glenn Wiener <Glenn.Wiener@Entex.com> (31.05.2000)
Whereas, I like Eagles considerably more than you, your assessment is quite fair. You explore what Eagle Fans like and what Eagle Bashers Hate. They wrote songs that not only were in various keys both that covered many styles and speeds. Again you are correct that they were good instrumentalists not superstars although Joe Walsh added alot to the band in that area. What probably keeps Eagle songs on the radio is the fact that they appease rockers, country folk, and easy listening folk. I guess variety is the spice of life.
They were great for the first 3 & one-half albums but it was evident on parts of One Of These Nights that the dry rot was starting. This would set in permanently with the arrival of Joe Walsh. A pity because he was an okay rocker with the James Gang.As to their early sound, it Got The Job Done. I have a motto: If it sounds good it is good. A motto I also use re: Mr. Gilmour, but that's off topic.
Kenyon <firstname.lastname@example.org> (01.08.2000)
I agree with your comments for the most part. They weren't phenomenal, but they didn't suck either, not by a long shot. I enjoy them quite a bit, especially the earlier stuff. However, I do hold a wee bit of disagreement with your comment that they didn't really have an identity of their own. What about the country/bluegrass touches? Granted, I do think that "country rock" is a really stupid term, but the influences are undeniable, at least with the early work. Just listen to the beginning of "Tequila Sunrise," for example - the opening guitar hook is pure country. And for me, being one of the very few individuals on this planet who will admit to liking country and bluegrass music, that's a definite plus.
Thomas M. Silvestri <email@example.com> (18.10.2000)
While I'm no big Eagles fan, this is an obvious blind spot of yours, George, given that you have no Buffalo Springfield, Poco, or Flying Burrito Brothers reviews on your site and still lack reviews of crucial Byrds albums. But simply put, the Eagles were initially popular because they took members of beloved L.A. bands -- the Burritos, Poco, Linda Ronstadt's band -- and formed a potential supergroup. Only it didn't turn out quite as super as it was supposed to due to an increasingly conservative record industry, a dismally limited FM radio format in most of '70s America, internal frictions within the band, and finally a very calculated strategy to break them on AM radio in a way that bands like the Springfield, Poco, and the Burritos could never quite pull off. All that is to say that while I consider the band to be a rather pale imitation of the bands that inspired it, there are plenty of reasons why the generation that had heard about groups like the Byrds and the Springfield but were too young to buy their albums adored the Eagles. (To Henley's credit, he and others in the band always go out of their way to say that they were enormous fans of the groups I'm mentioning. Indeed, Henley introduced the Byrds upon their induction into the American Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. And I remember hearing Glenn Frey defend Don Felder in '74 by saying he felt Felder was "carrying on the work of Clarence White and Duane Allman," almost as if he had to apologize for daring to have made the big money that the Byrds and the Allmans never scored.)[Special author note: well, I think that the Eagles' mega-popularity couldn't be simply explained by their being a supergroup - none of their Sixties countryesque predecessors had that commercial success, even if most of them were more creative.]
Jeff Melchior <Jeffmoncheri@aol.com> (22.12.2000)
I think your definition of The Eagles was spot on - the band was merely good, never great. I don't pretend to be an expert on the country-rock genre, but somehow I think The Eagles were not the best of their style of music, just the most commercially-successful. Having said that, they wrote some incredible (if more than a little lazy) melodies that probably deserved the commercial success they attained (although 'Witchy Woman' is probably one of the worst songs written by a respectable band to reach the upper regions of the charts).
Morten Felgenhauer <Morten.Felgenhauer@kvaerner.com> (15.01.2001)
I believe the number of records this band sold in the 70s isn't quite proportional with the quality of their music. The released some very good songs, but these could be collected on 1 CD, and they have been. Apart from these songs, they have released a lot of boring material and what I like least of all is when they try to 'rock'. Desperado is the album that has the highest level of quality throughout, although it is no classic. Their best song is "Hotel California" - lyric and all those guitars. On a scale from 1 to 6 I would give every album ***, except Desperado which gets ****. A well-compiled collection I would give *****.
