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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane: A History of the Eagles


"Hotel California," the Eagles' fifth, and most well known, album, was released 35 years ago today, December 8, 1976. This is a history of the band behind this album, the Eagles.

Spring 1971: Session musicians Glenn Frey(vocals, guitar) and Don Henley(vocals, drums) are employed by Linda Ronstadt as part of her backing band.
Summer 1971: Randy Meisner(vocals, bass guitar) and Bernie Leadon(vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro) join up with Frey and Henley as Ronstadt's backing group.
July, 1971: The original Eagles, with Linda Ronstadt, perform at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.
September, 1971: The Eagles, with Ronstadt's approval, split off and became their own band.
February, 1972: The Eagles go into Olympic Studios in London, England, to record their self-titled debut album.
June 17, 1972: "Eagles," featuring the songs "Take it Easy," "Witchy Woman," "Chug All Night," and "Peaceful Easy Feeling," is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard 200, and the singles "Take it Easy," "Witchy Woman," and "Peaceful Easy Feeling" peaked at #12, #9, and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.
Early 1973: The Eagles go into Island Studios in London, England, to record their second album, entitled "Desperado," a concept album based on Old West Outlaws.
April 17, 1973: "Desperado," featuring the songs "Doolin-Dalton," "Out of Control," "Tequila Sunrise," "Desperado," and "Outlaw Man," is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #41 on the Billboard 200, and the singles "Tequila Sunrise" and "Outlaw Man" peaked at #61 and #59 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. While never released as a single, the song "Desperado" would later become a big hit for the Eagles.
Late 1973: The Eagles go into Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, CA, to record their third album, entitled "On the Border."
March 22, 1974: "On the Border," featuring the songs "Already Gone," "On the Border," "James Dean," "Ol' 55,'' "Good Day in Hell,'' and ''Best of My Love,'' is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200, and the singles "Already Gone," "James Dean," and Best of My Love" peaked at #32, #77, and #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.
April 6, 1974: The Eagles perform alongside Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Earth Wind & Fire, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Rare Earth, and Seals & Crofts at the California Jam Festival in Ontario, CA. The festival attracted over 200,000 fans.
Late 1974-Early 1975: The Eagles go to record their fourth album, entitled "One of These Nights," at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, and Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, CA.
June 10, 1975: "One of These Nights," featuring the songs "One of These Nights," "Journey to the Sorcerer," "Lyin' Eyes," "Take it to the Limit," "After the Thrill is Gone," and "I Wish You Peace(co-written by Bernie Leadon's then-girlfriend Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan)," is released to much critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and the songs "One of These Nights," "Lyin' Eyes," and "Take it to the Limit'' peaked at #1, #2, and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. "After the Thrill is Gone" became a live staple. Shortly thereafter, Bernie Leadon, disillusioned with the path the Eagles' music was taking, left the Eagles. During his resignation speech, Leadon famously poured a beer over Glenn Frey's head. Leadon was replaced by James Gang and Barnstorm guitarist Joe Walsh, thus completing the Eagles' transition from Country-based music to Hard Rock.
February 17, 1976: The compilation album "Their Greatest Hits(1971-1975)" is released to critical and commercial success. The album is one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200.
March-October, 1976: The Eagles go to record their sixth album, entitled "Hotel California,"at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, and Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, CA.
October 20-22, 1976: The Eagles perform a string of shows at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA. Performances from these shows were featured on "Eagles Live."
December 8, 1976: "Hotel California," featuring the songs "Hotel California," "New Kid in Town," "Life in the Fast Lane," "Victim of Love," "Pretty Maids All in a Row," and "The Last Resort," is released to much critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and the singles "New Kid in Town," "Hotel California," and "Life in the Fast Lane" peaked at #1, #1, and #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. This is the last Eagles album to feature Randy Meisner on Bass Guitar.
September, 1977: Randy Meisner, citing exhaustion and family concerns, leaves the Eagles. He was replaced by Timothy Schmit, the same person who replaced him in Poco.
March, 1978-September, 1979: The Eagles go to record their seventh album, entitled "The Long Run," at Bayshore Recording Studios in Coconut Grove, FL, and One Step Up Recording Studio, Love 'n' Comfort Recording Studio, Britannia Recording Studio, and Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, CA.
November 27, 1978: The Eagles release "Please Come Home For Christmas/Funky New Year" as a holiday single. It peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and featured the first contribution from then-new member Timothy Schmit.
