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Pop - Released April 3, 2006 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Rock - Released November 24, 2017 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Released in 1976, this fifth album from the Eagles would remain their greatest success. Opened by the eponymous hit single, Hotel California marked a turning point in the career of the American group. Bernie Leadon, the most country-orientated band member, jumped ship and Joe Walsh came on board. For his part, Don Henley also seemed to take more control the business. The result was a much more mainstream record than the album’s predecessors with truly enveloping sounds at the peak of their tracks. Everything is XXL here! The production, the solos, the melodies… everything! A masterpiece of classic rock, this is above all a work that crosses decades and makes the crowds go wild. Glenn Frey, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner and Don Henley would never again find again such impressive complicity and efficiency… Published in November 2017, this 40th anniversary edition offers an original remastered album as well as an energetic Californian live session recorded at The Forum in Inglewood, October 1976. © CM/Qobuz
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Pop - Released April 30, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Pop - Released June 18, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Rock - Released January 1, 1994 | Geffen*

The Eagles' first newly recorded album in 14 years gets off to a good start with the rocker "Get Over It," a timely piece of advice about accepting responsibility, followed by the tender ballad "Love Will Keep Us Alive," the country-styled "The Girl from Yesterday," and "Learn to Be Still," one of Don Henley's more thoughtful statements. Unfortunately, that's the extent of the album's new material. Essentially, Hell Freezes Over contains an EP's worth of new material followed by a live album. The Eagles, known for meticulously re-creating their studio recordings in concert, nevertheless released an earlier concert recording, Eagles Live, in 1980. Six songs from that set reappear here, and only one is in a noticeably different arrangement, with "Hotel California" receiving the acoustic treatment. As was true on Eagles Live, the group remains most interested in their later material, redoing five songs from the Hotel California LP and two from its follow-up, The Long Run, but finding space for only three songs from their early days: "Tequila Sunrise," "Take It Easy," and "Desperado," the last two of which were also on Eagles Live. As such, Hell Freezes Over is hard to justify as anything other than a souvenir for the Eagles' reunion tour. That, however, did not keep it from topping the charts and selling in the millions. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released April 3, 2006 | Rhino - Elektra

The Eagles took 18 months between their fourth and fifth albums, reportedly spending eight months in the studio recording Hotel California. The album was also their first to be made without Bernie Leadon, who had given the band much of its country flavor, and with rock guitarist Joe Walsh. As a result, the album marks a major leap for the Eagles from their earlier work, as well as a stylistic shift toward mainstream rock. An even more important aspect, however, is the emergence of Don Henley as the band's dominant voice, both as a singer and a lyricist. On the six songs to which he contributes, Henley sketches a thematic statement that begins by using California as a metaphor for a dark, surreal world of dissipation; comments on the ephemeral nature of success and the attraction of excess; branches out into romantic disappointment; and finally sketches a broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism. Of course, the lyrics kick in some time after one has appreciated the album's music, which marks a peak in the Eagles' playing. Early on, the group couldn't rock convincingly, but the rhythm section of Henley and Meisner has finally solidified, and the electric guitar work of Don Felder and Joe Walsh has arena-rock heft. In the early part of their career, the Eagles never seemed to get a sound big enough for their ambitions; after changes in producer and personnel, as well as a noticeable growth in creativity, Hotel California unveiled what seemed almost like a whole new band. It was a band that could be bombastic, but also one that made music worthy of the later tag of "classic rock," music appropriate for the arenas and stadiums the band was playing. The result was the Eagles' biggest-selling regular album release, and one of the most successful rock albums ever. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released October 7, 2016 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

If Don Henley was the sole member of the Eagles underrepresented on their debut album, Eagles, with only two lead vocals and one co-songwriting credit, he made up for it on their follow-up, the "concept" album Desperado. The concept had to do with Old West outlaws, but it had no specific narrative. On Eagles, the group had already begun to marry itself to a Southwest sound and lyrical references, from the Indian-style introduction of "Witchy Woman" to the Winslow, AZ, address in "Take It Easy." All of this became more overt on Desperado, and it may be that Henley, who hailed from Northeast Texas, had the greatest affinity for the subject matter. In any case, he had co-writing credits on eight of the 11 selections and sang such key tracks as "Doolin-Dalton" and the title song. What would become recognizable as Henley's lyrical touch was apparent on those songs, which bore a serious, world-weary tone. Henley had begun co-writing with Glenn Frey, and they contributed the album's strongest material, which included the first single, "Tequila Sunrise," and "Desperado" (strangely never released as a single). But where Eagles seemed deliberately to balance the band's many musical styles and the talents of the band's members, Desperado, despite its overarching theme, often seemed a collection of disparate tracks -- "Out of Control" was a raucous rocker, while "Desperado" was a painfully slow ballad backed by strings -- with other bandmembers' contributions tacked on rather than integrated. Randy Meisner was down to two co-writing credits and one lead vocal ("Certain Kind of Fool"), while Bernie Leadon's two songs, "Twenty-One" and "Bitter Creek," seemed to come from a different record entirely. The result was an album that was simultaneously more ambitious and serious-minded than its predecessor and also slighter and less consistent. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Group International