Steve Hall <firstname.lastname@example.org> (10.02.2001)
These guys are so easy to listen to.I mean don't dig beneath the surface cos there's nothing there(apart from working out the concept),or sit in a dark room with a set of headphones expecting to to be taken to another plane cos you won't - but they are so easy to listen to.Who can't be swept along by songs like "lyin eyes" or "take it easy"?Ok yeh some of the rockers don't well..i mean....they just don't rock like you say but i think you're rating of one is a little harsh.I am interesed enough to investigate the concept in albums like Hotel California and i think they did try to express the temptations(one of these nights)and reflections(sad cafe)of the laid back seventies.I haven't tired yet of hearing their stuff(maybe i don't listen to the radio enough).
Are they Beatles of the 70s? Hell no. Are they an enjoyable little band? Yup. Overrated as hell, though. The Eagles were possibly the most professional songwriters ever. They studied what the great acts of the 60s were doing and then used the formula to create fun, intentional "classics" like 'Take It Easy', 'Lyin Eyes' and 'The Long Run', to name a few. That said, I do really like this band and enjoy most of their output. I noticed you are missing reviews of On The Border From 1974 and the part live, part studio Hell Freezes Over from the reunion tour in 94. Both are worth checking out, particularly the later for 4 new songs which are pretty damn good and a very interesting acoustic verison of 'Hotel California'. The one thing that I whole-heartedly disagree with is your accessment of 'The Last Resort'. It's one of my favorite songs ever. It's really a beautiful piece, George, give it another chance.
Must give credit to Thomas Silvestri, a fellow commentator whose review I read a while back. I think his remarks on the Eagles hit much closer to home than George's, although he does make one or two good points. The Eagles were next in line in the "country rock" vein. Bands like the Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and The Flying Burrito Brothers all had the idea first. The Eagles came along, grabbed the ball and ran with it. To much more success than their counterparts. Other bands like The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Firefall would copy the Eagles in the same format to limited chart success and than fizzle away. The influence the Eagles have had on modern culture lies in todays top country music stars. Virtually all the big names such as Vince Gill and Travis Tritt name them as a major influence and the fact that country has gone from the crying in your beer tunes to sounding like a seventies rock record says something. As such, I don't think they are overrated at all. The songwriting team of Henley and Frey turned in some real memorable tunes and the hooks were so radio friendly they dripped of AM success. The problem that sank the ship was that the egos started to get bigger than the music. This one wanted to play keyboards, this one wanted to write more songs...you get the picture. Happens to the best of them. The Eagles music will not fizzle out and die. It is a beloved part of American culture. They were the band that next to the Beatles, everyone wanted to see reunite the most. With a new album coming out this year, new generations will be discovering their music in stadiums all across the country with their parents who did the same thing thirty years ago. Some things are built to last.
Tony Souza <email@example.com> (22.07.2002)
For the longest time I could never figure out where to place this band in terms of how they fit in pop/rock history. I've liked a lot of their songs ('On the Border', 'The Long Run' along several others, to name a few), but flat-out hated others ('Lyin' Eyes', 'One of These Nights' and 'Best of my Love' always top my list). I also realize this was a very talented band -- how many bands have multiple lead singers and multiple songwriters? But there's something missing with these guys and I think that for all their talent and success, they're not very important. By that I mean in terms of what their mark on music is now. Bands such as the Velvet Underground, Sex Pistols, and the Ramones, to name a few examples sold only a fraction of what the guys sold yet their influence on what is happening in rock music now can still be felt through newer bands. The Eagles, as another person pointed out, has influenced modern country acts like Travis Tritt. However, on the alt.country scene (Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown The Jayhawks, etc.) their influence is minimal, if at all. On the rock side, forget it. For a band as popular as the Eagles, their influence is not that great. As for comparing them to the Beatles, they're not even in the same universe as far as I'm concerned. The Beatles always pushed the envelope, and expanded their sound where as the Eagles always played it safe with their music. Always. Their first priority was to sell as many records as they could and there's nothing wrong with that. They succeeded in that department because they knew that they could fill a niche that was open to them at that time. The other country-rock bands at the time were too quirky or "country" for mainstream tastes, so the Eagles toned down the twang a little and raised the rock a little and in the process scored big. Smart guys. But in doing so, their music turned out somewhat faceless and lacking in character -- a sort of country-lite or rock-lite -- good to listen to, but not much there. The Eagles are a very good band that wrote a number of better-than-average to excellent songs and they deserve recognition for that, but concerning their place of importance in music history, I'd place them far down in the pack.
