KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

A Friendly Discussion About THE EAGLES

The Eagles (circa 1973)I recently had an email conversation with my good friend Alan Kennedy regarding The Eagles. He and I used to work at the same record company and that’s where we became friends more than 20 years ago. Alan is now a teacher and he was surprised to learn from some younger colleagues that not everyone enjoys listening to The Eagles. In fact, there’s a large contingent of music lovers who proudly claim to hate them, often citing issues with the personalities of their two key singer-songwriters, Don Henley & Glenn Frey, as the main reason for their hatred. They also mention the fact that other “more deserving” artists started the subgenre of “country-rock” but didn’t receive the kind of recognition & widespread acceptance that The Eagles have enjoyed for more than 4 decades. Perhaps that’s true, but they can’t be blamed for garnering the success that others might have achieved under different circumstances. The bottom line for me has always been the music, and The Eagles have written & recorded too many fantastic songs which have stood the test of time (and have been enjoyed by generations of fans) to simply be dismissed because “they didn’t do it first” or “they’re money-hungry jerks who overcharge baby boomers for concert tickets.”

Earlier today, Alan posted an excellent comment on the About KamerTunesBlog page about this subject and I wanted to share it here where it would hopefully get more exposure. Following is Alan’s complete commentary (which includes a few of my comments from our recent email correspondence), with a couple of my follow-up comments at the bottom of the page.

 

Hi Rich – Since you’ve expressed willingness to engage in this topic with me in the past, I wanted to share some thoughts on The Eagles.
In 1972, The band released a record called “Take It Easy” on which band co-leader Glenn Frey sang this line that he wrote:

Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
Such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl my Lord
in a flat-bed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love
Is gonna save me

Now I’m not going to say that ALL rock fans like that song, or know that line, but I will wager that almost everyone in my age bracket (40s) knows it and likes it and can sing it. What’s so special about that song? Well, it’s country, but not too country for rock fans, and it’s rock, but not too rock for people who might not like AC/DC or Zeppelin. Furthermore, it subverted the typical “male gaze” trope that feminists of the time were unhappy about. The guy is not checking out the girl, it’s the reverse. A female friend of mine from college actually stood on a corner of Winslow, Arizona recently and had her photo taken, just to pay tribute.

The Eagles took the hard-living vibe of country greats like Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, and added in the glorious harmonies of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys (just listen to “Lyin’ Eyes”) , and interesting guitar textures (who can say Joe Walsh is not a good guitar player?) and came up with a sound that most American pop music fans liked. And for those who were not particularly fans of any kind of rock or country, there were those glorious ballads to win them over . Nowadays, we hear “Desperado”, or “Tequila Sunrise”, or “Best of My Love” or “I Can’t Tell You Why” or “New Kid in Town”, and they are (for my generation anyway) like oxygen – just factual realities that seem to have always existed. And yet they didn’t. Someone – members of The Eagles in fact – wrote them.

The Eagles (circa 1976)So it was with great surprise that I received the news from certain much younger, much respected colleagues of mine, that the Eagles were regarded as a punchline, as phonies, as the epitome of corporate rock, as not cool. I have never based my opinion on what constitutes good pop music on what is cool or not, but the extent of the perceived “not-coolness” of The Eagles was an eye opener for me. I went on the web to try to get support for my view, and could only find sites like “The Eagles Suck” and “Why the Eagles Suck” and “Stop Defending the Eagles”, etc. etc. This was quite a shocker. One good friend even suggested (jokingly) that his respect for me diminished a little bit done when I said I liked them. I quickly found solace from members of my own generation. But I think people are railing against the idea of the Eagles. It’s hard for me to believe that a real fan of good pop music could say that, for example “”New Kid in Town”, is a “bad” song. You, Rich, who to me are both a voice of reason and a popular and credible/authoritative music blogger, reassured me that you felt that the songwriting partnership of Glenn Fry and Don Henley was “musical gold” and said this:

I’ve read many comments & articles over the years by people who hate The Eagles and I’ve never quite understood it. I think the fact that they’re not as “legitimate” as other, more deserving country-rock artists but have achieved massive success makes them easy targets for hipsters who want to have a musical enemy. The bottom line is that they’ve written & recorded some of the greatest songs of the last 40+ years. A lot of people hate them because the songs are “overplayed” but I don’t buy that. Just because a song has gotten a lot of exposure doesn’t make it bad.

I’ll end with this: listen to Don Henley’s signature honey-on-sandpaper voice singing Desperado, and tell me that all you hear is a cocaine-addled, rich, corporate-bolstered phony – and not a man with something to say about the human condition and gorgeous voice with which to articulate it. Go on, I dare you.

The Eagles (Glenn Frey & Don Henley, recent)
I think Alan did a great job stating his case and I agree with everything he wrote. I can understand why some people might not enjoy The Eagles’ music, but the vitriol that is often aimed at them by so many music lovers is something I can’t fathom. I wouldn’t necessarily want to work with Glenn Frey or be Don Henley’s friend, but their songwriting is superb and their voices (especially the “honey & sandpaper” vocals of Don Henley, as Alan so eloquently stated) continue to make me smile after all these years. One of these days I will revisit their discography & write a series about it here, where we can discuss details of their songs & albums, but right now I’m asking my readers what their general feelings are about The Eagles. Even if you don’t own any of their albums, do you enjoy hearing them on the radio, or will you immediately change the station as soon one of their songs starts playing? I’m eager to hear your opinions. Thanks to Alan for requesting that I make this a public conversation.

 

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106 comments on “A Friendly Discussion About THE EAGLES

  1. Here’s a comment left by Gary at the About KamerTunesBlog page in response to Alan’s initial post:
    “I agree with much of what you wrote Alan. That said, although I love the old music of The Eagles, I fall into that group of not really liking The Eagles for some time now. I say that because, at a certain point, they seemed to become more about the money than the music.They were on the forefront of raising the bar on ticket prices years back, they teamed up with and sold one of their albums exclusively through Wal-Mart, which rubbed me the wrong way, they clearly hated each other, bickering onstage, suing each other, etc. and having seen them live a few times, they played their songs well enough but seemed bored to be there. When you have as much money as The Eagles, touring shouldn’t be about a paycheck. It’s certainly not like that for some other huge artists, like McCartney, who seem to love every minute of being onstage.

    Yes, I love hearing an old Eagles tune on the radio. Great songs. It’s just too bad they’ve come across as such bickering, hypocritical, money hungry bastards for the past 20 years.”

    Gary, although I understand your feelings about money being more important to them now than the music, and I can’t argue about that since it’s true, it’s never affected my enjoyment of the music they’ve already created. I guess it comes down to whether or not you can separate the art from the artist, and most of the time I try to do that. It seems like you can do that when you hear them on the radio, at least. With that being said, it’s completely understandable that some fans could be turned off from their music permanently solely due to the artists’ personalities.

    Thanks for checking in and sharing your thoughts.

    Rich

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  2. Peter Gugger
    August 11, 2014

    On my family’s cross America trip of 2001 we too made sure our route took us via a certain street corner in Winslow Arizona where Jackson Browne rightfully gets the songwriting credit.
    Steely Dan said it best, “Turn up The Eagles the neighbours are listening.”

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    • Hi Peter. I really appreciate your comment. Did you take any photos at that corner in Winslow, AZ or is it just a cherished memory? I wonder how many people rent a flat-bed Ford when they go there.

      You get extra credit for referencing Steely Dan in this discussion, since they’re one of my all-time favorites.

      Cheers!
      Rich

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      • Peter Gugger
        August 14, 2014

        Certainly did Rich – I’ll scan it (pre didgital photographic technology) and send it to you. Of course the Eagles returned the favour in Hotel California, “They stab it with their Steely knives but they just can’t kill the beast”

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      • Hi Peter. Sorry for the delayed response. I was out of town for a few days with no internet access. For the most part that was very liberating but I also missed having some contact with the outside world. Now I’m back, though, and I wanted to thank you for reminding me about The Eagles’ plug for Steely Dan in “Hotel California.” It had slipped my mind until you mentioned it.

