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All About The Eagles
California Country Rock

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Heralded as one of the best selling rock bands of all time, the Eagles began their soar to stardom in 1971 in Los Angeles. Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner joined together to create the kind of musical synergy that resulted in a relaxed, "California country rock" sound, which elevated their hits to the top of the charts. The Eagles sold more albums in the 1970s than any other American band.
Edited By: Sherri Evans


Recruited from local musicians in the newly-emerging Los Angeles country-rock club scene, the Eagles first performed with Linda Ronstadt in 1971 as her touring band. Later that year, with Ronstadt's encouragement the Eagles went on their own to sign with David Geffen's newly established "Asylum" label - joining such artists as Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and Joni Mitchell.

The original quartet formed in California; however, the individual members of the Eagles migrated west from other bands and other places in the US: Bernie Leadon had his Bluegrass Country roots in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he played a variety of stringed instruments with the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers. He honed his rock experience as a member of bands such as Hearts and Flowers, Dillard & Clark (with former Byrds singer Gene Clark), and The Flying Burrito Brothers (again with Byrds alumni). In fact, the Eagles reportedly chose their name as a nod to Leadon's prior association with the Byrds. Bassist Randy Meisner moved from Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Los Angeles in 1964 as a member of the Soul Survivors (later renamed the Poor). In 1968, Meisner helped form Poco, but left before the band released its first album to join Rick Nelson's backup group The Stone Canyon Band. Rock Guitarist Glen Frey, from Detroit, Michigan, performed as a member of Bob Seger's backup band until the summer of 1968, when Frey moved to Los Angeles and partnered with J.D. Souther to form Longbranch Pennywhistle. Texas-born drummer Don Henley moved from Gilmer to Los Angeles in 1970 with his band Shiloh, which released one self-titled album before breaking up.

In spring of 1972, the Eagles produced their self-titled debut album for Asylum Records. Following the release of two Top 10 hits - "Take It Easy" co-written by Frey with an assist from friend Jackson Browne, and "Witchy Woman" - the album quickly went from Top 20 to gold.

The Eagles spent the remainder of 1972 and early 1973 touring as an opening act before returning to the studio to record their second album. Desperado, considered a concept album about Old West outlaws, was released in April 1973. This recording showcased the 'storyteller' writing style of Henley and Frey, who co-wrote 8 of the 11 songs on the album, including perennial favorites "Tequila Sunrise" and "Desperado". Suddenly, the direction of the group was shifting away from Leadon and Meisner, with the leadership and songwriting now being dominated by Henley and Frey. The Eagles were becoming firmly established as leaders in their field.

For their follow-up album, On The Border, Henley and Frey wanted the band to start moving away from country and closer to hard rock. With the addition of California slide-guitarist Don Felder, the Eagles quartet was reshaped to a quintet. Their first gold single, "Best Of My Love" jumped to number one on the charts and garnered several Grammy nominations for the group.

With Felder now a full-fledged member, the quintet achieved superstardom in 1975 with One Of These Nights, and the title track from this release, which also topped the US charts before going platinum. The album included such Eagles' standards as "Lyin' Eyes" and "Take It To The Limit." Each of these tracks also hit the UK Top 30. Unfortunately, by 1975 the strain of touring and recording had the members constantly fighting; the pressure of flaring tempers, inflated egos and political tensions proved too much for Leadon and he quit. He reportedly poured a beer over Frey's head while announcing his resignation. After replacing Leadon with guitarist and solo artist Joe Walsh, the Eagles quickly regrouped; however, it took the band 18 months to return to the studio to record their next album. In between, the Eagles agreed to release a compilation, Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) in February 1976. It immediately topped the charts, went platinum and rivaled Michael Jackson's Thriller for title of the best selling US album.

When Hotel California was finally released in December 1976, the album went platinum in one week, hit number one on the charts in 1977, and went on to sell over 10 million copies. The powerful single "Hotel California," which featured the artistry of the group's newest member, Walsh and "New Kid In Town" both hit number one. "Hotel California" ultimately won the 1977 Grammy for Record of the Year. At the conclusion of a world tour in September 1977, Meisner left the band and was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit, another former member of Poco.

The group returned to the studio to record their next album. The Long Run took two years to complete. During breaks, the Eagles produced a seasonal recording, "Please Come Home For Christmas" and "Funky New Year." Although this single was the band's only 1978 release, it was the first Christmas record in 20 years to make it to the Top 20. When The Long Run finally emerged in November 1979, the single "Heartache Tonight" became the group's last number one hit on Billboard.

