During the vibrant 1970s music scene, the Eagles soared to unprecedented heights, setting themselves apart from the progressive and heavy rock trends of the era. Don Henley and Glenn Frey’s approach was to craft breezy music that offered an escape from life’s troubles. While their iconic album “Hotel California” remains a milestone, Frey holds a different view on the band’s finest work.
In the early days, the Eagles, guided by David Geffen at Asylum and superproducer Glyn Johns.
They achieved initial hits like “Take it Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” Despite this promising start, challenges lay ahead.
Frey praised the band’s conceptual sophomore album, “Desperado,” yet time was less kind to its reception. Initially met with underwhelming response, the album’s power only became apparent when artists like Linda Ronstadt covered its songs years later.
As the band evolved, the addition of Don Felder for “On the Border” infused new energy. Dubbed ‘Fingers’ for his versatile guitar skills, Felder seamlessly embraced the band’s musical demands. Their next phase brought them unprecedented success with “One of These Nights.”
Immersed in the allure of Hollywood
Half of the album delved into its darker aspects. From Randy Meisner’s cautionary note in “Too Many Hands” to the ominous title track, the band shed light on the less glamorous side of their profession.
Several songs shared the wisdom they had gathered from years in the industry, reflecting on women seeking evenings of entertainment in “Lyin’ Eyes” and the relentless grind of Tinseltown in “The Hollywood Waltz.” Frey believed that the band had found their true identity.
Reflecting on the album, Frey identified the title track as a pivotal moment in their career. He shared in “Life in the Fast Lane,” “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, it wouldn’t be ‘Hotel California’; it would be ‘One of These Nights’.”
However, while the album marked a highlight, it also marked a turning point. Amid creative differences, Bernie Leadon left the band, making way for Joe Walsh for “Hotel California.” Each Eagle had aspirations beyond their current success, and this transition marked the beginning of their exploration into new horizons.