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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

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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 November 2, 2018 | 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

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 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

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 November 5, 2018 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released December 13, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

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Rock - Released November 24, 2017 | Rhino - Elektra

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 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

The Eagles began recording their third album in England with producer Glyn Johns, as they had their first two albums, but abandoned the sessions after completing two acceptable tracks. Johns, it is said, tended to emphasize the group's country elements and its harmonies, while the band, in particular Glenn Frey and Don Henley, wanted to take more of a hard rock direction. They reconvened with a new producer, Bill Szymczyk, who had produced artists like B.B. King and, more significantly, Joe Walsh. But the resulting album is not an outright rock effort by any means. Certainly, Frey and Henley got what they wanted with "Already Gone," the lead-off track, which introduces new bandmember Don Felder as one part of the twin guitar solo that recalls the Allman Brothers Band; "James Dean," a rock & roll song on the order of "Your Mama Don't Dance," and "Good Day in Hell," which is strongly reminiscent of Joe Walsh songs like "Rocky Mountain Way." But the album also features the usual mixture of styles typical of an Eagles album. For example, "Midnight Flyer," sung by Randy Meisner, is modern bluegrass; "My Man" is Bernie Leadon's country-rock tribute to the recently deceased Gram Parsons; and "Ol' 55" is one of the group's well-done covers of a tune by a singer/songwriter labelmate, in this case Tom Waits. The title track, meanwhile, points the band in a new R&B direction that was later pursued more fully. Like most successful groups, the Eagles combined many different elements, and their third album, which looked back to their earlier work and anticipated their later work, was a transitional effort that combined even more styles than most of their records did. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released March 31, 2018 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released April 26, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

On their first four albums, the Eagles were at pains to demonstrate that they were a group of at least near-equals, each getting a share of the songwriting credits and lead vocals. But this compilation drawn from those albums, comprising the group's nine Top 40 hits plus "Desperado," demonstrates that this evenhandedness did not extend to singles -- as far as those go, the Eagles belong to Glenn Frey and Don Henley. The tunes are melodic, and the arrangements -- full of strummed acoustic guitars over a rock rhythm section often playing a shuffle beat, topped by tenor-dominated harmonies -- are immediately engaging. There is also a lyrical consistency to the songs, which often concern romantic uncertainties in an atmosphere soaked in intoxicants. The narrators of the songs usually seem exhausted, if not satiated, and the loping rhythms are appropriate to these impressions. All of which means that, unlike the albums from which they come, these songs make up a collection consistent in mood and identity, which may help explain why Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) works so much better than the band's previous discs and practically makes them redundant. No wonder it was such a big hit out of the box, topping the charts and becoming the first album ever certified platinum. Still, there must be more to it, since the album wasn't just a big hit, but one of the biggest ever, becoming one of the very few discs to cross the threshold of 20 million copies and competing for the title of best-selling album of all time. There may be no explaining that, really, except to note that this was the pervasive music of the first half of the 1970s, and somehow it never went away. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released June 25, 2013 | Rhino - Elektra

Three years in the making (which was considered an eternity in the '70s), the Eagles' follow-up to the massively successful, critically acclaimed Hotel California was a major disappointment, even though it sold several million copies and threw off three hit singles. Those singles, in fact, provide some insight into the record. "Heartache Tonight" was an old-fashioned rock & roll song sung by Glenn Frey, while "I Can't Tell You Why" was a delicate ballad by Timothy B. Schmit, the band's newest member. Only "The Long Run," a conventional pop/rock tune with a Stax Records R&B flavor, bore the stamp and vocal signature of Don Henley, who had largely taken the reins of the band on Hotel California. Henley also dominated The Long Run, getting co-writing credits on nine of the ten songs, singing five lead vocals, and sharing another two with Frey. This time around, however, Henley's contributions were for the most part painfully slight. Only "The Long Run" and the regret-filled closing song, "The Sad Café," showed any of his usual craftsmanship. The album was dominated by second-rank songs like "The Disco Strangler," "King of Hollywood," and "Teenage Jail" that sounded like they couldn't have taken three hours much less three years to come up with. (Joe Walsh's "In the City" was up to his usual standard, but it may not even have been an Eagles recording, having appeared months earlier on the soundtrack to The Warriors, where it was credited as a Walsh solo track.) Amazingly, The Long Run reportedly was planned as a double album before being truncated to a single disc. If these were the keepers, what could the rejects have sounded like? ~ William Ruhlmann

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