Just because it took them 13 years to deliver a studio sequel to their 1994 live album Hell Freezes Over, don't say it took the Eagles a long time to cash in on their reunion. They started cashing in almost immediately, driving up ticket prices into the stratosphere as they played gigs on a semi-regular basis well into the new millennium. So, why did it take them so long to record a new studio album? It could be down to the band's notoriously testy relations -- Don Felder did leave and sue the band in the interim, settling out of court in 2007 -- it could be that they were running out some contractual clause somewhere, it could be that they were waiting for the money to be right, or the music to be right. It doesn't really matter: there was no pressing need for a new album. Fans were satisfied by the oldies, and the band kept raking in the dough, so they could take their time making a new album. And did they ever take their time -- the 13-year gap between Hell Freezes Over and Long Road Out of Eden, their first album since 1979's The Long Run, was nearly as long as that between their 1980 breakup and 1994 reunion. Far from indulging in a saturation campaign for this long-awaited record, the Eagles released the double-disc Long Road Out of Eden with surgical precision, indulging in few interviews and bypassing conventional retail outlets in favor of an exclusive release with Wal-Mart, which is not only the biggest retailer in America but also where a good chunk of the band's contemporary audience -- equal parts aging classic rockers and country listeners -- shops. (The album was also available on the group's official website, eaglesband.com via musictoday.com.) It was a savvy move to release Long Road Out of Eden as a Wal-Mart exclusive, but the album is savvier still, crafted to evoke the spirit and feel of the Eagles' biggest hits. Nearly every one of their classic rock radio staples has a doppelgänger here, as the J.D. Souther-written "How Long" recalls "Take It Easy," the stiff funk of "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture" echoes back to the clenched riffs of "Life in the Fast Lane," and while perhaps these aren't exact replicas, there's no denying it's possible to hear echoes of everything from "Lyin' Eyes" and "Desperado" to "Life in the Fast Lane," and Timothy B. Schmit turns Paul Carrack's "I Don't Want to Hear Anymore" into a soft rock gem to stand alongside his own "I Can't Tell You Why." It's all calculated, all designed to hearken back to their past and keep the customer satisfied, but yet it often manages to avoid sounding crass, as the songs are usually strong and the sound is right, capturing the group's peaceful, easy harmonies and Joe Walsh's guitar growl in equal measure. The Eagles burrow so deeply into their classic sound that they sound utterly disconnected from modern times, no matter how hard Don Henley strives to say something, anything about the wretched state of the world on "Long Road Out of Eden," "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture," and "Business as Usual." These tunes are riddled with 21st century imagery, but sonically they play as companions to Henley's brooding end-of-the-'80s hit The End of the Innocence, both in their heavy-handed sobriety and deliberate pace and their big-budget production. That trio fits neatly into the second disc of Long Road Out of Eden, which generally feels stuck in the late '80s, as Walsh spends seven minutes grooving on "Last Good Time in Town" as if he were a Southwestern Jimmy Buffett with a worldbeat penchant, Glenn Frey sings Jack Tempchin and John Brannen's "Somebody" as if it were a sedated, cheerful "Smuggler's Blues," and the whole thing feels polished with outdated synthesizers. None of this is necessarily bad, however, as it's all executed well and the doggedly out-of-fashion sonics only make the songs more reminiscent of the Eagles' older records, especially if their solo work from the '80s is part of the equation. If that second disc does seem a bit like the Eagles' lost album from the Reagan years, the first disc recalls their mellow country-rock records of the '70s -- that is, if Joe Walsh had been around to sing Frankie Miller's blues-rocker "Guilty of the Crime" to balance out Henley and Frey's "Busy Being Fabulous" and "What Do I Do with My Heart," a counterpoint that serves the band well. That first disc is the stronger of the two, but the two discs do fit together well, as they wind up touching upon all of the band's different eras, from the early days to their solo hits. It's designed to please those fans who have been happy to hear the same songs over and over again, whether it's on the radio or in those pricey concerts -- listeners who want new songs that feel old, but not stale. That's precisely what Long Road Out of Eden provides, as it's an album meticulously crafted to fit within the band's legacy without tarnishing it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released June 25, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released June 25, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