        Best…
        Rich

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  3. Daddydinorawk
    August 11, 2014

    Look man, I’ve had a rough night and I hate the f&^*ing Eagles! While I can’t say I like them much, I still like a few of the songs they did, and I am a proud owner of a copy of The Long Run. It’s a decent album. I like a few Henley solo tunes sprinkled here and there and can say that I have more than a few Joe Walsh albums. Mostly it’s about the money grubbing aspect, it’s totally true and it galls me that they don’t really seem to be interested in Art for art sake (money for God sake) any longer, if they ever were. There’s a coldness I attach to the band as an entity, even in their heyday. Maybe it’s a 70’s thing, Steely Dan exudes a similar coldness, but their music has that sense of humor the Eagles do lack. There is a smugness there. Don Henley is the King of Smug.

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    • So do you really hate the Eagles, or do you have to be in a certain state of mind for the hatred to come out? There’s no doubt that Henley & Frey are not among the nicest men in show business and I completely understand why those personalities turn off a number of fans, but it’s never affected my enjoyment of their music. Another potential issue for people is that certain songs get played ad nauseam on the radio and at bars so their music can seem overplayed (a term I don’t like, since overexposure doesn’t turn a good song bad, it just makes you want to hear it less often). Even I will turn off “Take It Easy” from time to time…can’t they find another great Eagles song to play?

      As for your Steely Dan/Eagles comparison, there’s no doubt that the former shows a lot of humor in their music while the latter is a little more straightforward. And I can’t argue about your smugness comment. Henley is guilty as charged. That voice, though, is the great equalizer. I just heard “Boys Of Summer” on the radio yesterday and I still marvel at how smooth his vocals are. That’s one of the main reasons I can’t understand the hatred that comes their way. Talent & good songs should be the most important factors.

      Rich

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      • Daddydinorawk
        August 11, 2014

        Oh yeah that song evokes such memories from me as well. Dirty Laundry? Those words hit so close to home nowadays, its scary. No, I don’t really hate them it’s just such a great quote.

        How can anyone hate Joe Walsh?

        I’m more hippie than hipster though thank you very much! 😉

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      • I remember when “Dirty Laundry” got tons of airplay on rock radio back in ’82. I wasn’t initially a fan of that song but it eventually grew on me. Henley’s voice can handle just about any type of song but he’s so good at ballads & moody midtempo songs that sometimes his rowdier material gets overlooked.

        I agree about Joe Walsh. The guy could go on a murder spree & the victims’ families would probably still have good things to say about him. Perhaps a slight exaggeration but he certainly seems like a normal dude…and “ordinary, average guy,” if you will.

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    • Alan K.
      August 11, 2014

      Thanks – Daddydinorawk – I completely failed to mention “the Dude” and The Big Lebowski in my initial post, but I do think that actually has a lot of impact on this!

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      • Alan, how did we both not consider The Big Lebowski in our discussions about The Eagles. It’s so clear now that a lot of the hipster hatred toward them stems from that movie. Sad but true.

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  4. newmancan
    August 11, 2014

    The debate seems to be more about the band’s success than their talent and influence. What rock band doesn’t have personality conflicts and money/ticket price issues? A lot of bands I loved growing up (Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon) had that corporate rock label but I think that was more the shift from bands playing big arenas instead of clubs that upset people. People actually valued music then and like anything else that holds value, the price to enjoy it goes up. Take away the riches and would the haters support the Eagles as a band that should have been bigger or think they were underrated? I don’t know, but their hits have become popular standards for the 40 plus crowd (which I’m in) and we do know them by heart. When I sing along I’m not thinking about their egos or wealth I’m just enjoying the moment.

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    • That was so perfectly stated, newmancan. Thanks so much for your comments. I guess this falls under the same umbrella as people loving a band until they become big, when it’s immediately claimed that they “sold out.” It should always be about the quality of the music, not the size of the audience or the band members’ bank accounts.

      Best…
      Rich

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      • Daddydinorawk
        August 11, 2014

        REM is kind of that to me, they sold out with Losing My Religion and I am now just getting over it. I love REM but I listen to their early music more but I still think they are one of the Greatest bands ever. It shouldn’t matter. Would I love Peter Hammill less if he was a successful as Bowie, seriously doubt it. I don’t love Bowie or Peter Gabriel any less so why would I? Some bands/artists just have that quality of never really selling out. Never pandering to the lowest. I would love to not have to explain PH or Bill Nelson to anyone, but thats why we have those guys who stay true and not submit to the star making machinery. Thats why some bands just do “sell out”, so we can debate the good stuff/bad stuff divide.

        Because Eagles.

        Cheers.

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      • The concept of “selling out” is a bit of a grey area for me. Certainly when REM went for the big bucks major label contract that began with Green, they could have been accused of selling out, but that album and the few that followed it were just as quirky and interesting as their earlier IRS releases. You mentioned “Losing My Religion” as the point where they sold out, but when you think back to the time before that was a hit, the idea of a mandolin-based midtempo rock song was pretty far from commercial. It was a hit solely because it was different, and now that it’s become a standard it might seem like a calculated move on their part. For me, “Everybody Hurts” is where they lost me. I’ve enjoyed songs & albums since then but I lost my passion for their music. My go-to era is still Murmur through Out Of Time.

        Of course, The Eagles could never be accused of selling out because their whole purpose was to be commercially successful.

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      • Daddydinorawk
        August 12, 2014

        Absolutely Rich, my point about REM in particular was more about how Stipe said he could never lip synch in videos and in said video he did lip synch. and you are right, Hurts was when I was like…NO. It took me a while to get back but the IRS stuff to me is just sooo goood. Even now I can listen to some of Automatic and not cringe and Hi-Fi is a top album of all time for me.

        Back the the Eagles, I did actually own a copy of Glen Frey’s the Alnighter album and I too have seen Henley live. But I dunno, Take It Easy and Desperado are two particular bugabears for me.

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      • I stopped buying REM albums around the time that Bill Berry left, and I came back to the later albums when I met my wife since she was also a fan but hadn’t given up on them when I did. One of these days I will do a series on them here where I can really try to wrap my head around the albums I don’t know that well, but I doubt I’ll have the same kind of reaction I did the first time I heard Murmur in 1983.

        I understand your issues with “Take It Easy” and “Desperado.” A lot of people have problems with those songs simply because they’ve been so ubiquitous for so many years. I hate the term “overplayed” (I know I’ve stated that numerous times before) but I get the concept of not wanting to hear certain songs anymore after hearing them on the radio, at bars, on elevators, etc. ad nauseam. To me, though, the number of times I hear a song might affect my enjoyment of it but it won’t make me forget that it’s a great song. I’ve often pointed to The Temptations’ “My Girl.” I’ve heard it so many times that I will rarely choose to play it, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s as good as ’60s pop/R&B gets.

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  5. Courtesy of Peter Colburn, as posted in the Comments section of the About KamerTunesBlog page:
    “Great discussion! I generally agree with Alan; it would be difficult to argue that they were indeed a great band who wrote great songs. And saying that they turned into something else is not enough of a reason to hate them. Few bands don’t turn sour eventally. (contrast the vocal of “Dream On” to “Dude Looks Like a Lady”). I’m not sure why the hate, other than the reasons already discussed (the internet ‘hive’ mentality, the fact that they were so successful, the need for us all to have a common enemy, etc.) but I’ll go ahead and propose something a bit more radical –that many of these supposed Eagles haters, if they were in a bar, at night, alone, and the eagles came on, would start humming along. Now can we all please just get back to hating Creed please?”