I was Asst. lighting Dir. for the Eagles for 2 years.Most of the guys treated the crew great....One was a horses-ass TAKE your pick...Later ...>>>Mic
Russ Drieberg <firstname.lastname@example.org> (05.08.2003)
I agree with many of the specific comments you make in your introduction to the Eagles. However, in the mid-seventies I was in my mid-teens and the Eagles were certainly very popular with young people, in addition perhaps to the sixties generation, in the part of North America where I grew up.In your introduction to the band you seem to be very focused on weather or not the musicians were very good, on the originality of the music and the influence that it has had on subsequent rock and pop music. Like some others who have commented [in your reader's feedback section] I find the Eagles music very easy to listen to. It is very sweet but also quite dark. It is full of irony and has a lot of humour in it. In several places you also seem to compare the Eagles music [unfavourably] with rock music, but your site is one of reviews of rock and pop albums, not just rock albums! I scanned your reviews of The Band. You seem to like them a bit better than you like the Eagles. Was disappointed to find that you have not reviewed the Doobie Brothers. This is the second time that I've read a bit of your site. [The first time I'd read the 'a bit about me' section.] I'll certainly read more at a later date. Many thanks!
John Allen Fellabaum <Jafellabaum@aol.com> (11.03.2004)
I have seen him in Dallas in 1975 in the cotton bowl. The Eagles blew the stones off the stage. I also 20 years later was talked into going over to Lauderdale to see the reunion 1 tour for $200 dollars. I am so glad my brother talked me into the ticket price. Henley was as God Gifted as he was 20 years ago and Jimmy Schmidts. And they found a "Nothing less than Great lead player we were all in awe of named Steuart Smith. I am so glad I saw that concert sober. I quit drinking thirteen years ago and this was the first large show I had seen since my doctor told me my drinking and cigarettes were over at thirty-six. But watching Don Henley sing 'Desperado' in Lauderdale got me pulling out my Gibson ES137 with a 57high output humbucker slipped in the bridge. I strum it now and again to relax. I am extremely grateful to the Eagles and especially Henley. I am a Texan born in Temple, Texas in 1955. I like Henley also went to North Texas State five years after he left for LA. I flunked out my second semester and went back to Temple and wound up living in Austin for approx 15 years. I promised my second wife if anything ever happened to her grandmother in FL, we would go to Bradenton and take care of her. We have been living here ten additional years in Sarasota. I opened a mortgage company here and in Texasaround six years ago. And we own a 30ft hunter sailboat, we do not have time to sail. So it is for sale. With the proceeds, we are going to buy a lot on Lake Belton and build a small bungalo overlooking a hidden cove.Iread some of the critics before writing this note. I do not know how these talented men put up with you as a group.
David Dickson <email@example.com> (22.03.2003)
Ah. I like you, Georgiy Sergeyevich. I really do like you. Why, you ask? Because you seem to like the Eagles more than any other reviewer in the WRC. And you gave them a ONE. That shows you just how much hatred these poor shmoes have received from us pop music snobs on the Net over the years. Actually, I take that back--there IS one guy at Music Junkies Anonymous that will, for reasons yet unexplained, give the band the time of day. Me, well, I have to confess, I'm a huge fan. I also have to confess, being the honest man that I am, that I'm largely ignorant of at least half of the Eagles' output. All I've ever heard from them is their albums Hotel California, Greatest Hits: Volumes 1 and 2, whatever ELSE they play on the radio and in supermarkets from the band, and their latest single "Hole in the World." But really, let's be honest: what else do you need from them? Derivative, corny, generic--BAH. These epithets become pretty much moot once you hear the sheer professionalism, melodicism, and other wonderful things that these five men bring with them when they take the stage. In the presence of such great talent, who NEEDS revolution? I'm not saying they're the best band of the 1970's, or even of 1970's America, but you gotta admit, despite their obvious derivativity (is that even a real word?), they've got a unique magic all their own. Hotel California, in particular, stands out as one of the few records in existence that I could listen to ad infinitum for centuries and never tire of. Even if all their other albums sucked, that one alone would be enough to justify their reputation. Maybe all their albums DO suck. Do they? I don't know--I'm geniunely curious as whether they do. Help me out here, people.