September 24, 1979: "The Long Run," featuring the songs "The Long Run," "I Can't Tell You Why," "In the City," "Heartache Tonight," "Those Shoes," "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks," and "The Sad Cafe," is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and the singles "Heartache Tonight," "The Long Run," and "I Can't Tell You Why" peaked at #1, #8, and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. This is their last release before their breakup.
July 27-29, 1980: The Eagles perform a string of shows at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, CA. Performances from these shows were featured on "Eagles Live."
July 31, 1980: The Eagles perform their final concert at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA. Tensions boil over, with Don Felder and Glenn Frey hurling insults at each other, resulting in the group's unofficially disbanding that evening. The performance of "Life in the Fast Lane" is featured on "Eagles Live."
November 7, 1980: "Eagles Live" is released to commercial success, but lukewarm reviews. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200, and its sole single, "Seven Bridges Road," peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album is considered one of the most heavily overdubbed in history.
November 13, 1982: The compilation album "Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2" is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #52 on the Billboard 200.
1985: The compilation album "The Best of the Eagles" is released. The album failed to chart in the US, but peaked at #26, #1, and #8 in Australia, New Zeland, and England, respectively.
1988: The compilation album "The Legend of Eagles" is released. The album failed to chart in the US, but peaked at #5 on the Dutch Top 40.
1994: The Eagles reunite and kick off a worldwide tour, entitled "Hell Freezes Over."
July 11, 1994: The compilation album "The Very Best of the Eagles" is released. The album failed to chart in the US, but peaked at #2, #3, #4, #4, #7, #9, #9, and #28 in/on Australia, New Zeland, England, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the Dutch Top 40, and Canada, respectively.
November 8, 1994: The part live, part studio album "Hell Freezes Over," named for the tour, is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and the studio singles "Get Over It," "Learn to Be Still," "The Girl From Yesterday," and "Love Will Keep us Alive" peaked at #31, #1, #58, and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary("Love Will Keep us Alive" and "Learn to Be Still"), and US Country charts, respectively.
1998: The Eagles are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
December 31, 1999: The Eagles perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. This marks the last time Don Felder appeared on-stage with the other Eagles.
November 14, 2000: The compilation box-set "Selected Works: 1972-1999" is released. The set peaked at #109 on the Billboard 200. This is the last Eagles release released during Don Felder's tenure with the Eagles. Felder became infuriated when he saw that the proceeds were not being divided equally between the 5 band members, and which were, to a larger extent, going to Frey and Henley.
2001: The Eagles start work on their fourteenth album, entitled "Long Road Out of Eden."
February 6, 2001: Don Felder is fired from the Eagles. Felder immediately sued for breach of contract.
July 15, 2003: The 9/11 themed single "Hole in the World" is released. The single peaked at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100.
October 21, 2003: The compilation album "The Very Best of Eagles" is released. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200.
March 15, 2005: The compilation box-set "Eagles" is released. The set contains their first 6 albums, the singles "Please Come Home For Christmas" and "Funky New Year," and "Eagles Live." The set failed to chart, and is very hard to find.
July 14, 2005: The Eagles' live DVD "Farewell 1 Tour-Live From Melbourne" is released. The DVD is certified 30X platinum in the US.
May 8, 2007: Don Felder's lawsuits against the Eagles and the Eagles' counter-suits are dismissed in the Los Angeles County Court.
October 30, 2007: "Long Road Out of Eden," featuring the songs "How Long," "No More Walks in the Wood," "No More Cloudy Days," "I Dreamed There Was No War," "Long Road Out of Eden," "Last Good Time in Town," "Center of the Universe," "It's Your World Now," "Busy Being Fabulous," "What Do I Do With My Heart?," and "I Don't Want To Hear Anymore," is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and the singles "How Long," "Busy Being Fabulous," "What Do I Do With My Heart?," and "I Don't Want to Hear Any More" peaked at #101 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12, #13, and #23 on the Adult Contemporary charts, respectively.
November 7, 2007: The Eagles perform "How Long" at the Country Music Association Awards.
2008: The Eagles receive a Grammy award for "How Long."
March 20, 2008: The Eagles kick off their tour promoting "Long Road Out of Eden" at the O2 Arena in London, England.
May 9, 2009: The Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" tour ends at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, marking the first time a major rock act performed at the stadium.
July 22, 2009: The Eagles perform in Lisbon, Portugal.
April 16, 2010: The Eagles open their tour with the Dixie Chicks at the Hollywood Bowl.
July 1, 2011: The Eagles perform as the headline act at the Hop Farm Festival in East Peckham, Kent, England.

I consider the Eagles one of the best bands in the business. This is my tribute to them:

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