Tag Archives: Joe Walsh

Eagles, Chapter VII – Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Members: Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B Schmit, Joe Walsh

Long Road Out Of Eden was released twenty-seven years after their last studio album, but even after such a long hiatus – when most bands would have lost any kind of musical relevance – this album shows the same four guys crowding the stage, sounding very much like the quartet that were seling out stadia in the seventies.

A little older, and a little wiser, Long Road Out of Eden is a double-helping of new (studio) material.

No More Walks in the Wood (Don Henley / Steuart Smith / John Hollander)
Lead – Frey & Henley & Schmit & Walsh
This haunting and sparse track is the only Eagles number where all band members share vocal duties. It’s also worth noting that the lyrics are lifted wholesale from a poem called An Old-Fashioned Song. 8
How Long (JD Souther)
Lead – Frey & Henley
This is a feelgood song from the early seventies that would have fit nicely into one of the Eagles first couple of albums. Frey and Henley are as good together here as they have ever been. 7
Busy Being Fabulous (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
The first completely new track on the album sees Henley in a bit of a country mood, offering up a slice of thinly veiled bitterness. 7
What Do I Do With My Heart (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Frey
A fairly decent broken-heart tale with Frey at the helm. It plods along, then goes up a notch during the bridge when Henley sprinkles a little something into the mix. 6
Guilty of the Crime (Frankie Miller / Jerry Lynn Williams)
Lead – Walsh
Joe Walsh gets his first vocal on the album, and typically, it is the first time we really hear a guitar. Not his best work, but there is nobody else in the band who could have pulled this off. 7
I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore (Paul Carrack)
Lead – Schmit
Schmit has a voice like silk, and it’s all over this break-up ballad. It’s good, but – quality of the vocal aside – it’s just like a million other love songs out there.  7
Waiting in the Weeds (Don Henley / Steuart Smith)
Lead – Henley
This epic is the first really good track on the album. Henley has that anguished tone that helps to tell the story of loss and pain through a somewhat stuttering lyrical style. 8
No More Cloudy Days (Glenn Frey)
Lead – Frey
This one is an album highlight for Frey, proving again that sometimes the simplest collection of words makes for the better and more memorable songs. The saxophone outro is a nice touch. 7
Fast Company (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
I’m not sure how comfortable I am with Henley’s fake falsetto throughout this track – it takes a little getting used to. Other than that, it feels like a throwback to what they did in the seventies. 7
Do Something (Don Henley / Timothy B Schmit / Steuart Smith)
Lead – Schmit
Schmit’s last lead on the album – like several others on here – has a lot of country sensibilities. It’s all right, but I can’t get too excited about it. Schmit deserves better than this. 6
You Are Not Alone (Glenn Frey)
Lead – Frey
Frey pulls out another ballad… not the Michael Jackson one. This is very simple and short, and not really one of his best either. 6
Long Road Out of Eden (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Timothy B Schmit)
Lead – Henley
I get the feeling that Henley relishes these long, sweeping commentaries. This is like a modern retelling of The Last Resort from their Hotel California album. Big shoes to fill indeed. 8
I Dreamed There Was No War (Glenn Frey)
instrumental
From the longest track the Eagles ever committed to an album, to one of the shortest… a simple guitar number in the hands of Glenn Frey. 6
Somebody (Jack Tempchin / John Brannen)
Lead – Frey
An excursion into a more uptempo world for Frey. He doesn’t do it often, but this is a welcome change of pace for him. 7
Frail Grasp on the Big Picture (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
I know this is credited to both of them, but both stylistically and lyrically, this has Henley’s fingerprints all over it. This is up there with the best songs on the album. 8
Last Good Time in Town (Joe Walsh / JD Souther)
Lead – Walsh
Joe Walsh gets his hands on another lead vocal, but this one is a more mellow effort by him. It reminds me (and probably nobody else) of Steely Dan. 7
I Love to Watch a Woman Dance (Larry John McNally)
Lead – Frey
Frey is back in comfortable territory, but I don’t like this one at all. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst Eagles songs on any album. 4
Business as Usual (Don Henley / Steuart Smith)
Lead – Henley
This is yet another cracking Henley vocal where he rages at the machine, but he does it so well… so who am I to tell him to spread his wings a little? 8
Center of the Universe (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Steuart Smith)
Lead – Henley
Henley lets the pace slip a little for this love song. It’s not too bad, but he knows his niche, and I’m sure he knows this isn’t it. 6
It’s Your World Now (Glenn Frey / Jack Tempchin)
Lead – Frey
Frey’s finest moment on this album. This has a friendly flamenco sound that – despite the sadness of the story – gives the song a holiday vibe. 8
Hole in the World (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
It’s impossible, when you know the history of this song, to disassociate it from 9/11. The chorus goes on a little too long at the end, but it’s a very poignant song for a very difficult moment in our history. 8