    Thanks so much for joining the conversation, Peter. I’m glad we’re on the same page regarding The Eagles. Your point about bands souring & the Aerosmith comparison is an excellent one, and I love the concept of so-called Eagles haters humming along with their music at a bar. I’m sure that happens every night.

    When I was younger there were plenty of artists I claimed to hate, although for the most part I’ve always been open-minded about music. At some point I realized that the artists I “hated” were just the ones I should avoid listening to, and I couldn’t fault others for enjoying them. Creed is a perfect example of that. I don’t understand their appeal but they’ve obviously done something right since millions of people love listening to them. You will never see me singing or humming along to any of their songs, though.

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  6. ianbalentine
    August 11, 2014

    Daddydinorawk’s quote of “Look man, I’ve had a rough night and I hate the f&^*ing Eagles!” was, I believe, straight from The Big Lebowski. Anyway, I think this movie has a little something to do with feeding the fire of hatred toward the Eagles. It’s been hip to hate the Eagles for quite a while, and I’ll bet you get quite an upward tick on the hatred graph right around 1998 (when the movie premiered). My God, there’s even a festival (growing each year)!

    I’m 46, and grew up hearing the Eagles, and while it may not be hip to admit it, I have a hard time turning them off when they come on the radio/ipod/whatever. I don’t care if Gram Parsons or the Byrds or Poco or whoever did it first; I don’t see many people having discussions like this about their discography. They may have been the first, but The Eagles made it popular, and perhaps that’s the issue: overplay.

    If you can separate their records (up until The Long Run, anyway) from their admittedly Mike Loveian personalities, I really don’t think we’d be having this discussion.

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    • Damn, how did I not pick up on the Lebowski quote? I’m very embarrassed by that oversight. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Ian.

      I love how you coined the phrase “Mike Loveian personalities.” Absolutely brilliant and spot-on. Very pleased to see that we’re on the same wavelength regarding The Eagles, although I get the sense that I may be more of an active fan of their music than you are. I happily bought their last studio album (the 2-CD set that was only available at Walmart) and enjoyed many of those songs. I couldn’t name any of them now but whenever I revisit that record I know I’ll have a lot to like.

      Thanks for your feedback on this topic.
      Rich

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  7. Deke
    August 11, 2014

    Man,I remember paying to go see the Stones on the Voodoo Lounge tour and they were charging $50 a ticket and everyone was like freaking and than come the Eagles who make a cool $100 and than people,really freaked but people bought it and went so they got away with it so more power to the Eagles!
    I always heard there stuff on the radio but when they put out the Hell Freezes Over disc I bought it on the strength of Get Over It a great rock track.
    Great music and harmonies I would not go and see em live but they are a good band plus there documentary they put out last yrwas well done ….
    So yeah I like em….to listen to em…..

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    • Hi Deke. Yep, The Eagles definitely raised the stakes when it came to the cost of concert tickets, but if it wasn’t them then another artist would have done it. I couldn’t fault them for charging those prices on the Hell Freezes Over tour for the simple reasons that (a) it was the reunion that no one expected after more than a dozen years of acrimony, and (b) they sounded fantastic. If I remember correctly, the Hell Freezes Over TV broadcast (and home video) was maybe the 2nd or 3rd show they performed after reuniting. Most bands would have gotten themselves road-tested before documenting it but they were already at the top of their game.

      I also have never seen them live (although I’ve seen Henley as a solo artist a couple of times), mostly because of the ticket prices. I rarely go to big shows anymore because I won’t spend $70, $80, $90, $100 or more. I remember scalping a ticket for The Who at Shea Stadium in 1982 for $50 (face value was around $15) and I thought that was an insane price (I was 16, so that was a lot of money). Now that’s a bargain. Perhaps if Don Felder ever comes back AND I could get a ticket for $50 I would check them out.

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      • Daddydinorawk
        August 11, 2014

        Don Felder is out there touring on his own these days.

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      • I’ve heard great things about Felder’s solo shows, and one friend told me that his voice is similar to Henley’s. I find that hard to imagine since Henley has such a distinct voice. I own Felder’s solo debut from ’83, Airborne, on LP and I remember it being pretty good but I don’t recall what his vocals sound like. I’ll have to give it a spin soon.

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      • Deke
        August 11, 2014

        Man $50 bucks for the Who on the It’s Hard tour. I love the live in Toronto disc that was released from that tour so I would have payed the $50 Rich!
        Haha…
        I haven’t attended very many out of town shows myself Rich due to family and things lately butthe last two shows I did see Van Halen $175 US a ticket and Iron Maiden $75 US a ticket.
        The Maiden ticket was along with Alice Cooper,Papa Roach and Svendust playing the third day of a four day festival.
        Both these shows were from 2012.
        Maiden was the far better show..Halen as in the brothers and son were fantastic but Mr Roth ran out of gas by the end of the show….Dickinson on the other hand did not come close to running out of gas as he was on his game considering it was pushing 90 degrees outside by show time ….

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      • I was never a big fan of the live Who recordings from the ’82 tour but the show itself was mindblowing to me as a 16-year-old.

        Maiden & Cooper sounds like an amazing double-feature and would be worth $75. I saw Maiden a couple of times shortly after Dickinson rejoined the band and they were spectacular. I had only recently become a fan after buying 4 used LPs and absolutely loving them, so the timing of his return couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

        I was a VH fan since 1980 but I lost my excitement for their music many years ago. Much as I liked the recent album with DLR, I couldn’t imagine spending any kind of money to see them. I’m not surprised to hear that the show was a disappointment, especially at $175. Ouch!

        At least with The Eagles you know you’re getting guys who are still at the top of their games, instrumentally & vocally, so if you shell out that money you’ll get what you paid for.

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      • Wobbie
        August 13, 2014

        Hi!

        HFO was the first the Eagles had played together in 14 years and, if I recall the video correctly, they only rehearsed for a few short weeks before that. The video covers a two night, made-for-MTV run. And yes, they sounded, and still sound, awesome! They also wrote four new songs for that album, one literally hours before they took the stage (Learn to be Still). This is also showcased in the video since Don Henley forgot the second verse…quite the ice breaker!

        Regarding the common themes I have been reading here. Were they the only country-rock artists? No – Jackson, Linda, JD, etc. But are the Eagles to be faulted blamed because they are the ones chosen by the listening public to most successfully define the SoCal country rock sound? Of course not – listen to or read the lyrics to “Sad Café.” Even the Eagles cannot put a finger on why them and not the next guy.

        Regarding personalities. We all love a Joe Walsh. We are somehow personally insulted when a Glenn or Don doesn’t regularly smile or allow us into their personal lives. But to say they sold out or care about money over music is someone not paying any attention to the policing they do over those new, young artists who are ripping off their classics, and reacting with spoiled brat hissy fits when they get called out on it and have to take down their awful versions. One guy even claiming HE was responsible for introducing new generations to “Hotel California” – really? A song still played something like 149 times per day on radio stations across the country. I think the Eagles and their loyal following is doing a fine job of keeping them current. And dig around into some of their philanthropic endeavors. Show me a list of other artists who are just as successful with similar contributions….Bono comes to mind and then I am reaching to think of any more!

        Overplayed? Overpriced? Not to the true fan! I have every album from the 70’s (framed vinyl albums) as well as on CD, and the HFO DVD. I have The History of the Eagles DVD, I have it recorded on my Direct TV list and will still stop what I am doing when it randomly airs on Showtime! I have enjoyed at least one live show from every tour since HFO and will be enjoying my second stop the HOtE tour, VIP style, this time front row in a few short weeks. You decide where you want to spend your discretionary income. Some people have season tickets to the Dallas Cowboys – which is a year after year HUGE investment – to each their own!