Matt Byrd <MatthewByrd@hotmail.com> (28.06.2004)
well, this isn't much of a statement...... but I am so glad that you have the same attitude towards the Eagles as I do. I have to say hats off to you George, but Bruce Springsteen........ I disagree with you here.
Gail Seib <firstname.lastname@example.org> (27.12.2005)
Is it really worth analysing music - words sung to tune and interpreted by the heart. If it adds something beautiful to your life, or helps you to understand yourself then it is good. If a band performed to society such that the society had need of that type of song and lyrics at that time then it will be forever good. Even if you no longer enjoy the music years later then that shows you have changed, not that the band wasn't good or the lyrics weren't good. 2005 is a far cry from 1970. If music adds to your life then it is good, it's great. When you have moved on you can still fondly remember the time when it was helping you to understand yourself and the world you were living up in. I still have my Eagles records and will play them till the day I die and enjoy the modern music and older music like a historian uses the present and the past to interpret his views.
Pedro Andino <email@example.com> (30.12.2005)
do not treat the eagles like shit! stop fucking acting like you hate kansas and get on the ball! the guys have been around in 1969 when they byrds are faltering. they need a new kind of sound. the debut was in 1972 with hits like take it easy and witchy woman. then came desperado with the title cut like the tumbleweed connection it is a concept album about the wild west! on the border and one of these nights are hits with lyin' eyes and best of my love. from the sunny peaceful easy feelings of soft rock to the more dirty hard rocking era. hotel california was a smash! scoring hits like the title cut, life in the fast lane and new kid in town. sadly the long run will be the last eagle album. more hits like the title cut, I can't tell you why, in the city, those shoes, the sad café. the new comeback hell freezes over tour was a smash! winnning ratings and awards. say what you will but I loves me some eagels.
Breck Brizendine <firstname.lastname@example.org> (13.01.2006)
The Eagles -at times- are just about the quissential essence of 70s coldness.The 70s were a weird time. Everyone for some reason thinks that the 70s were completely weak and banal but that was not the heart -for pete's sake, there was National Lampoon and Firesign Theatre and a sexual "revolution" that was actually quite unapologetically anti-woman, despite all "women's revolution." And then in the hard radio center of it all come the Eagles. "Lighten up while you still can / Don't even try to understand / Just find a place to take your stand / and take it easy..." Is there anyone besides me that feels the nihilistic menace in those lyrics? Yes, nihilistic, all the more so because it's so expected and accepted and "easy." Iggy himself was seldom so cold. And "Lying Eyes." That is 100% Americana -or perhaps, "Deathicana." The 70s were when adultery became acceptable and expected and sung cheerfully about constantly on "country" radio, while the Eagles unsparingly captured the whole formulaic emptiness of it. "She wonders how it all got so crazy..." Yes, the very thought of a dumb, marry-for-money's-sake 70s bimbo. No deep contemplation, no new turn of phrase, only "crazy." Sigh. Of course you don't feel her self-made plight at all. At most, oh, a tepid pity can be strained out of it... Like it or not, this is true Deathicana.
No reader comments yet.
Glenn Wiener <email@example.com> (30.09.2003)
A good but not spectacular Eagles record. The western cowboy theme is intriguing but the songs are a bit hit and miss. Like the opening track Doolin' Dalton. 'Out of Control' has some good energy but its so hard to make out the words. The Randy Meisner tune 'Certain Kind of Fool' is annoying to say the least. Old Randy barely stays on key. Nothing else is too offensive but then again nothing else is all that good.