Overall: 69%
Long Road Out of Eden is a much safer collection of songs than their last couple of albums from the seventies would have suggested. There’s some rust,but I’ll cut them a little slack – they’ve been away longer than most.

Eagles, Chapter VI – The Long Run (1979)

Members: Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B Schmit, Joe Walsh

Timothy B Schmit joined the Eagles and original member Randy Meisner left before this album came out, so this felt even further removed from the original template of the band than Hotel California had been.

The Eagles had released their first five albums in five years. The Long Run was a troubled release and took three years to build, a truth that was fuelled by drug use and growing animosity between members. This was their last collection of new material until 1994.

The Long Run (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
Overplayed and probably a little overrated, this is still a fine track, although Henley is resting on his vocal laurels here. 8
I Can’t Tell You Why (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Timothy B Schmit)
Lead – Schmit
This is the debut lead vocal on his first album with the Eagles, and it instantly gives him the best win-loss record in the band. A great soulful song. 10
In the City (Joe Walsh / Barry de Vorzon)
Lead – Walsh
A decent Joe Walsh track that is probably better known as the song that plays through the end-credits of cult seventies movie, The Warriors. 8
The Disco Strangler (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Don Felder)
Lead – Henley
This is a fantastic tongue-in-cheek diversion into the disco sound of the late seventies, but with a decidedly dark sting in the tail. Nobody else in the band could have sung this. 10
King of Hollywood (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Frey & Henley
One of my favourite Eagles tracks – a sombre tune about Hollywood starlets and the dark side of the business – that works even better because of the split vocal duties. It is accompanied by some great, evocative guitar work. 10
Heartache Tonight (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Bob Seger / JD Souther)
Lead – Frey
This is a great party track and a standout moment from Frey that was destined to be an encore. It’s a nice light touch in amongst a lot of the heavier stuff that surrounds it. 8
Those Shoes (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Don Felder)
Lead – Henley
Another very good dark turn on this album about the predatory nature of the singles scene. You have to love the use of the dual talkbox as well. 9
Teenage Jail (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / JD Souther)
Lead – Henley & Frey
Glenn Frey puts on the most sinister voice he can muster and dives into this obscure lyric. This track doesn’t get a whole lot of love, but I think it’s a good song on a great album. 8
The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks (Don Henley / Glenn Frey)
Lead – Henley
With a title that probably wouldn’t fly in today’s more sensitive times, this is a lot less offensive than you may think. This is a party track, complete with piped in crowd noises, so it’s hard not to smile when it’s on. 8
The Sad Cafe (Don Henley / Glenn Frey / Joe Walsh / JD Souther)
Lead – Henley
This feels like the band tried to replicate the mood of the final track of Hotel California… except this is not in that song’s league. A competent ballad to bookend the album. 7

Overall: 86%
The Long Run is a much underated album. It’s not discussed as often as the band’s earlier releases, and certainly not as much as Hotel California, but this follow-up is almost as good, and the second best thing they have ever done.

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.

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