The Eagles, a legendary rock band of the 1970s, experienced a remarkable ascent unlike any other. While their contemporaries delved into progressive rock or indulged in heavy metal fantasies, Don Henley and Glenn Frey chose a different path. They crafted breezy music that offered an escape from the challenges of everyday life. While their groundbreaking album, Hotel California, may be seen as their crowning achievement, Frey holds a different perspective on the band’s finest work.
During the early stages of their career, as they embarked on their debut album, the Eagles were still finding their footing. With the assistance of David Geffen at Asylum and the renowned superproducer Glyn Johns, the band achieved their first notable hits, including “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” Although these tracks were a promising start, there was more work to be done.
Frey spoke highly of the band’s second album, Desperado. However, it did not find immediate success upon release. In fact, it was initially considered an underwhelming flop. It wasn’t until years later, when artists like Linda Ronstadt covered songs from the album, that the true power of tracks like the title song was recognized.
As the band evolved and added Don Felder to their lineup for the On the Border album, they gained additional musical prowess. Felder, nicknamed ‘Fingers,’ displayed his versatility by effortlessly playing various styles, whether it was shredding on a hard rock track or adding emotive guitar solos like in “Best of My Love.” This new dynamic thrust the band into their next phase, where they struck gold with the highly acclaimed One of These Nights album.
Immersed in the glamorous Hollywood scene, half of the album explored the darker side of the entertainment industry like never before. From Randy Meisner’s cautionary tale in “Too Many Hands” to the introspective title track, the band reminded their audience of the perils that come with pursuing a life in music. Furthermore, they drew from their own experiences, addressing topics such as the women who frequented bars on “Lyin’ Eyes” and the monotonous grind of Tinseltown on “The Hollywood Waltz.” There was an abundance of meaningful content for listeners to unpack.
It was during this transformative period that Frey believed the band had truly found their calling. Reflecting on the album later in life, he considered the title track, “One of These Nights,” a turning point in their career. In his memoir, Life in the Fast Lane, he remarked, “We made a quantum leap with ‘One of These Nights.’ It was a breakthrough song. It is my favorite Eagles record. If I had to choose one, it wouldn’t be ‘Hotel California’; it would be ‘One of These Nights.'”
Sadly, the band’s journey was not without its challenges. Following disagreements and the reluctant inclusion of “I Wish You Peace,” Bernie Leadon departed, making way for Joe Walsh to join for the iconic Hotel California album. This transition marked the beginning of the Eagles spreading their wings, each member holding boundless potential for even greater artistic achievements.
Q: Which album is considered the Eagles’ crowning achievement?
A: The Eagles’ groundbreaking album, Hotel California, is often regarded as their crowning achievement.
Q: Who joined the Eagles for the album On the Border?
A: Don Felder joined the Eagles for the On the Border album, bringing added musical expertise to the band.
Q: What song does Glenn Frey consider his favorite Eagles record?
A: Glenn Frey considers “One of These Nights” as his favorite Eagles record, describing it as a breakthrough song.
Q: Why did Bernie Leadon leave the Eagles?
A: Bernie Leadon left the Eagles due to creative disagreements, making way for Joe Walsh to join the band.