        Like a true fan I could go on and on….. looking forward to reading more on this thread! 🙂

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      • Thanks, Wobbie. I love everything you wrote here. You’re clearly a true fan and you’ve pointed out things that many of the band’s detractors never think about (especially their philanthropy). Wile it would be nice if Henley & Frey were more engaging personalities, it always comes down to the music and I find it hard that anyone has issues with that. Even people who aren’t fans should acknowledge their talents & songwriting skills. There are plenty of artists I don’t enjoy listening to but that doesn’t mean I can’t admit that they’re good at what they do.

        I really appreciate you stopping by and I hope you enjoy this ongoing discussion. It’s nice to hear from so many open0-minded fans.

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  8. ianbalentine
    August 11, 2014

    “Very pleased to see that we’re on the same wavelength regarding The Eagles, although I get the sense that I may be more of an active fan of their music than you are.” Rich, I get the feeling you are for most every band! Your listening habits are inhuman! 🙂 I can only aspire to be 1/10th as knowledgeable as you. I liked them a LOT when I was younger, more than I do now. It’s weird and probably sacrilege to some, but the record I listen to most is the first double live album. Although the songs are fairly faithful representations of the studio tracks there is enough variety that makes for a fresher experience.

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    • Thanks, Ian, but there’s nothing superhuman going on here. The important thing is that we’re both as passionate about the music we love, and even about some music we don’t like that much. I love that double-live Eagles album. I haven’t played it in a few years but I listened to it a lot in the couple of years after it was released. A nice cross-section of their discography and solid versions with those perfect harmonies. I also have a strange affection for The Long Run, which even many Eagles fans (and some of the band members) don’t like. Is it wrong that “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” is one of my favorite Eagles “rock” songs?

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      • ianbalentine
        August 11, 2014

        Not to me. The Long Run is by far my favorite Eagles album (just edging out One Of These Nights, and Hotel Cali coming in close 3rd). It’s their disco album! I also think In The City is one of their best tracks, even if it is pretty much a Walsh solo track. The fact it appeared in one of the greatest, campiest movies of all time doesn’t hurt, either (The Warriors)!

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      • Very cool, Ian. I had forgotten about that song in The Warriors. Haven’t watched it in many years (*hangs his head in shame*). I loved seeing the footage of them recording The Long Run during the documentary. They seemed lost even though the songs were really good. I think they were feeling the pressure of following up such a mega successful album.

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  9. Alan K.
    August 11, 2014

    (“Mike Loveian” is now my favorite adjective…)

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  10. 80smetalman
    August 11, 2014

    The Eagles were able to reach across the musical divides and why many people like me respect that, some more miserable people use it to brand them sell outs. I like the Eagles and will continue to like them. BTW, spot on about Joe Walsh as a guitar player. I visit three albums on my blog if you fancy a look.

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    • Very true regarding the “miserable people.” Other than when I was a teenager, I’ve never understood hatred for certain musicians/performers. If I don’t like an artist I don’t listen to them. I don’t need to shout to the world that I hate them. I’d rather spend that time & energy listening to more good music.

      Which Walsh albums did you write about? I don’t remember seeing those posts and I’m a pretty regular visitor to your blog. Feel free to include links to those posts here so my readers & I can check them out.

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      • 80smetalman
        August 11, 2014

        I wrote about Hotel California, The Long Run and the Eagles Live. The two Walsh albums were But Seriously Folks and There Goes the Neighborhood.

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      • I will definitely check them out when I have the time (I believe I read your Eagles Live write-up). I only own 4 Walsh albums (plus a 2-CD anthology), but fortunately the ones you wrote about are two that I have. Looking forward to reading those posts.

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  11. Blue
    August 11, 2014

    Very interesting debate guys. I shared this with an Eagles fan group on FB. Expect a deluge of comments from appreciative fans of all ages…ok, alright, lots of boomers and maybe one or two few younger ones. I saw the band twice on their most recent tour, History of the Eagles, in May and June of this year. Believe it or not they really seemed to be enjoying themselves and weren’t just phoning it in. Seeing Bernie Leadon with them again was such a bonus too. And I don’t care about any personailty defect(s) that Don Henley may or may not have…that voice and those lyrics were gifted to us mere mortals by a higher deity.

    Like

    • Hi Blue. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing this discussion on FB. I welcome opinions from anyone here, even if it ends up being a bunch of fellow 40-something & older fans who proudly profess their love of Eagles music.

      Although Henley & Frey are not people I would want to work with (unless they felt like paying me to step behind the drumkit when Henley’s not up to it…hehe), I’ve never doubted their commitment to putting on a great show & giving fans their money’s worth (and with the high cost of tickets, they better be enthusiastic from start to finish). I couldn’t agree more with your last comment. Henley’s voice is other-worldly, and even when one of his songs comes on the radio that maybe I’m not in the mood for, once I hear that voice I can’t turn it off.

      I had forgotten that Bernie Leadon was joining them on stage recently. Is he performing the whole show with them, or is it like Mick Taylor’s “guest appearances” on the current Stones tour?

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

  12. ianbalentine
    August 11, 2014

    It’s interesting to me that Steve Miller hasn’t been mentioned yet. To me, they were very similar, musically. Both were mega popular in the mid 70s as well, yet there is no outright hatred of his music. Every interview I’ve seen or read about/with Miller paints him as one helluva nice guy, and maybe that’s the difference.

    Like

    • Good point, Ian. The difference has to be that Steve Miller comes across as a normal guy. He just has tons of hits that sustain him after 40+ years. One of my first non-Kiss purchases was Miller’s Fly Like An Eagle LP and it was an eye-opener for different styles of music.

      This comparison has me thinking that we were right about one of the main reasons for the Eagles hatred out there being their personalities.

      Like

  13. Blue
    August 12, 2014

    Bernie appears for a major part of the first half and again for the encore. He has played in every show of this tour and looks very chilled, fitting right in. Ticket prices are high, yes, but the quality of musicianship is incredible. And it’s a 3 hour show.

    Like

    • That is great to hear. Since I won’t be seeing them in concert I hope they release a live DVD or Blu-ray of the tour so I can see & hear how they sound with Bernie on stage again.

      Like

  14. Heavy Metal Overload
    August 12, 2014

    This post was a great read Rich as was Alan’s original thoughtful and articulate comment.

    I can’t say I hate or love The Eagles. As someone that avoids radio I’ve actually heard very little of their music but what I have heard has been OK. It’s not made me rush to buy their stuff but I wouldn’t rule that out in the future. I’ve liked Joe Walsh stuff and Don Henley so it makes sense to try out The Eagles at some point.

    I agree with you that the bottom line is always the music. It seems to me that many people try to figure out if it’s “ok” to like an artist rather than figuring out for themselves if they actually do or not! I don’t care about an artist’s personality unless it results in objectionable music and/or lyrics and I find the notion of an artist “selling out” or trying to guess an artists intentions to be tedious. I think a lot of people that throw that term around don’t know much about creativity or what selling out even means. They may probably find that many of their favourite artists could be found equally guilty of that but just hide it better. Who cares? Good music is good music whatever the supposed intention behind it. I try and just trust my ears!

    Like

    • Thanks, Scott. Glad you’re enjoying this discussion and I appreciate you stopping by. It’s good to know that we’re on the same wavelength regarding the concept of “selling out.” There have been plenty of artists that I’ve liked before they became famous whose albums I eventually stopped buying, but it always had to do with the quality of the music, not which record label they were on or how high their singles charted. I get that concept and I can’t fault people for having certain expectations of the artists they love, but they’re likely missing out on a lot of great music.

      Maybe I’m immune to this because most of the artists I loved growing up (Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Stones, The Who, Yes, Rush, etc) always wanted to be successful and have as large a following as possible. They couldn’t “sell out” because they were too busy selling out arenas & stadiums.

      Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 12, 2014

        Being a fan of all those bands you mention, I guess they have granted me immunity too! I think that with those bands, hearing how they put their stamp on the music of an era is a big part of the fun. The may be following a trend but if they’re doing it because it inspires them then the results can still be more than worthwhile.

        I feel like people have to find ways to narrow down and find the music they like. That’s fair enough, there’s so much of it out there. But thinking that only the least popular bands are cooler is beyond wrong-headed.

        Like

      • Great points. With so much music out there, I see no reason to spend time hating things that are popular when there’s enough good stuff to keep you entertained. As for narrowing down music, I tend to do the opposite, which would explain my ridiculous CD/LP collection. Every year I find myself exploring artists, both old & new, often in genres I haven’t delved into much in the past. My life would be easier if I had narrower tastes but, fortunately or unfortunately, that’s how I’m wired.

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 12, 2014

        Haha keeping in mind who I’m talking to “narrow down” was a bad choice of phrase. I really mean filtering out which acts to try next. I’m sure all our collections are getting bigger every year but you have to have some way of working out who you’re going to hear next. If you investigate a new genre do you start with the most successful/well-known act?

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      • I don’t have a particular method when delving into a new genre, but then again I try not to think too much about genres anyway (they’re more useful for conversations than for actual listening, since it’s all just music to me). About 15 years ago I read an article about Fela Kuti in a UK music magazine (probably Mojo) and I was intrigued enough to check out some of his music…and was thoroughly blown away. I haven’t delved that far into Afrobeat (or whatever you want to call his genre…I have him filed away in my jazz/instrumental section) beyond Kuti’s children but it opened up my eyes & ears and I’m glad I read that article.

        Usually it’s a matter of reading an article or album review, or a recommendation by a handful of trusted music-loving friends, that gets me to check something out. In the days when I had regular access to multiple record stores I was always buying CDs & LPs just based on instinct, and discovered many great things that way.

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 12, 2014

        That’s brilliant stuff Rich. Mags have been crucial to me over the years. I’m easily waaayyy more narrow in my musical interests than yourself but I’d love a browse through your collection.

        Like

      • I’m proud of my collection but occasionally it’s overwhelming even to me. I’ve had moments when I can’t figure out what to play because there are too many options and end up playing nothing. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does I try to just pick something…anything…which usually gets the listening started. From there it’s hard to stop, but that’s a problem I’d like to have every day.

        My go-to magazines that I try to purchase every month are Mojo, Uncut, Classic Rock and Prog. Between those four I’m never at a loss for additions to my ever-growing must-have list. Sadly, my local bookstore, which is the only place in the region that sells UK magazines, hasn’t been stocking these titles regularly. Looks like I may need to subscribe.

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 12, 2014

        I finding it harder to get US mags since Borders went out of business here but I can still find most mags I need. The mainstays are Terrorizer, Zero Tolerance and Iron Fist. Occasionally Classic Rock, Record Collector, Mojo and Metal Hammer. Guitar Mags too.

        Everyone’s different but if I had a collection your size it would cause me immense anxiety! But it would be a good problem to have for sure.

        Like

      • Ironically, the main reasons I started my blog in 2011 were so I could focus my energy on the lesser-played catalogs in my collection and to curb my constant acquisitions of new CDs & LPs. I’ve probably reduced the total number of purchases a little bit but my urge to constantly hear new things…and the fact that my favorite artists are always releasing & re-releasing albums…are reasons that I haven’t been able to stick to my goals. I guess it’s a pretty harmless addiction to have.

        How is the cost of subscribing to US magazines for you? It’s pricey to do it the other way (UK to US) but still a bit cheaper than newsstand prices. I used to subscribe to Mojo & Classic Rock but many issues never showed up & it was aggravating to see them on the newsstand before I got my copy.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 12, 2014

        I haven’t subscribed to any US mags. I’ve just went without certain titles. A chain here still has some (mainly Guitar ones) so I’ve just been sticking to those. Something I should maybe look into.

        Like

      • I feel like I’m missing something important if I have to skip an issue, especially Mojo & Classic Rock. I also hate being a month behind, which is always the case over here.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 12, 2014

        I don’t mind skipping an issue but I’d hate being behind! I used to buy every Classic Rock (from issue 1) but then started going of it a bit. I’ve been buying every Iron Fist so far. It’s quite new and I absolutely love it. I’d hate to miss an issue of that.

        Like

      • I’m not as much of a metal fan as you but I’m guessing Iron Fist must be pretty impressive if that’s your go-to magazine. I respect your dedication.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 80smetalman
      August 13, 2014

      Listen to the Don Felder title track on the “Heavy Metal” soundtrack. I think you will be duly impressed.

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      • ianbalentine
        August 13, 2014

        Great example! Great tune!

        Like

      • 80smetalman
        August 14, 2014

        Thank you

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        August 14, 2014

        Oh yeah, I’d forgot he was on that too. That’s another reason for me to buy that!

        Like

      • I love that Felder song but had long forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding us about it. Also, sorry for the delayed reply to your comment. I had a nice 4-day trip out of town and “off the grid.” It’s nice to turn off the computer & cell phone once in a while but now I’m back to the modern world. Hope everything’s been okay with you the past several days.

        Rich

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      • 80smetalman
        August 18, 2014

        Hey Rich, hope you enjoyed the time away. Don Felder’s “Heavy Metal” was a the tune of 1981. It got a lot of play and now that I think about it, it’s such a shame that the song has been so easily forgotten.

        Like

      • I guess there will always be those overlooked gems that we often forget about, but that makes the rediscovery even more exciting. I’ve been ridiculously busy lately but when things slow down one of the songs I need to revisit is Felder’s “Heavy Metal.” As for the time away, thanks…it was a nice breather, even though the stress of work came back immediately this morning. I have a giant stack of newly purchased CDs that are just waiting to get played, as well as another blog series to start. Hoping to find some time for all of these musical endeavors soon.

        Like

  15. Phillip Helbig
    August 12, 2014

    I am not a fan of the Eagles. I don’t have any albums, though my ex-wife has a best-of CD. I am familiar with their music from the radio etc. They are a good example of a band who I enjoy seeing on television, say, but wouldn’t buy their music. (For me, the reason is that it is “too American”, in the country-music sense. Actually, apart from Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Kansas and of course Rush (yes, Canada is part of America) (with honorable mention for Journey and Boston) there isn’t much American music I really like. (I really like Leonard Cohen’s early stuff, but he sounds like Leonard Cohen, not like America, or Canada, or Quebec, or Montreal.)

    Having said that, I don’t see what the fuss is about. One likes the music or one does not, and that should be independent of the personalities of the musicians, of their success etc. To me, they sound like a very professional band, good at what they do.

    I just returned from Fairport Convention’s annual festival (one of the best, I think, and a reminder that I really need to start my own blog just to get some really good people a bit more exposure). Before the festival, I stayed at a bed and breakfast nearby. The host had mentioned me to another guest and when we met at breakfast I had the impression that I was somehow involved in the festival, but explained that I was just a punter. The conversation turned to music, and the other guest said that Runrig was the only band which could attract him to a gig. Also, his son is in a Take That coverband (I hadn’t even realized that such things existed). The host then said that he had recently seen the Eagles and was blown away by the quality of the show. As I would have, he also appreciated a) the seating and b) security people who prevented people from standing up until the last couple of songs.
    .

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    • Phillip, thanks so much for your feedback. I find it interesting that you don’t have an affinity for American music since so many Americans are fans of music from the UK or Sweden or Australia, etc. I always assumed that much of American music was universal and that it would seem somewhat exotic outside of my home country. I rarely consider where an artist is from and I find that I enjoy music from American, UK, Sweden, Canada, Africa and many other countries equally. With that being said, I completely understand how you feel about The Eagles if you’re already predisposed to not liking similar artists. I’m very pleased to see your comments in the second paragraph of your comment (“I don’t see what the fuss is about…”). That is exactly how I feel.

