Tag Archives: Don Felder

Eagles, Chapter IV – One of These Nights (1975)

Members: Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner

One of These Nights inarguably marks a change in sound for the Eagles, and – following their first three heavily country influenced releases – it would begin a trilogy of more rock-oriented albums.

Don Felder may not have been the man who made that happen, but his guitar was certainly a great influence on their music. Bernie Leadon is lost in this line-up, and his departure after this album – while sad – almost feels like the shackles have been loosened for a band that were moving in a different direction by now.

One of These Nights (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
A bona-fide Eagles classic with super harmonies and a great guitar sound throughout. It’s like they introduced disco to rock and discovered this song in the process. 9

Too Many Hands (Randy Meisner / Don Felder)
Lead – Meisner
Meisner may be the one singing here, but this song has Felder’s fingerprints and fretboard all over it. It starts off strong but loses it a little towards the end. 7

Hollywood Waltz (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Bernie Leadon / Tom Leadon)
Lead – Henley
A very deliberate and sombre song. I like it, but there isn’t enough here for me to latch onto. Henley is competent on vocals, but I get the feeling he is sleepwalking through this one. 6

Journey of the Sorcerer (Bernie Leadon)
instrumental
The Eagles didn’t release many instrumental tracks during their run, and this is both the longest and the best one they ever did. Oddly, this may be the high point of Leadon’s tenure with the band, but it’s a track that would have fit better a couple of albums ago. 7

Lyin’ Eyes (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Frey
A mellow Eagles classic which stays in second gear all the way through, but it tells a good and relatable story. It’s a simple lyric, and you may think it goes on a verse too long, but it’s hard to fault the sincerity of it. 7

Take it to the Limit (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Randy Meisner)
Lead – Meisner
This song may not be the best one Meisner performed with the Eagles, but it is the greatest single contribution that he made to the legacy of the band. 8

Visions (Don Henley / Don Felder)
Lead – Felder
The only Felder lead vocal is a good one. His weakness as a singer is masked by the music and the rest of the boys accompanying him. 7

After the Thrill is Gone (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Frey & Henley
This is a solid (but far from inspired) shared vocal, and one of their less celebrated collaborations, with Frey finding his home on the verses and Henley taking on the more emotional bridge work. 7

I Wish You Peace (Bernie Leadon / Patti Davis)
Lead – Leadon
The final Leadon vocal, and it feels like the rest of the guys were throwing him a bone here. It’s not bad, but this is a track for a different album. 6

Overall: 71%
There may be a few Eagles standards here, but One of These Nights is the only genuinely great song on the album. Fortunately, the other tracks are pretty good across the board, putting this right up there with Desperado on the scorecard.

Eagles, Foreword…

R-1521205-1509062258-6225.jpegI discovered the Eagles when I was a teenager and the rest of my peers were getting into dance music – back when I used to borrow music cassettes from the library. Yes, that long ago. I don’t think you can do that anymore. At the time I probably could only have named a couple of their tracks; Hotel California, and maybe one other. But I have always been open to new voices and sounds, and the ‘Best of’ collection that I picked up that day was just the kind of detour from my usual playlist that I was looking for.

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Leadon, Meisner, Henley, Frey

Although our musical tastes are – to one degree or another – influenced by those of our parents, mum and dad had nothing to do with my interest in the Eagles. From memory, I think the attraction was purely based on first impressions. It was the album cover; a needle-straight highway threading its way through Monument Valley. Google was still a handful of years away, so there was no way for me to research who these Eagles were. I just had to take the tape home and press play. So that’s what I did.

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Henley, Felder, Frey, Leadon, Meisner

Something about their music just clicked with me. From their expert musicianship to their perfect harmonies; from their biting lyrics to their indulgent instrumentals. They were not contemporary at that time – in the early nineties – and it was certainly not considered cool to like them either, so I don’t know why their music spoke to me, but it did. The Eagles produced the kind of sound I didn’t know I was missing, and from that day to this, they became my favourite band.

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Henley, Walsh, Meisner, Frey, Felder

The Eagles got together several years before I was born, and by the time I was old enough to have an opinion they had been split up for a number of years. They did reform in 1994 (after what Glenn Frey termed their ‘fourteen year vacation’), but by then the musical landscape had shifted, and their particular style of seventies country-rock was no longer in favour.

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Frey, Felder, Henley, Walsh, Schmit

I thought it would be interesting to take each of their seven studio albums and review them. Nothing too detailed; just a general feeling of what each record does for me. Maybe once I’ve done that I’ll get around to their miscellaneous stuff as well, such as Eagles Live from 1980, and Hell Freezes Over, from 1994, because they’re important to the story of the band too. At the end of it all I’ll probably throw in my top ten list of tracks, because who doesn’t enjoy a subjective list?

I was fortunate enough to see the Eagles perform live twice in Glasgow – first in Hampden Park in July of 2001, and then at the Hydro in May of 2014. They were two of the greatest concert experiences I have ever had. Of course, the passing of founding member Glenn Frey in 2016 changed the face of the group forever, and although the Eagles have continued without him, they have lost an integral part of what made them special.

So if you enjoy the music of the Eagles, come with me for the ride; and if they have never made it onto your playlist, perhaps I can encourage a few new fans along the way.

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Walsh, Henley, Frey, Schmit