The rift between the members continued to escalate and when long-standing disagreements could not be resolved, the temporary hiatus that the group took at the end of the decade turned into the group's final breakup in 1982. Individual members went solo with varying degrees of success, although Walsh maintained his solo career before, during and after the Eagles.

Fourteen years later, a country tribute album Common Threads: The Song of the Eagles was released in 1993, which sparked renewed interest in the band. Travis Tritt talked the group - consisting of Frey, Henley, Walsh, Felder and Schmit - into appearing in his video for "Take It Easy." After months of speculation, and much to their fans' delight, it came as no surprise when the Eagles eventually reunited in the mid-90s. In 1994, at their first live concert Frey quipped, "For the record, we never broke up; we just took a 14-year vacation." While on tour, the group produced the live album 'Hell Freezes Over' (supposedly named for Henley's prediction of when the band would get back together). The album hit number one on the charts as soon as it was released.

The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, with all previous members performing. Leadon and Meisner, however, did not join any of the subsequent reunion tours. In 1999, When The Recording Association of America named the Eagles to its list of Artists of the Century - the band was elevated to the ranks of superstars such as the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Garth Brooks and Barbra Streisand.

The group - consisting of Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit - continued to tour and release special editions of their performances. Finally, in October 2007 the Eagles released their first album of new material since 1979, entitled "Long Road Out Of Eden." This album, the bands' seventh studio release, made its debut at number one both in the US and abroad; subsequently it was certified seven times platinum.

Although Long Road Out Of Eden was probably their last album, the Eagles continue to perform, release singles and tour. To date, they have won five Grammys. Henley summed up the Eagles' career for Rolling Stone by saying, "I don't think we had any delusions that we were creating history or changing culture or anything... We just wanted to do the work and be good at it and be respected by our fellow songwriters."

1971 - 1974

Rolling Stone, Sept. 1975

Glen Frey

Joe Walsh
Joe Walsh
New Haven Coliseum
Nov. 20, 1979

Eagles Handbill
Eagles Handbill
Aloha Stadium, Oahu, HI
Nov 6, 1995

Eagles Poster
Gorge Amphitheatre, WA
Jun 15, 2002

Shorline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA - Jun 6, 1994
Eagles: (Band members)
1971 - 1974
Glenn Frey - vocals, guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, harmonica
Don Henley - vocals, drums, percussion, guitar, synthesizer
Bernie Leadon - vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin
Randy Meisner - vocals, bass, guitar
1974 - 1975
Glenn Frey
Don Henley
Bernie Leadon
Randy Meisner
Don Felder - guitars, mandolin, vocals, keyboards, synthesizers
1975 - 1977
Glenn Frey
Don Henley
Randy Meisner
Don Felder
Joe Walsh - guitars, vocals, keyboards, synthesizers
1977 - 1980
Glenn Frey
Don Henley
Don Felder
Joe Walsh
Timothy B. Schmit - bass, vocals
1980 - 1994
1994 - 2001
Glenn Frey
Don Henley
Don Felder
Joe Walsh
Timothy B. Schmit
2001 - 2008
Glenn Frey
Don Henley
Joe Walsh
Timothy B. Schmit
Studio Albums/Songs:
1. Eagles - 1972
   1. Take It Easy
   2. Witchy Woman
   3. Chug All Night
   4. Most Of Us Are Sad
   5. Nightingale
   6. Train Leaves Here This Morning
   7. Take The Devil
   8. Earlybird
   9. Peaceful Easy Feeling
   10. Tryin'

2. Desperado - 1973
   1. Doolin-Dalton
   2. Twenty-One
   3. Out Of Control
   4. Tequila Sunrise
   5. Desperado
   6. Certain Kind Of Fool
   7. Doolin-Dalton (instrumental)
   8. Outlaw Man
   9. Saturday Night
   10. Bitter Creek
   11. Doolin-Dalton / Desperado - (reprise)
3. On The Border - 1974
   1. Already Gone
   2. You Never Cry Like A Lover
   3. Midnight Flyer
   4. My Man
   5. On The Border
   6. James Dean
   7. Ol' 55
   8. Is It True
   9. Good Day In Hell
   10. Best Of My Love
4. One Of These Nights - 1975
   1. One Of These Nights
   2. Too Many Hands
   3. Hollywood Waltz
   4. Journey Of The Sorcerer
   5. Lyin' Eyes
   6. Take It To The Limit
   7. Visions
   8. After The Thrill Has Gone
   9. I Wish You Peace
5. Hotel California - 1976
   1. Hotel California
   2. New Kid In Town
   3. Life In The Fast Lane
   4. Wasted Time
   5. Wasted Time (Reprise)
   6. Victim Of Love
   7. Pretty Maids All In A Row
   8. Try And Love Again
   9. The Last Resort