      I eagerly await the day you start your own blog. I think you would have a great perspective on many topics that me & my fellow bloggers here on WordPress don’t really cover. I’m a big fan of Runrig, so it’s nice to know that there are even more passionate fans out there than me. Not so sure the world needs a Take That cover band but who am I to question it?

      I hope you’re doing well.
      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        August 13, 2014

        Yes, must start that blog soon! Music will be only one aspect, though.

        I don’t think American music is seen as exotic. The (very) casual listener will see all English-language rock music as part of one big scene (even including the Scorpions), but of course the really influential bands have almost all been from England. Since I really like only a small fraction even of English music, one shouldn’t get the impression that English=good. However, with the exceptions I mention, most of the stuff I listen to is from England. Anyway, more refined listeners will hear a difference, but American music isn’t exotic in the way that, say, Korean pop music might be; people are too familiar with it for it to be seen as exotic.

        I do like the Byrds, say, but the good songs were by Dylan and if you take away them and the jangling Ric, not much is left. Early REM is good. However, bands which really captivate me, like Tull, Floyd, the Beatles etc as well as Iron Maiden and so on are all English (except Rush).

        Much American rock music is too country influenced for my taste, or too “twiddly”, i.e. more jamming and less arranged songs.

        I don’t consider where someone is from in deciding whether to listen. In retrospect, however, I find that most bands I like are English. How many good bands are from London? And how many from NYC or DC?

        Having said all this, let me put in my support for Benjamin Folke Thomas, a Swede living in England with some slight American influences in his music. It is for stuff like this that I go to Cropredy every year. He opened with “Someday” from his CD Too Close to Here. I listened to the song about 5 times today. Let me put it this way: If Dylan had written this in 1974, people today would still have it in their top-10 Dylan lists, and certainly in the top-500 all-time lists. A really, really, really excellent song. Fortunately, these days you can and should check him out on the web (though his home page seems to be in Japanese; don’t know what is going on there), but do buy his CDs and go to his gigs.

        One can hear influences from Dylan, Dire Straits, Warren Zevon and others, but he is his own man and not a pastiche. Other critics have heard other influences; I am sure they are all there. Think Dylan’s good songs after he went electric: “Hurricane”, “Changing of the Guard” and so on, musically; lyrically, it’s something like Dylan’s early, obscure and fascinating stuff.

        Like

      • Phillip, I think there are plenty of amazing American musicians (solo artists & bands), so even though many of my favorites are from the UK there are just as many great ones from my home country (The Beach Boys, Tom Petty, Creedence, Kansas, Santana, Billy Joel, Los Lobos, Marshall Crenshaw, Van Halen, Metallica, Aerosmith, REM, Hendrix, Springsteen, Allmans, ZZ Top…and those are just off the top of my head).

        I’m going “off the grid” for a few days so don’t be offended if you write something and I don’t respond immediately. I will check out your recommendation when I’m back online. I appreciate you sharing that information here. Hopefully some of my other readers will check him out as well.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        August 13, 2014

        http://www.benfolkethomas.com is the website; the Japanese one is http://www.benjaminfolkethomas.com and is probably unrelated.

        My only disappointment is that there are no lyrics in the CD booklet and neither could I find them on the web. The singing is clear, though, so I can understand them, but still it would be nice to read them.

        Like

  16. "Vinyl Connection"
    August 12, 2014

    Can’t say I’m a fan of Radio Nostalgia, and certainly have no interest in paying rich people to get richer on the back of boomer complacency, but that’s still a long way from ‘hate’.

    Like

    • That’s an interesting comment, Bruce. I’m glad you’re not among the haters, but I’m wondering what type of artists you feel are worth spending money on. Most of the artists I grew up listening to were the big names in rock and I’ve never felt wrong making those millionaires even wealthier…as long as they continued to deliver the goods & make me happy. Then again, I’ve pretty much stopped going to big-ticket shows simply because the prices are beyond what I consider reasonable. And with nearly every artist releasing a commemorative concert DVD or Blu-ray after every tour, I get to “see” them for $20-$30 in the comfort of my home.

      I really appreciate you stopping by & joining the conversation.

      Like

  17. Wendy Stewart
    August 13, 2014

    I missed the Eagles ‘first time round’ as I was about 10 years old and it wasn’t music I was into then. Thought it was very country and I didn’t like country! Then as I got older I started hearing their music and enjoyed it for its timeless quality, the vocals. It’s all about the music! I have seen the Eagles live 5 times and was happy to pay a large amount of money each time. To me, 3 hours of a band playing exceptional quality music was worth it on each occasion. I replied to a journalist on twitter who slated their latest (London) concert and said ‘When the Eagles get criticised, us fans just smile and turn the music up’ . I do not care about the haters, I just know at their concerts that all the fans LOVE the music and show their appreciation to the band.

    Like

    • Hi Wendy. Thank you for stopping by & sharing your opinions on The Eagles. I think your response of “us fans just smile and turn the music up” was perfectly stated. As for them sounding too “country,” I suppose that depends on which songs you’re first exposed to. Anything from “One Of These Nights” to “Life In The Fast Lane” and on to “Get Over it” are a completely different beast, and I think their diversity is one of the many things that makes them such a great band.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  18. Wendy Stewart
    August 13, 2014

    Rich, enjoyed reading all the comments. Isn’t it a wonderful thing in life that not everybody agrees ! I personally don’t have a ‘taste’ or a ‘genre’ of music – I just know that what I like, I like – and I am not going to apologise for it! The first Eagles songs I remember were ‘New Kid in Town’ and ‘Desperado’. Being that young, I missed what the lyrics were saying – only much later did this come. Personally I love anything that Joe Walsh touches – he is an amazing guitarist and seems like such a nice guy. To anyone who doesn’t ‘get’ the Eagles, put on the Hotel California CD and listen to each and every wonderful track on it – non-hit tracks like ‘Wasted Time’ and ‘The Last Resort’ would surely change any haters’ minds ??? (But hey, if not, that’s fine – but don’t scoff at me because I do)
    Thanks for starting this –
    cheers to you too
    Wendy

    Like

    • Hi Wendy. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your comments about The Eagles. I agree with your feelings about Joe Walsh. Pretty much anything he plays or sings on is going to be worth hearing. I especially agree with you regarding Hotel California. So many people I know…even Eagles fans…complain that the album is “overplayed,” but as I’ve stated numerous times before, that should never be a reason to judge something in a negative way. Just because a person has played it, or heard it on the radio, “too many times” doesn’t make it any less impressive, and albums don’t get much better than Hotel California. I still remember buying my first real stereo system in the early 80s, carefully choosing each component for the best sound quality, and as a test disc they used a half-speed mastered copy of that LP (on vinyl of course, since this was a few years before CDs). As a thank-you for buying my system there, they gave me that LP which I still proudly keep in my collection even though I got in on CD many years ago.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this discussion and really appreciate you joining in.
      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

  19. Wendy Stewart
    August 13, 2014

    Hey Rich, just one more thing. There was recently a comment by Robert Plant about why the Eagles got back together. This was just before the UK concerts. At some point in the first Birmingham concert Don Henley made reference to this by saying something like ‘You know why we do this? Because we enjoy it and it makes people happy’ . I note comments above about the money above the music – but when you have so much money,(as they must have) are you worried about a bit more? Really? Maybe it’s more about the roar of the crowd, the standing ovation ? Maybe they just believe they are worth big-money ticket prices because they are putting on a 3-hour concert ? Anyhow, I’ll jump off my soap box now, but if they come back to the UK again (please God!) I will be first in the queue to pay the big-money ticket prices because to me, it’s worth it !

