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Throwback Thursday – The Eagles: Hotel California

Hotelcalifornia

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.

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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”.

#HotelCalifornia #Eagles #DonHenley #GlennFrey #RandyMeisner #JoeWalsh #BernieLeadon #DonFelder #TimSchmidt

 

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Throwback Thursday – Early Edition – Joe Walsh’s The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get

(Note: because I will be out of town for the next couple of days I’m posting this one a day early – Enjoy!)

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The year was 1973. As I was ‘m finishing up my junior year of high school and deciding which college to attend former James Gang lead guitarist and singer, Joe Walsh released a second album with his group Barnstorm which proved to be the band’s last combined effort. Though Walsh would continue to release other solo material and join the Eagles for the album 1976’s Hotel California, it was The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get was propelled into the Billboard hot 100’s top ten albums on the strength of commercial airplay for the single Rocky Mountain Way. The album also included Meadows, which was a minor hit that failed to break into the Top 40.

The album is memorable for me as it was the first that I played upon setting up my stereo system in my dorm room at Purdue University. I used it to test the speaker placement of my quadrophonic system. Released by ABC Dunhill Records the album was available in both Stereo and QS Quadrophonic. My receiver has a built in SQ/QS decoder for multiple channel playback. It was one of a half dozen albums I owned that was Quad compatible but always one of my favorites.

Within music circles Walsh was respected as a multi-instrumentalist. As a singer, songwriter and guitarists for the James Gang he had commercial success with several hits like Funk 49, Walk Away and Midnight Man but it wasn’t until he departed the group that he gained full recognition of his talents, reaching super star status.

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On his 1978 album, But Seriously Folks, Walsh reflects on the craziest aspects of fame with the satirical lyrics of his hit single Life’s Been Good, a crowd favorite he performed live with the Eagles, four of whom appeared on the album. In the song he pokes fun at the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle, talking about tearing up hotel rooms and having accountants pay the bills, staying out late partying to the point of not being able to find the door, owning a Maserati that does 185 but losing his license and owning a really nice mansion that he’s never seen.

#JoeWalsh #Eagles #Barnstorm #JamesGang #RockyMountainWay #LifesBeenGood #70sMusic