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File:Eaglesold 4489.jpg

Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner

"The theme of all our albums is looking for it, whether it be a woman, or peace of mind, or satisfaction, or success, riches or happiness, or any of that."
Don Henley


The Dude: Jesus, man, can you change the station?

Cab Driver: Fuck you man! You don't like my fucking music, get your own fucking cab!

The Dude: I've had a-

Cab Driver: I pull over and kick your ass out, man!

The Dude: -had a rough night, and I hate the fucking Eagles, man!

One of the definitive bands of the American 1970s, and the group behind many of classic rock's most iconic hits - "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", and "Heartache Tonight", to name a few. They started as a backup band for Linda Ronstadt. She noticed that they worked well together, then encouraged them to go on their own. They started out as a country rock group before moving on to more mainstream sounds; Eagles found their way to superstardom around 1974 and earned a page or two in the history of rock music before breaking up in 1980. Many of their songs revolve around or at least touch upon the ugly side of the American Dream that nobody talks about, which the band members felt they knew quite a lot about by the middle part of their career. Possibly worth noting is that their first Greatest Hits Album was the best selling album in United States history for over three decades, and its status only changed because Michael Jackson died.

It is also worth noting that at their "Hell Freezes Over" reunion tour, they were quoted as saying "For the record, we never broke up; we just took a fourteen year vacation."

Their instrumental space-country-rock song "Journey of the Sorcerer" (from the album One of These Nights) is famous for being used as the theme song for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio and TV series.

Although Eagles are not primarily considered a country music act, the band has loads of cred in that department. Three of the band's singles have been top 40 country hits, and Long Road out of Eden was the best-selling country album of 2008. In addition, Eagles' trademark use of layered harmonies has shown up in a very large number of country music bands, including Alabama and Restless Heart. In 1993, several country singers joined forces to record a tribute album called Common Thread: The Songs of Eagles; Travis Tritt's decision to include the 1980 lineup in the video for his cover of "Take It Easy" is said to be a catalyst in the band's 1994 reunion. In addition, Don Henley has recorded two duets with Trisha Yearwood.

Eagles' albums:

  • Eagles (1972): Their first album, where the country rock roots show up best. Popular songs include "Take It Easy" and "Witchy Woman".
  • Desperado (1973): A concept album centering on The Wild West, notably the outlaw gangs thereof. "Desperado" and "Tequila Sunrise" are perhaps the only songs people remember from this album.
  • On the Border (1974): Introduced guitarist Don Felder.
  • One of These Nights (1975): Included a couple of still-popular tunes and the unnoticed-at-the-time instrumental Journey of the Sorceror, which went on to become the theme tune to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Hotel California (1976): Eagles' most famous album, and one of the most well-respected albums of rock. This album more than any other concerns itself with the concept of the American Dream. Joe Walsh joined the group in time for this album, and his guitar work helped push them firmly into the aforementioned "more mainstream" direction.
  • The Long Run (1979): Eagles' last album before their breakup fourteen year vacation.
  • Hell Freezes Over (1994): Presented as a new album, but practically an EP's worth of new material with new live recordings (including an extended acoustic version of Hotel California) from their reunion show.
  • Long Road Out of Eden (2007): A double album of new material; the title track is ten minutes of awesome.

Tropes present:

  • The Alcoholic: Walsh. "I only got drunk once, for thirty years."
  • Bittersweet Ending: The main theme of "After The Thrill Is Gone" (What can you do when your dreams come true/ And it's not quite like you planned?)
  • Black Sheep Hit: Not exactly a hit, but "Journey of the Sorcerer" is really different from their usual material (also, count how many times it's mentioned on this page...).
  • Call Back: after repeatedly stating that they would only reform "when Hell froze over", when they finally put the band back together, they titled the resulting live album Hell Freezes Over.
  • Crapsack World: several of their songs, but Life in the Fast Lane is probably the harshest.
  • Distinct Double Album: Long Road out of Eden.
  • Follow the Leader: The list of soft-rock and even country bands who employ heavily layered harmonies is miles long.
  • Garfunkel: Averted; almost every member, past and present, has gotten a turn on lead vocals.
    • But still: Don Felder only sang lead on one (and most of the time he was harmonized by Glenn anyway), and both Don Henley and Glenn Frey (especially the former) sing on more tracks, singles and opening/closing live numbers.
    • Bernie Leadon might get some recognition for his spacey banjo.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Their "Selected Works" collection included a number of these, including Joe Walsh's absurd vocal impressions and improvisations, Henley experimenting with various ways of expressing boredom, and short (improvised) songs about broken toes and the Pope's speculative ability to boogie.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The moral of the Anvilicious "The Last Resort" seems to be nature is a pristine utopia that keeps getting ruined by mankind's greed, reducing the beauty of the land by building new homes on it. More specifically, American settlement further and further West raped the natural beauty of the land.
    • Some rich men came and raped the land, Nobody caught 'em. Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought 'em...
    • In the abovementioned Hilarious Outtakes, the line goes The great unconscious urban masses, with narrow minds and spreading asses...
  • Lampshade Hanging: When the group broke up in 1980, Henley said in an interview that they'd get back together "when Hell freezes over." Guess what they called the reunion album.
    • Their first major tour after the reunion was called "Farewell One."
  • Inn of No Return/ Hell Hotel: "Hotel California"
  • Love Triangle: The storyline of "Lyin' Eyes".
  • Long Runner Lineup: Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit passed the 10-year threshold in February 2011, the ten year anniversary of their booting of Don Felder from the group.
  • Mind Screw: The lyrics of "Hotel California" constantly keep you just slightly confused about what exactly is going on.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Usually averted, as all members could sing very well and they also arranged their material so that live versions would be nearly identical to the studio cuts, so they tended to have the lead vocalist absent from harmonies and viceversa (similarly, no guitarist played rhythm and solos at the same time). An exception was "One of These Nights" where, at the end, bassist Randy Meisner is doing both the lead and the high harmony (which often overlap at that point).
  • Signature Song: Hotel California.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Averted; the band is officially just "Eagles."
  • Take That: "I would like to dedicate this song..."... to Mr Rupert Murdoch!"
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Hole In The World has a classic example.
  • Wham! Line: "Hotel California" has the famous "You can check out any time you like/But you can never leave"
  • Vocal Tag Team: Don Henley and Glenn Frey split the lead vocal chores, with occasional help from some of the others.