    Like

    • Hi again, Wendy. In my response to your previous comment I forgot to apologize for the lateness of my reply. I was away & completely “off the grid” for 4 days, and I’m finally catching up on internet-related things this evening. I hadn’t heard anything about Robert Plant’s comments. Based on what you wrote I have to imagine it was something negative, which surprises me because Plant is rarely judgmental like that (I should point out here that Zeppelin has been my favorite band for 35 years and I’m a huge fan of Plant with Zeppelin and solo, but I’m not an apologist for any artist). Perhaps Plant felt that The Eagles have been coasting on their back catalog for too long without releasing much new music, since he’s avoided doing the same with the Zeppelin catalog and has instead forged ahead with his own music, but why say anything when The Eagles have no impact on him whatsoever. You make great points about certain artists having so much money that it can’t be the main reason for them to keep playing, and The Eagles are a perfect example of that (especially Henley & Frey, who have made multi millions on publishing alone). The fact that they’re playing 3-hour concerts & giving fans what they want shouldn’t be criticized. They’re clearly not punching a clock.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  20. Robyn
    August 13, 2014

    I love the Eagles music and have done so for as long as I can remember. I don’t care what people say when it comes on the radio ( regardless of what song it is) I turn the volume up. I am in my late 40’s and I play the Hell freezes over cd every weekend and crank up the volume. Thier music never gets old. If I had the money I would buy the best ticket I could to see them in concert.
    The difference now is they have matured and stopped the drugs and alcohol abuse. They are 4 men who have egos, of course there was going to be fighting and swearing when they were younger.
    I still say the best version of Take it to the limit was when Randy sang it, I loved those high notes he managed to get to. It’s just not the same now Glenn sings it.
    Having said that I love Timothy’s voice and have his Expando cd and Glenn Frey’s The solo collection cd and Don Henley’s the last worthless evening cd and love them all. Joe Walsh’s solo cd I am not that wrapped in. I think his songs sound better when they all sing them. He is a brilliant guitar player just not too keen on his solo songs.
    They are a very good band and thier songs and music has been around for all those years and they have a very wide demographic. If they weren’t that good they wouldn’t have survived this long( even with the break up time). Plus the concerts are selling out still……doesn’t that say something about them?

    Like

    • Hi Robyn. Thanks for stopping by & sharing your comments about The Eagles. Also, please accept my apology for the delayed reply. I was out of town and “off the grid” for several days and I’m just catching up on things this evening. It’s nice to hear from another late-40s fan. Glad you still love Hell Freezes Over. I still recall the first time it was broadcast and I couldn’t believe how amazing they sounded after so many years apart. The fact that it was one of the first shows they played after reuniting it’s even more impressive how road-tested they sounded.

      Timothy is great with The Eagles and I also love his work with Poco. I don’t have any of his solo material. The other guys have released excellent solo recordings with Henley the most consistent to my ears (his voice on “The Last Worthless Evening” is, unsurprisingly, amazing. Your last point about the fact that they continue to sell out their concerts even at those steep ticket prices is well-stated. They’re clearly doing something right.

      Thanks again for your feedback. It’s greatly appreciated.
      Rich

      Like

  21. Fritz
    August 13, 2014

    The Eagles are Great! I will see them in Glendale on October 1st. I also like their solo work – especially Glenn Frey’s 80’s stuff. It fit right in with the mood and music of that decade. (I was so glad when that decade ended though…)

    Like

    • Hi Fritz. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on The Eagles here. Will this show in Glendale be your first time seeing them? As for their solo material, I prefer Henley to Frey but I do have a very good single-disc collection of Frey’s work and it’s very good. I actually enjoyed the ’80s, personally & musically, but much of that decade hasn’t aged well.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  22. Wendy Stewart
    August 18, 2014

    Rich, Robert Plant made a comment something like – the Eagles got back together and toured not for the money, but because they were bored. It was in response to being asked if / when /why not Led Zep would tour again. I don’t know if it was necessarily that he was slagging them off or whether it was more just to explain his decision – ie he is not bored…. Anyway I am also a fan of Led Zep. I just think that people say the Eagles tour for the money and are bored on stage – I don’t think so, as you say, they have plenty of money – and their stage act is built on a professional, polished performance. Who else but the Eagles could be criticised for perfectionism???!! Perfectionism isn’t cool !

    Like

    • Thanks for clarifying Plant’s remarks, Wendy. That makes a lot more sense based on what I know about him. Plant must get so tired of being asked about a possible Zeppelin reunion when he’s already moving forward with his solo career. He’s certainly not doing anything for the money. I suppose I understand people criticizing The Eagles for “doing it for the money” but it’s a lazy argument. I’m sure the money is a good motivator especially when you’re not creating any new music but there’s no way they would still be touring as regularly as they do, with fans reporting how passionate & engaged the band is on stage, solely for financial rewards. They clearly love sharing their music with people. You also made a great point about perfectionism. A lot of people frown upon that in music, as if there’s something wrong with being at the top of your game. To me it’s pretty impressive how they can still sound as good as they do after all these years.

      Like

  23. Phillip Helbig
    August 19, 2014

    I recently saw Robert Plant in a club with about 200 people, all sitting on numbered chairs. It was at Fairport Convention’s warm-up gig at the Mill in Banbury. Often, unannounced guests who will appear at the festival the following weekend also show up at the Mill, so I expected to see Percy at Cropredy (as I have several times, both on stage (sometimes unannounced, sometimes as one of the announced attractions)), but didn’t. He did a couple of rock-and-roll numbers and teased the audience with a brief “way down inside”. 🙂

    There were two warmup gigs, Monday and Tuesday. There were two additions on Tuesday: Planty and Deborah Rose, who also played a set at Cropredy. Rumour has it that Rose is Percy’s current love.
    .

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    • Phillip, your concert-going experiences always impress me. To see Plant in such an intimate setting must be quite a thrill. I love how he’s always 100% about the music and seems happy performing no matter the size of the audience.

      Like

    • Phillip Helbig
      August 20, 2014

      Often, unannounced guests who will appear at the festival the following weekend also show up at the Mill, so I expected to see Percy at Cropredy (as I have several times, both on stage (sometimes unannounced, sometimes as one of the announced attractions)), but didn’t.

      should have been:

      Often, unannounced guests who will appear at the festival the following weekend also show up at the Mill, so I expected to see Percy at Cropredy (as I have several times, both on stage (sometimes unannounced, sometimes as one of the announced attractions)), and sometimes as “just” one of the crowd, but didn’t.

      Like

  24. stephen1001
    August 19, 2014

    From my limited exposure to full albums, I haven’t been blown away.

    It’s interesting, I quite enjoy ‘country rock’ groups like Blue Rodeo but the early country rock records I’ve heard (The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo & The eponymous Eagles) didn’t really speak to me.

    I can tell the musicians are talented of course but the songs, well, they’re not awful, just not awfully exciting. As Chrissie Hynde sang in Up The Neck, it was all very…run of the mill. So it’s surprising to hear they’d stir up such strong emotions as hate. And as I believe I am comment #88 on this post, it looks like many have strong opinions one way or another!

    Incidentally, The Eagles and Hotel California are on the 1001.

    Like

    • Geoff, I’ll be very curious to hear your thoughts on “Hotel California” when you get to it. It’s pretty far from “country” or “country-rock” and it’s also their most popular album (not counting their Greatest Hits, which is one of those perfect compilations…if you like their music, of course). I think a lot of people complain about “Hotel California” because of the ubiquity of the title track, but as I’ve stated many times before, a good song being “overplayed” on radio doesn’t make it bad. It often just makes you forget how great it was to begin with. It’s one of the reasons that there’s been a similar backlash against Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” which is just as diverse as “Hotel California” but also similarly over-familiar to a lot of fans. When you listen to it from start to finish, though, you realize there are many reasons why it’s one of the most popular & best-selling albums of all time.