Lindsey Eck <firstname.lastname@example.org> (02.10.2005)
Well, I disagree totally about this album and song, though I can appreciate that people outside the United States don't understand how deep the cowboy mythology runs in our culture. While the Eagles certainly had their mediocre moments, this wasn't one of them. Were I to teach a course in songwriting, I would include "Desperado" as an example of a nearly perfect song. The chords are far from simple; in fact, they are an exemplary interpretation of hymnic structure, which Elton John has explicitly stated he uses as a model of composition. Every cadence is exactly where it should be according to our Methodist tradition in American hymn, yet the song is not at all derivative. As for the words, I find the metaphors, drawn from Western films to be sure, yet given an original slant, moving and not at all clichéd, (Compare "Lyin' Eyes," where the metaphors do fall flat: Is there really a town that has a "cheatin' side"? And the chords are derivative and dull.) At the end of the album, the protagonist has failed to take the singer's advice and winds up swinging from a noose, which I find tragic, not bathetic. I view this song and album in the context of the play True West by our great U.S. playwright, Sam Shepard, which won the Pulitzer Prize around the same time (and about the same time as he was having a brief affair with punker Patti Smith, oddly enough). In that play, two brothers with a vicious sibling rivalry are trying to write a film script that embodies the spirit of the "true West" while living in Southern California, physically part of the West but in fact a cultural wasteland of faceless suburban subdivisions and devoid of any mythic significance whatsoever. The Eagles sought to reclaim the Western mythos for their Southern California locale and, in my opinion, succeeded with this album.
Glenn Wiener <email@example.com> (11.06.2001)
I know many people will not view this album as a "Classic". However, I just enjoy the many styles explored here. To me its all about balance. Opening with the guitar driven 'Already Gone' and continuing with the piano driven and atmospheric 'You Never Cry Like A Lover'.Country is the mood of the next track, and 'Midnight Flyer' is delightful in that sense. Bernie Leadon's touching ballad 'My Man' is next. Two awesome rockers then follow. The title track is oh loaded with stylish vocals, slick guitar licks, and steady drumming. And 'James Dean' just soars. Some of the best early Eagles guitar work. 'Ol 55' quiets things down with some tender vocals by both Don and Glenn. 'Is It True' is an OK light hearted song sung by Randy Meisner. 'Good Day In Hell' is another great guitar driven number. Oh those heavenly slide licks by new arrival Don Felder. The closing number, 'Best Of My Love' features some nice harmonies. A little slow but definitely appropriate for a closer to this extrodinary CD. Maybe On The Border did not hit the commercial public in the same way Hotel California did but to me the abilities to explore new ground without overindulgence on social commentary makes me rate this as my favorite Eagles recording. Coupled with easy listening, country, and rock n roll inflections and a balance in the instrumental emphasis and lead vocals from four out of five members which are all strong, I rate this disc as one of my all timers. If you are an Eagles fan, you should check this one out for sure. If you are not, I hope you can merely appreciate this commentary merely as somebody who greatly likes this underatted piece of work.
Hugh Man <firstname.lastname@example.org> (29.08.2004)
Actually, all of your profound "sarcasm" about Eagles trying to compose a catchy chorus for 'Already Gone' misses the point. The song was penned by Tempchin and Stradlund. Just pay more attention to the credits.
Glenn Wiener <Glenn.Wiener@Entex.com> (31.05.2000)
This is a very solid recording with no bad songs and many different styles. 'Visions' and 'Too Many Hands' chug all right with me. And 'Hollywood Waltz' has many beautiful stylings especially the fadeout. Don Henley adds some nice drum touches here. You don't mention anything about 'After The Thrill Is Gone'. The shifts in tempo really do something special for me and the duet between Glenn and Don fits like a hand in a glove. No, this record won't grab you and shake out like The Double White Album or Abbey Road. But plenty of good music exists here.
Paul Wing <email@example.com> (09.02.2001)
I write this not as a fan of the Eagles (for the most part they either are not on my radar at all, and in the rare occasions I do notice them I change the station ...) but ... the 'Journey of the Sorcerer' song is the one exception ... because it was later chosen to be the Radio Theme to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and later the short lived BBC TV show) ... here is a quote from the Douglas Adams FAQ at:http://www.landfield.com/ftp/faqs/douglas-adams-FAQ The theme music to the radio series is a ditty called "Journey of the Sorceror", written by Bernie Leadon, originally performed by the Eagles. When Original Records re-recorded the show for the LP release, they used a new version arranged/performed by Tim Souster (presumably to avoid paying The Eagles wodges of cash). The TV series also used a Tim Souster arrangement, which was released as a 7" single by Original Records (backed with "Only the end of the World Again", a section of narration by The Book, and Max Quordlepleen warbling) Hope you find this info useful and interesting ...
