The Eagles, a legendary rock band known for their timeless hits, were not immune to the occasional misstep. Despite their remarkable success and numerous chart-topping singles, some tracks in their discography fell short of the mark. In this exploration of the 10 Worst Eagles Songs, we delve into their final albums and highlight the tracks that didn’t quite hit the mark.
It’s no surprise that the list heavily features songs from The Long Run (1979), Hell Freezes Over (1994), and Long Road Out of Eden (2007). The Long Run, an album that marked the end of the band’s first era, presents three entries on this list alone. Meanwhile, Long Road Out of Eden, the Eagles’ ambitious comeback album, suffered from an excess of material, resulting in a sprawling two-disc release.
Don Henley candidly admitted in a 2007 interview with Herald Extra that while there may have been a couple of unnecessary additions on Long Road Out of Eden, discussing them in detail might have risked the band’s unity.
“I think there are only a couple of superfluous things on there,” Don Henley admitted
Regardless, the Eagles’ missteps do not diminish their well-deserved acclaim and their significant contributions to music as they dissected the demise of the ’60s dream. Let’s now take a closer look at the 10 Eagles Songs That Didn’t Really Soar With Fans.
“On the Border”
From the album On the Border, this track showcases the band’s transition from their rootsy sound to a more rock-oriented style. Unfortunately, the title track falls short in its attempt to toughen up. Its lyrics and musical arrangement lack the sharpness necessary to make a lasting impact.
“Frail Grasp of the Big Picture”
Found on the two-disc set Hell Freezes Over, “Frail Grasp of the Big Picture” incorporates elements from the band members’ ’80s-era solo careers, including the use of synthesizers. Don Henley’s lyrics, stemming from his solo album I Can’t Stand Still, mix with the sleek keyboards reminiscent of Building the Perfect Beast. The result is a dreary groove that fails to captivate.
“Chug All Night”
This lackluster track from the Eagles’ early days features a monotonous riff and a theme that fails to ignite interest. Glenn Frey’s vocals carry a drowsy tone as he sings, “And I’ve been meaning to tell you, baby, that it makes no sense.” It’s hard to argue with him on that point.
“The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks”
Appearing during a creatively and spiritually exhausting period, Don Henley’s “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” reflects his nostalgia for the college fraternity-party circuit in Austin. Unfortunately, the song lacks the attitude, wit, gumption, looseness, and humor associated with the ’60s frat-rock bands that inspired it.
“Get Over It”
Henley’s tendency toward a dour mood shines through in this humorless and painfully obvious track. Despite a scalding slide guitar solo from Joe Walsh, the song fails to find its footing. Still, after a 15-year hiatus from releasing new singles, “Get Over It” managed to crack the Top 40.
Originally never intended for the album, “Nightingale” was added due to label demands for another Don Henley vocal track. However, the band’s attempts to record a satisfying version of this Jackson Browne song proved unsuccessful. The rushed nature of its inclusion is evident, leaving “Nightingale” feeling like a hastily assembled afterthought.
A musical irritant with unfocused lyrics, “Teenage Jail” features a squiggly synthesizer solo by Glenn Frey. Ironically, it ended up as the B-side to his successful chart-topper “Heartache Tonight,” showcasing the contrasting elements within the Eagles’ repertoire. It’s surprising to think that J.D. Souther, the songwriter behind several signature Eagles hits, was involved in this lackluster throwaway.
“I Love to Watch a Woman Dance”
Originally bouncing around since the Eagles’ reunion in the ’90s, “I Love to Watch a Woman Dance” finally made its way onto their Hell Freezes Over album. However, Don Henley had already covered a song by the same writer, Larry John McNally, on his solo album. This track feels like a recycled version of its predecessor, lacking originality and failing to leave a lasting impression.
“The Disco Strangler”
Co-credited to Frey, Henley, and Don Felder, “The Disco Strangler” captures Henley’s typically dour and judgmental style, but with the addition of a disco-infused bass line. The song’s humorless and painfully obvious theme, combined with its repetitive musical riff, fails to engage listeners. It’s a forgettable entry in the Eagles’ catalog.
“I Wish You Peace”
In a departure from what might have been expected, Bernie Leadon, known for his rootsy history with bands like the Flying Burrito Brothers, co-wrote this slow-paced track with Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald Reagan. Henley, in his diplomatic manner, dismissed it as “smarmy cocktail music.” This lackluster farewell from Leadon with the Eagles did not do justice to his previous contributions to the band.