By 1976 the Eagles already had a number of hits to their credit. The band had released four studio albums and a chart topping compilation of their hits that would established the band as one of the most successful American bands of the 70’s. Of their albums only “Desperado”, their sophomore effort, failed to produce top 20 hits – even though the title track and another track from the album, “Tequila Sunrise”, had become fan favorites for live concerts. The strains of touring and success led to founding member Bernie Leadon’s departure in ’75. He was replaced by Joe Walsh who was successful as a solo artist and a member of the bands Barnstorm and The James Gang.
Founding members of the Eagles, Don Henley and and Glenn Frey, performed as studio musicians for Linda Ronstandt. Together with Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner they performed one live show backing Ronstandt at Disneyland. It was after the show that Henley and Frey asked Leadon and Meisner to form a band.
The self-titled Eagles album was a commercial success producing the hits “Take It Easy”, “Witchy Woman” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. The Band’s fusion of country and rock on their first couple of albums gave way to a harder, rock edge on the later albums with the addition of Don Felder on guitar. The inclusion of Walsh nudged the band further in that direction.
Hotel California, widely regarded as one of the best rock albums of all time, became the band’s best selling studio album with “New Kid In Town” and the title track hitting number one. A third hit, “Life In The Fast Lane’ featured Joe Walsh’s guitar work and established him as an integral part of the band’s evolved sound. Although the band would continue to tour, Hotel California was the last studio album that featured Randy Meisner. After releasing a live album 1979’s “The Long Run” featured Tim Schmidt as Mesiner’s replacement. The album would mark the end of the line for the band until “The Hell Freezes Over” reunion tour in 1994. Throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s former members pursued solo careers and performed as session musicians for other artists. The Eagles released a new studio album in 2007 titled “Long Road to Eden”.
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