Glenn Wiener <Glenn.Wiener@Entex.com> (31.05.2000)
Its nice that you recognize 'Hotel California' as a well written song. This song sounded like it took a lot of effort to create. The fade out guitar soloing is down right phenomenal and the lyrics are very haunting. The vocals are arranged very nicely as well. Overall, this DOES compare with many of the Beatles better songs and is certainly a more accomplished effort than 'Please Please Me' (not that its a bad song). Lets face it, Please Please Me is a basic love song. 'Hotel California' is a tale of intrigue and how many who seek heaven wind up in hell. Whereas the Beatles were master song-writers, their songs are not so much higher than other artists.'Hotel California' may be the best structured song on the record, but it is just one of many highlights. Whereas, 'Life In The Fast Lane' doesn't have the most complex chord progressions, it possesses some of the coolest guitar licks ever laid down on a record. The cruising style lyrics are extremely ear catching and hip. 'Victim Of Love', also presents some bad ass riffs and strong vocals. Joe Walsh proves that his rocking style was a shot in the arm that the Eagles needed. 'Wasted Time' is one beautiful tender ballad with hooks galore and another fine Don Henley vocal. Glenn Frey's 'New Kid In Town' is a pleasant ballad in a low key way. As for the rest of the songs, they're OK. A little slow, a little long, but some nice arrangements. I would have preferred another song instead of the 'Wasted Time Reprise' as does that one and a half minute snippet really represent the Eagles? Overall, this album is a bona fide winner.
John Garcia <JJGarcia@CHILDRENSCENTRALCAL.ORG> (31.10.2002)
WHO WTOTE HOTEL CALIFORNIA? I HEARD IT CAME FROM SOMEONE LOCKED UP IN A DRUG PRISON IN L.A. KNOWN AS C.R.C.
RAUL <firstname.lastname@example.org> (07.01.2003)
I still wonder what people see in ' Hotel California' ( the song ). It's pretetiousness taken to the limit. And the famous final guitar battle does not seem so impressive to me. Never a song has been so overvalued ( and, unfortunately, so overplayed on radio stations again and again, till your ears start to bleed )
LIke this album or not, chances are you've heard it. The thing that's great about this album is that the Eagles understood that this was their masterpiece. Even on the reunion tour I saw, the first five songs were from Hotel California. In reading George's review, I must make a comment that while I agree with several points, and disagree with others, I think it's time we retire comparisons to the Beatles. Too often in reviews (not just George, but wherever I go) do I see the band mentioned being compared to the Beatles. Let me just say that there was only one Beatles and there will never be another. Their place in history is written and all the rest are immotaters. Enough said. On to the album. When I think of the Eagles, I think of Don Henley. Not to take away anything from Glen Frey because 'New Kid In Town' is a great song, but I hear Don Henley's voice as the voice of the Eagles. With that in mind, 'Hotel California' in my opinion is about a guy who dies in a car crash on the highway and goes to hell. Problem is, he doesn't realise he's in hell until he talks to the nightman. 'Pretty Maids All In A Row' is the most underrated song on here and contains some of the most powerful lyrics ever raging from aging: "why do we grow up so fast" to the decline of friendship: "the storybook comes to a close." 'The Last Resort' is really a devastating put down of the white man for his role in the conquer of the American West and I think it to be a fine way to close the album. The aforementioned 'New Kid In Town' is Glen Frey's only vocal, but it's a good one. One question I have...seriously I'm not kidding...what's a colita? "Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air." What the hell is a colita? I've been trying to figure it out for twenty seven years. If anyone knows, please e-mail me and let me know. I've also heard, can't really base this on fact, but I've heard that Don Henley had a brief affair with Stevie Nicks, and that 'Life In The Fast Lane' was in part commenting on their affair. Don't know that for sure, don't quote me on that. This is one of the truly great albums of the seventies and of music period. Definately one for the time capsule. Back in '76 Kiss was riding high and along came this little album from a bunch of southern california rockers and disrupted the applecart. Anyone who is truly curious as to what the seventies were all about should start with this album.
