Tag Archives: Hotel California

Eagles, Chapter V – Hotel California (1976)

Members: Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Joe Walsh

Hotel California is the seminal album in the discography of the Eagles, and even those who are not fans know this one.

With the addition of Joe Walsh and the departure of Bernie Leadon, the quartet that remained had left its country roots well and truly behind, and the Eagles emerged as a very different band.

Hotel California (Don Felder / Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
There’s nothing new left to be said about this song – from its lyrical mystery to its fantastic two minute guitar outro. It’s not only their most famous track, but also one of the defining songs of the seventies. 10
New Kid in Town (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / JD Souther)
Lead – Frey
I always found this song to be overrated, which is not to say it’s bad, just that it’s the lowest point on an album filled with great material. 7
Life in the Fast Lane (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Joe Walsh)
Lead – Henley
A great rock song with a biting Henley vocal and some influential guitar work from Walsh. 9
Wasted Time (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
One of my favourite Eagles songs, and up there with the best ballads Henley ever tipped his vocals to. This is even more poignant if you’ve let go of a relationship. 10
Wasted Time (reprise) (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Jim Ed Norman)
instrumental
A nice little breather, before…
Victim of Love (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Don Felder / JD Souther)
Lead – Henley
A very good rock track that often gets unjustly overlooked on this album amongst all the classics. 9
Pretty Maids All in a Row (Joe Walsh / Joe Vitale)
Lead – Walsh
The first lead vocal for the newest Eagle, Joe Walsh. Nobody would suggest Walsh has a great voice, but with the right song it can work, and this is the right song. 8
Try and Love Again (Randy Meisner)
Lead – Meisner
This is Randy’s last lead vocal on his final album with the Eagles, and it’s also his best. A beautiful song. 9
The Last Resort (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
This epic Eagles track – the way that it dramatically builds musically, lyrically, and vocally – is one of my favourites. 10

Overall: 90%
I usually love to hold the contrarian opinion, but there’s a reason this album is so highly rated: and that’s because it’s a fantastic collection of songs… and it’s hard to argue otherwise.

Still Flying High…

The GirlfriendĀ© was an Illegal Eagles virgin, but I have been to see them somewhere in the region of six or seven times since the turn of the century, so I broke her in gently. Having said that, in a way this was my first time as well, because the guys on stage on Friday night down in Dunfermline were all completely new to me.

IE Square 2018

A new line-up it may have been, but they were every bit as talented and enthusiastic about the Eagles legacy as I had come to expect. Three of the six on stage were younger than I am, which is simultaneously good to see, but also a little disheartening to be reminded of my advancing years in such an innocuous manner.

The one guy on the entire upper level who decided to stand and shake his tailfeather was right behind me – drunk, and shouting all of the right words, in all of the wrong notes. At one point he slapped me in the back of the head, and I turned around to find out what the hell his problem was, only to find that the staggered seating had me staring directly at his gyrating crotch. I never did ask him, and for what it’s worth he just kept on thrusting.

The Illegal Eagles tripped through all of the hits, plus a few solo tracks (including a mesmerising version of Don Henley’s Heart of the Matter), and managed to embroider the show with some relaxing banter throughout. A near note perfect rendition of Hotel California was the penultimate number, and The GirlfriendĀ© and I both left satisfied: one old fan, and one brand new.