      Like

  25. Nelson
    September 2, 2014

    This out today LoL!!! Thought of this conversation!!

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/08/quit_defending_the_eagles_theyre_simply_terrible/

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing that article, Nelson. It showcases what Alan & I initially discussed about how certain people blindly hate The Eagles, which is really helpful, especially for anyone reading my post (and Alan’s initial comments) who might doubt that this hatred exists. It’s hard to tell if the author, Stephen Deusner, actually hates them or just wants to fan the flames & let others decide (although with phrases like “fairly bland harmonies” and “studiously inoffensive rock” it’s clear that he doesn’t think too highly of them). I scanned through the comments below the article and it seems like the majority of readers don’t agree with him. Plenty of people are happy to admit that they love The Eagles, and that pleases me.

      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

  26. Glen
    September 2, 2014

    Great read, Alan! And I’ve enjoyed your thoughtful commentary throughout, Rich. I’m in my late 40s and was surprised to find out the generation after mine considers the Eagles cheesy sellouts. I’ve always loved the Eagles, Desperado is maybe my favorite song, even after a million listens.

    I think a big part of it is how you get introduced to the music. For us, it was the initial release of the albums and then hearing them on the radio. For the generation after us, it was “easy listening” stations, VH1, and 70s/80s compilations. So I think the Eagles got lumped in with a lot of lesser artists and suffered by association. I know that’s only a part of the story but I do think that’s why some people see the Eagles as “cheesy.”

    Like

    • Hi Glenn. Thanks for checking in. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Much credit goes to Alan for starting off this discussion. You made a great point about the different perspective later generations would have considering that their music has been boiled down to just the hits. Of course, with at least 15-20 radio staples that don’t all sound the same, I would think that anyone with an open mind, no matter their age, would recognize that they’re a special band. There are plenty of great artists from that era whose work has been whittled down to a handful of standards that don’t receive the kind of negative reaction that The Eagles inspire. I suppose I can understand how casual fans might side with “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski but it’s surprising when knowledgeable music fans do the same.

      Thanks for joining the chorus of Eagles supporters, and I especially give you credit for proudly loving “Desperado” after countless listens. People mock me when I tell them that I still love “Stairway To Heaven” as much as I did 35 years ago, and I never get tired of it, but a great song should always be great no matter how many times you hear.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  27. Alan K.
    September 4, 2014

    I am truly gratified that so many people have been willing to share their thoughts on this based on my initial comments. I am seeing the Eagles next weekend at Madison Square Garden with my 16-year-old son, and and am really looking forward to it…he has no pre-conceived notions about them, just knows that they are an enduring and popular rock band that “dad likes”.

    Like

    • Alan, your email to me about this subject really started a nice discussion here. For the most part people who have commented don’t “hate” The Eagles even if they’re not big fans of their music, and they acknowledge the individual & collective talents of the band. I did run into a few haters on a separate music forum I belong to where I shared this post, but they amounted to a small percentage.

      I hope you & your son have a phenomenal time at the show. I look forward to hearing about it.

      Rich

      Like

  28. Alan K.
    September 10, 2014

    This blew me away (YouTube is such a great outlet for amazingly talented yet unknown people) – so I thought I’d share.

    Like

  29. Wobbie
    September 10, 2014

    I have been following the comments here for about a month. Nothing has changed for me – I am a true fan through and through! We just had the awesome pleasure of seeing them in Des Moines, IW last Saturday – VIP and front row style! Not a moment that I do not treasure as one of the best nights of my life! I even got a little shout out from Henley hearing me say, “How convenient” when he spoke of the practice room behind the liquor store back in the day….he giggled and said, “I guess it was pretty convenient!” Of course at the end of the show, I threw all caution to the wind and pulled out my phone for some video of the goodbye waves and then got quite the evil eye from Mr. Henley! That’s OK! An evil look from Don Henley is better than no look at all! Take It to the Limit – always! 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for following up, Wobbie. I’m pleased to see that the majority of people commenting here love the band, and even in a music forum where I shared this post (which includes some very opinionated music lovers) there were only a few haters…including one guy who write this: “They always reminded me of a band that 14- year-old kids at summer camp would put together for a talent show. The big difference of course is that the 14-year-old kids were infinitely more talented.” It’s impossible to take someone like that seriously.

      I love the story about your interactions with Henley. Great stuff.

      Like

  30. fyfeopedia
    November 16, 2016

    My view point is that the Eagles are a second tier band with a first tier profile. They have a handful of great songs – I really enjoy songs like ‘Desperado’, ‘New Kid in Town’, ‘I Can’t Tell You Why’, and ‘One Of These Nights’. But I don’t think they made albums that were great the whole way through – On The Border, One of These Nights, and Hotel California are all pretty good LPs, but I don’t think they’re a great album band like The Beatles or Pink Floyd are. Don Henley’s drumming and Frey’s lightweight persona (I always associate him with songs like ‘Chug All Night’, ‘Heartache Tonight’, and ‘Sexy Girl’) both detract from their work for me as well.

    Like

    • Thanks for chiming in from New Zealand. Although I don’t agree with your assessment of the Eagles as a second tier band, I appreciate your viewpoint. I do agree that they didn’t make any top-to-bottom great albums, even though Hotel California comes close. I think they still have enough great songs in their catalog to justify their long-term success, and they were fortunate to have the voice of Don Henley elevating even mediocre material.

      I’m curious if your feelings about them were ever affected by the derision they receive in pop culture. I see that you were born in 1979 so you’re just over a decade younger than me & most of my friends. We grew up listening to their music when it was fresh. The backlash against them came years later. You seem to have diverse musical tastes so I’m not suggesting you couldn’t make up your own mind, but it might be a generational thing.

      Like

      • fyfeopedia
        November 17, 2016

        I grew up in quite a sheltered musical environment – I didn’t really have much pop music in the house as a child, and as a teenager I gravitated towards radio friendly sixties and seventies pop like the Eagles and Billy Joel. So I heard a lot of their music before I was aware of any critical consensus on them. So I don’t think my reaction is about critical consensus; more likely it’s about over-exposure. I have thought about how I’d feel about Big Star’s albums if they’d enjoyed heaps of radio play and huge tours, and how I’d feel about the Eagles if they were a cult band who lingered in obscurity before being re-evaluated. Of course, some of the Eagles’ best known songs from the second half of their career deal with their reaction to fame, so it’s not really a valid comparison.

        I like the Eagles to some degree, and I think On The Border is an enjoyable album, but I don’t think that their recorded catalogue stacks up among the best bands of the 1970s. They have the sales, they have the big tours, they have the big themes, they even have the singles to some degree, but I don’t think they have the albums.

        It’s an interesting issue – I’m just expressing my opinion on it, as it’s something I’ve thought about, but my appraisal is obviously less favourable than yours.

        Like

      • Very well-stated. You have a much more fair-minded approach to music than a lot of people I know. As for over-exposure (or as I’ve always heard some music described, “overplayed”), I’ve had a lot of discussions with friends on this subject. I’ve never understood people hating songs (or artists) because they’ve been overplayed on radio or MTV. It’s one thing to think, “I never need to hear that song again,” but if it was once a good song it probably always will be. There are plenty of great songs I’ll turn off when they appear on the radio, but under the right circumstances I’ll hear the same song and think to myself, “that’s still brilliant.” Friends have mocked me for still loving “Stairway To Heaven,” but I stand by that opinion.

        For me a lot of it comes down to “hate culture” on social media, where people get more clicks for dismissing something a lot of people like, or they compile lists of the “worst albums by this artist” or “that artist’s catalog ranked from worst to best.” I’m a positive person (under a layer or two of sarcasm & cynicism), so I prefer to take the high road. If I dislike something I simply keep it to myself, or I try to meet others somewhere in the middle.

        Cheers.
        Rich

        Like

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