David Dickson <email@example.com> (11.05.2004)
Now, George, what did I tell you about giving good albums bad reviews? We've got to have a little TALK here, homie znakomie.That's a catchy phrase. I think I might use it until I drive every Russian I e-mail it to insane. That probably won't take very long. I think I'm starting to drive ME insane with it. Now, believe it or not, I didn't grow up with this album. In fact, I didn't listen to it until eighteen months ago. And before I did, I noticed that Rollingstone.com was pretty ambivalent about it. Plus it only had two songs on it that I recognized from the radio. Besides, deep down inside, I strongly suspected that its astronomical reputation amongst classic rock fans was due purely to the title track. So when I listened to it for the first time, I expected to hear something good, but overrated. Kinda like Are You Experienced, Let it Bleed, and so on, but a lot slicker. And holy shit on a stick fired to PERFECTION, was I ever wrong. Even if all the Eagles' other albums sucked immensely, Hotel California alone would be more than enough to justify their status as one of the greatest bands of the '70's. Sure, if you're not listening to it in the proper frame of mind, it might put you to sleep. But this ain't no punk band, people. This is the Eagles, and they take their damn sweet time with their material, both in the studio and in the finished product. It may be slow, meticulous, and commercial, but not a single note is wasted on the entire LP, and not a single hook is out of place. Pretty much the only slight tune on the record I can think of is "Pretty Maids All in a Row"--and that's just because they seem to have forgotten to write the chorus. The fact that they manage to stay afloat WITHOUT one is nothing short of astonishing. The rest of the songs are, to put it simply, classics. "Hotel California," "New Kid in Town," "Life in the Fast Lane," "Victim of Love"-- you probably already know all of these from your local classic rock station, and justifiably so. What you may not know are the album tracks "Wasted Time" and "Try and Love Again," two pop gems that manage to transcend their non- single status and stand as musical masterpieces on their own, as well as being integral parts of the album itself. And "The Last Resort". . . well, there are just no words to describe this unbelievably amazing finale. The timeless melody, the breathtaking arrangement, and the lyrics. . . well, name me one other song that manages to encapsulate American history, world history, the history of religion, the evils of capitalism, the perils of decadence, and life after death itself, and manages to tie them all together, all in three short verses. AND manages to make it melodically memorable and emotionally resonant at the same time. Now THAT'S talent for you. In short, I think this album is probably the best rock LP of the 1970's, and perhaps the best American rock album yet recorded. That is, of course, until I find a better one. Unless you're a hardcore punk fan, buy it as soon as possible. Ignore the naysayers--with the exception of Abbey Road itself, this album is one of the greatest statements popular music has ever produced.
Jesse & Jen Sturdevant <firstname.lastname@example.org> (27.10.2000)
A 9?! Yikes! I was an Eagles fan many years ago (a slave of classic rock radio, because that was all there was at the time) and even then I thought this album bit. First of all, it's pretty apparent that the boys had very few ideas, given that it took 3 years to record this. "The Long Run", "I Can't Tell You Why", "In the City", and maybe "The Sad Cafe" are the only tracks that sound like they put some thought into them. "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks"? "Teenage Jail"? Trashy filler like the rest of the album, save for "Those Shoes" (some guilty pleasure there). I would have given this a 6 at the most. If you thought Desperado was bad, try out Eagles Live (1980). Coma-inducing.
Glenn Wiener <email@example.com> (11.06.2001)
Don't get me wrong. I like most anything the Eagles have recorded. However, the fact that it took these guys a good two years to make this record boggles the mind. This is not deep well thought out material. Its just a collection of by the numbers songs that did not usher in a new era in contemporary music. 'Those Shoes' has some cool guitar embellishemnts and 'King Of Hollywood' has some slick arrangements particualrly the vocal part where Don Henley sings "After A While Nothing Was Pretty. After A While Everything Got Lost. Still you're Jacuzzi Runneth Over." Anyway most of the songs are pretty good but you can feel a lack of emotion on this record. Probably from all the tensions between the bandmembers.