Thursday, May 21, 2015

Life in the Fast Lane

In the midst of the Seventies, an exceedingly influential and successful band emerged as a top hit in

the world of rock and roll. Still renowned as one of the best bands today, the Eagles have soared beyond the limits of classic rock and reached a point that most other aspiring artists wish to achieve. The country-infused soft-rock group formed in 1971 and are still actively touring the country for their eager fans of all ages. Truthfully, the Eagles have attracted fans from various generations spanning the later decades of the twentieth century and are astonishingly known among the generations of the twenty-first. Though they experienced a period of disunity from 1980 to 1994, they have proved an essential asset to the realm of classic rock in their adherence to their unique style and deep roots.

It is clear in any of the Eagles' songs that they crafted their own sound, for they blended the sounds and vocals of western country music into the catchy tunes of classic rock in America. Much like the band named for this country (as described in an earlier post, "America's Most Beloved Highway"), the Eagles have established what has become some of America's most traditional and popular music. Since their formation as a group in 1971, they have produced a countless number of hits and popular albums. That sort of immediate success is a rare and incredulous occasion in the music industry. In fact, their first greatest hits album (ironical entitled Their Greatest Hits) featured the 'best of their love' for music throughout their surprisingly successful beginning years: 1971-1975. Included were "Take it Easy", "Witchy Woman", "Lyin' Eyes", "Already Gone", "Desperado", "One of These Nights", "Tequila Sunrise", "Take It to the Limit", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", and "Best of My Love" (all of which were part of different albums and extracted for their "hits" album). 

Though an extremely successful band with generally limited drama, the Eagles did undergo a few lineup changes. Throughout the years, founding members Don Henley, Glen Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner added Joe Walsh and Timothy Schmit to the crew. Today, the Eagles consists of Henley, Frey, Schmit, Walsh, and Leadon. Like our gypsies from the week before (Lindsey and Stevie of Fleetwood Mac), they originated in California, incorporating their Midwest backgrounds into their music and style. However, this band of male rockers experienced nowhere near the levels of frustration, tension, and heartbreak as those experienced with the former. 

Among the Eagles' additional hit albums between the years 1975 and 1979 (note the short amount of time that they took to produce three more number-one albums) were One of These Nights, Hotel California, and The Long Run. Hit songs included "One of These Nights", "Take It to the Limit", "After the Thrill is Gone", "Hotel California", "New Kid in Town", "Life in the Fast Lane", "The Long Run", "I Can't Tell You Why", and "Heartache Tonight". Most of the Eagles' songs pertained to love, sex, and drugs, but their calming blend of blues, country, and classic rock tones gives each of their songs a catchy and likable touch that makes most listeners reach over to the volume knob and twist right. In particular, "Hotel California" tells a story (one of the best signs of a truly great and legitimate rock song) about the members' struggles with cocaine addiction. The next time you hear this song on 105.9, try to listen to the lyrics and apply each line to cocaine addiction. You will put the pieces of the puzzle together in no time. With this as a perfect example of their ingenuity, the Eagles put time and thought into each of their songs, most of which have a personal back-story to them. 

The Eagles are known not only for their style and music, but for their history as well, as stated in the obvious of title of their documentary, "The History of the Eagles". It's available on BluRay now, and the title ironically serves as the name of their tour this summer. Indeed they will make a stop in Miami at the American Airlines Arena for yet another concert. Still rockin', the band will be here July 10. Unfortunately, I will miss yet another concert that I have on my bucket list... I'll be partying in Savannah, Georgia as the Eagles sing their hearts out in the South Florida humidity. 

Speaking of the Eagles' tours, their most famous tour is known as the "Hell Freezes Over" tour. In 1980, the year the group decided to mutually part ways, Don Henley claimed that they would play together again "when Hell freezes over", hence the name of the tour and of the next album they released together. It was the so-called "14-year vacation" from then until 1994 that the Eagles remained virtually nonexistent and stagnant, but once back on the road together, they proved just as successful and popular as they had been in the 70s. 

As a side note, I purposely saved the Eagles for the last blog post. This band is, as I mentioned with Fleetwood Mac, on Marlowe's Top Five Classic Rock Bands list. I have been listening to their music since I was born, and their music never fails to fill me with love, happiness, and wonder. I sincerely hope that those of you who are actually reading this have taken something from these posts, and I would be even more thrilled to know that I sparked some kind of interest in you for classic rock. In my eyes (they're not lyin'), the Eagles are the epitome of classic rock, and it amazes me that they continue to please audiences worldwide while selling thousands of dollars worth of concert tickets and merchandise. 

Live Eagles performance of "Hotel California" (1976)

To discover more about the legacy of the Eagles, high-tail it to their website.

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