6. The Long Run - 1979
   1. The Long Run
   2. I Can't Tell You Why
   3. In The City
   4. The Disco Strangler
   5. King Of Hollywood
   6. Heartache Tonight
   7. Those Shoes
   8. Teenage Jail
   9. The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks
   10. The Sad Cafe
7. Long Road Out of Eden - 2007
   1. No More Walks In The Wood
   2. How Long
   3. Busy Being Fabulous
   4. What Do I Do With My Heart
   5. Guilty Of The Crime
   6. I Don't Want To Hear Any More
   7. Waiting In The Weeds
   8. No More Cloudy Days
   9. Fast Company
   10. Do Something
   11. You Are Not Alone
   12. Long Road Out Of Eden
   13. I Dreamed There Was No War
   14. Somebody
   15. Frail Grasp On The Big Picture
   16. Last Good Time In Town
   17. I Love To Watch A Woman Dance
   18. Business As Usual
   19. Center Of The Universe
   20. It's Your World Now

Deluxe Collectors Edition contains 2 bonus tracks:
   Hole In The World
   Please Come Home For Christmas

Deluxe Collectors Edition
Live Albums
1. Eagles Live - 1980
   1. Hotel California
   2. Heartache Tonight
   3. I Can't Tell You Why
   4. The Long Run
   5. New Kid In Town
   6. Life's Been Good
   1. Seven Bridges Road
   2. Wasted Time
   3. Take It To The Limit
   4. Doolin-Dalton (Reprise II)
   5. Desperado
   6. Saturday Night
   7. All Night Long
   8. Life In The Fast Lane
   9. Take It Easy
2. Hell Freezes Over (Live) - 1994
   1. Tequila Sunrise
   2. Love Will Keep Us Alive
   3. Learn To Be Still
   4. Hotel California
   5. Wasted Time
   6. Pretty Maids All In A Row
   7. I Can't Tell Yo Why
   8. The Girl From Yesterday
   9. New York Minute
   10. The Last Resort
   11. Take It Easy
   12. In The City
   13. Life In The Fast Lane
   14. Get Over It
   15. Desperado
Compilation Albums
1. Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 - 1976
2. Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2 - 1982
3. 1972-1999 Selected Works - 2000
4. Eagles - The Very Best Of - 2003
DVD/Videos (in order of release):
1. Hell Freezes Over
- Released 2000

2. Hole in the World DVD Single
- Released 2003

3. Farewell I - Live from Melbourne
- Released 2005

The Greatest Eagles Songs
1. Hotel California
2. One Of These Nights
3. Take It Easy
4. Life In The Fast Lane
5. Desperado
6. Peaceful Easy Feeling
7. Lyin' Eyes
8. Take It To The Limit
9. Witchy Woman
10. Best Of My Love

11. New Kid In Town
12. Already Gone
13. Heartache Tonight
14. The Long Run
15. Tequila Sunrise
16. I Can't Tell You Why
17. Love Will Keep Us Alive
18. Outlaw Man
19. James Dean
20. Seven Bridges Road

Placements On DDD Lists (as of 08/08):
Greatest Soft Rock Artists - #2
Greatest Rock Artists - #63
Most Influential Rock Artists - #126
Greatest Rock Songwriters - #64 Don Henley & Glenn Frey
Greatest Rock Bassists - #97 Timothy B. Schmit
Greatest Rock Guitarists - #97 Joe Walsh
Greatest Guitar Solos - #10 Hotel California (Felder/Walsh)

Greatest Rock Albums:
#62 Hotel California

Greatest Rock Albums of the '70s:
#19 Hotel California
#161 The Eagles (First LP)

Greatest Rock Songs of the '70s:
#3 ("Hotel California")
#101 ("One of These Nights")
#104 ("Take It Easy")
#215 ("Life in the Fast Lane")

Greatest Rock Songs:
#15 ("Hotel California")
#499 ("Take It Easy")

Greatest Rock Ballads:
#29 ("Desperado")
#87 ("I Can't Tell You Why")

Greatest Country Rock Songs:
#1 ("Desperado")
#4 ("Take It Easy")
#9 ("Peaceful Easy Feeling")
#30 ("Lyin' Eyes")
#35 ("Seven Bridges Road")
#40 ("Take It To The Limit")

Greatest Rock Debut Singles
#49 ("Take It Easy - 1972")

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