King of Hollywood – the Eagles – 1979
Well it took me twenty weeks to get here, but I finally got around to speaking about my favourite band, the Eagles.
King of Hollywood is one of the best songs that they ever recorded, and because it was never released as a single, it’s not particularly well known to those who are not fans of their work. It’s a track from their sixth album, The Long Run, their final studio offering before they took the rock world’s longest vacation.
The late Glenn Frey takes lead vocal duties for the first three quarters of the song, before Don Henley comes in to bring it home. From the way the song fades in, to the effortless guitar throughout, to the fade out nearly six and a half minutes later, King of Hollywood is a classic of seventies rock storytelling, cynically biting at the behaviour of certain producers in Tinsel Town, and how those who want to be stars can be dazzled by the bright lights.
Mainstream music is very safe these days, and the industry doesn’t produce tracks like this anymore – not as a rule, and certainly not by acts as influential as the Eagles. It’s a shame, because this is just the kind of thing that would get you noticed.