The Eagles

The Eagles are an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s. With five Number 1 singles and six Number 1 albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful recording artists of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 and Hotel California, ranked among the ten best-selling albums according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The best-selling studio album Hotel California is rated as the 37th album in the Rolling Stone list “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time“, and the band was ranked number 75 on Rolling Stone‘s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[1] They are also the best-selling American group ever, with Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 being the best-selling album in the U.S. to date.

The Eagles broke up in 1980, but reunited in 1994 for Hell Freezes Over, a mix of live and new studio tracks. They have toured intermittently since then, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

In 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their first full studio album in 28 years.

The band formed in 1971 when Linda Ronstadt‘s then-manager, John Boylan, recruited Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner from their session musician jobs for Linda Ronstadt. They were short a drummer until Frey telephoned Don Henley, whom he had met at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles. After auditioning for Ronstadt, she approved and the band backed her up on a two month tour and provided the opportunity for their first album recording, on her 1970 album Silk Purse. After their tenure with Ronstadt and with her encouragement, they then decided to form their own band, signing in 1970 to Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts also initially managed the band. The new group chose the name the Eagles as a nod to The Byrds (Leadon had been in Dillard & Clark with former Byrds singer Gene Clark and in The Flying Burrito Brothers with former Byrds Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke).

After the breakup of the Eagles, each ex-member tried his hand in a solo career. Joe Walsh had already established himself as a solo artist in the 1970s before and during his time with the Eagles, but it was uncharted waters for the others.

Walsh tried continuing his solo career, which included the hits, 1973’s “Rocky Mountain Way” and 1978’s “Life’s Been Good“, but found hits hard to come by after the breakup. 1981’s album, There Goes the Neighborhood was considerably successful, but successive albums throughout the 1980s, such as Got Any Gum? proved to be mediocre. During this time he also performed as a session musician for Dan Fogelberg, Steve Winwood and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, among others, and produced and co-wrote Ringo Starr‘s “Old Wave” album.

Don Henley turned out to have the greatest solo success of the five during this period. In 1982, he released the well-received I Can’t Stand Still, featuring the hit “Dirty Laundry.” The first album paled in comparison, though, to his next release, 1984’s smash, Building the Perfect Beast. Off of this album came the Billboard No. 5 hit and classic rock radio staple, “Boys of Summer.” It also yielded the No. 9 hit “All She Wants to Do Is Dance“, “Not Enough Love In The World” (#34) and “Sunset Grill” (#22). He would not release another album for five years until 1989’s The End of the Innocence. This album was also a major success and included the hits “The End of the Innocence,” “The Last Worthless Evening” and “The Heart of the Matter“. His solo career was cut short however because of a contract dispute with his record company which was not resolved until the Eagles reunited in 1994.

Glenn Frey also found solo success in the 1980s. In 1982, he released his first album, No Fun Aloud, which spawned the No. 15 hit, “The One You Love.” He followed this album with 1984’s The Allnighter, which featured the No. 20 hit “Sexy Girl.” He reached No. 2 on the charts with “The Heat Is On” from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. He had another No. 2 single in 1985 with “You Belong to the City” from the Miami Vice soundtrack, which featured another Frey song, “Smuggler’s Blues.” He also contributed the songs “Flip City” to the Ghostbusters II soundtrack and “Part of Me, Part of You” to the soundtrack for Thelma and Louise.

In 1982, former music writer turned filmmaker, Cameron Crowe, saw his first screenplay turn into a feature length movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Crowe was a fan and had written about the Eagles in one of his articles, and as a result, Henley, Walsh, Schmit, and Felder all contributed solo songs to the film’s soundtrack. In addition, the band playing the dance toward the end of the movie covers Life in the Fast Lane.




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