Balance is the key element of the Eagles' self-titled debut album, a collection that contains elements of rock & roll, folk, and country, overlaid by vocal harmonies alternately suggestive of doo wop, the Beach Boys, and the Everly Brothers. If the group kicks up its heels on rockers like "Chug All Night," "Nightingale," and "Tryin'," it is equally convincing on ballads like "Most of Us Are Sad" and "Train Leaves Here This Morning." The album is also balanced among its members, who trade off on lead vocal chores and divide the songwriting such that Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner all get three writing or co-writing credits. (Fourth member Don Henley, with only one co-writing credit and two lead vocals, falls a little behind, while Jackson Browne, Gene Clark, and Jack Tempchin also figure in the writing credits.) The album's overall balance is worth keeping in mind because it produced three Top 40 hit singles (all of which turned up on the massively popular Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975) that do not reflect that balance. "Take It Easy" and "Peaceful Easy Feeling" are similar-sounding mid-tempo folk-rock tunes sung by Frey that express the same sort of laid-back philosophy, as indicated by the word "easy" in both titles, while "Witchy Woman," a Henley vocal and co-composition, initiates the band's career-long examination of supernaturally evil females. These are the songs one remembers from Eagles, and they look forward to the eventual dominance of the band by Frey and Henley. But the complete album from which they come belongs as much to Leadon's country-steeped playing and singing and to Meisner's melodic rock & roll feel, which, on the release date, made it seem a more varied and consistent effort than it did later, when the singles had become overly familiar. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Rock - Released November 7, 1980 | Elektra Records

Although Eagles Live includes four tracks recorded in the fall of 1976 (thus allowing for the inclusion of departed singer Randy Meisner on "Take It to the Limit"), the bulk of the album comes from the end of the Eagles' 1980 tour, just before they broke up, and it reflects their late concert repertoire, largely drawn from Hotel California and The Long Run. The occasional early song such as "Desperado" and "Take It Easy" turn up, but many of the major hits from the middle of the band's career -- "The Best of My Love," "One of These Nights," "Lyin' Eyes" -- are missing, replaced by such curiosities as two extended selections from Joe Walsh's solo career, "Life's Been Good" and "All Night Long." At least Walsh introduces some live variations to his material; the rest of the Eagles seem determined to re-create the studio versions of their songs in concert, which may work for them live but almost makes a live recording superfluous. The previously unrecorded rendition of Steve Young's "Seven Bridges Road" is welcome, and the album would have benefited from more surprises as well as a livelier approach to a live recording. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

The Eagles recorded their albums relatively quickly in their first years of existence, their LPs succeeding each other by less than a year. One of These Nights, their fourth album, was released in June 1975, more than 14 months after its predecessor. Anticipation had been heightened by the belated chart-topping success of the third album's "The Best of My Love"; taking a little more time, the band generated more original material, and that material was more polished. More than ever, the Eagles seemed to be a vehicle for Don Henley (six co-writing credits) and Glenn Frey (five), but at the same time, Randy Meisner was more audible than ever, his two lead vocals including one of the album's three hit singles, "Take It to the Limit," and Bernie Leadon had two showcases, among them the cosmic-cowboy instrumental "Journey of the Sorcerer" (later used as the theme music for the British television series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Nevertheless, it was the team of Henley and Frey that stood out, starting with the title track, a number one single, which had more of an R&B -- even a disco -- sound than anything the band had attempted previously, and continuing through the ersatz Western swing of "Hollywood Waltz" to "Lyin' Eyes," one of Frey's patented folk-rock shuffles, which became another major hit. One of These Nights was the culmination of the blend of rock, country, and folk styles the Eagles had been making since their start; there wasn't much that was new, just the same sorts of things done better than they had been before. In particular, a lyrical stance -- knowing and disillusioned, but desperately hopeful -- had evolved, and the musical arrangements were tighter and more purposeful. The result was the Eagles' best-realized and most popular album so far. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released December 13, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

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