Top Ten Songs by the Eagles

The Eagles
1. The Last Resort
2. Hotel California
3. New Kid In Town
4. Lyin’ Eyes
5. One Of These Nights
6. Wasted Time
7. Seven Bridges Road
8. Saturday Night
9. Take It To The Limit
10. Desperado

The Eagles are my favorite band I would have to say. Picking a greatest hits list for them is much like the Beatles hitsâÂ?¦which ones? . The Eagles have always made a big impression on me as songwriters and musicians. It’s interesting to see the interplay between Frey and Henley in particular. Glenn Frey is the conceptualist, while Don Henley is great commentator and moralist. Together, they wrote a body of work that almost single-handedly defined American music and culture in the 1970s. They’ve been praised and criticized for their music and point of view. Say what you will..the Eagles have a body of work that stands among the elite in popular music.

“The Last Resort” (Hotel California, 1976) is my favorite Eagles song by far. Not an obvious choice I’m sure on anyone’s list, this tune is a long one and obviously not a hit single for them. It is a grand and expansive tale of how the West was lost as Henley said some years later in Hell Freezes Over. The song is the logical coda to the metaphor of American culture in the 1970s, as industry and commerce were slowly robbing America of its own identity.

“Hotel California” (Hotel California, 1976). Everybody knows this one. Interesting song. The story line is that this is a metaphor for California in the 1970s. Musically this is a really well-crafted piece. There are at least 8 guitars going on in the song; each verse layers in another one. The music was largely written by Don Felder (not Joe Walsh as is usually reported). And the solo trade offs go Felder first, Walsh second. The solo is often quoted in guitar polls as one of the greatest guitar solos in classic rock history.

“New Kid In Town” ((Hotel California, 1976). This is another of the hits from this album. The tune is about losing a lover to the “new kid in town”. Some of theorized that this song metaphorically refers to Bruce Springsteen’s arrival on the scene in the 1970s. Springsteen’s explosion was a direct challenge to the Eagles supremacy; though this situation was never directly addressed by either of them. The tune features a lead vocal by Glenn Frey, the band’s signature vocal harmonies, and some very tasty guitar work from Don Felder.

“Lyin’ Eyes” (One Of These Nights, 1975). This tune is perhaps the pinnacle of the Eagles’ brand of country-rock synthesis. The groove is straight ahead pop/rock, but the instrumentation, lyrics, and vocal stylings are very country-influenced. This song is a 6-minute narrative about lost love and the drifting apart of relationships. The Eagles background vocals are in full sway here. One of the bands very biggest hits.

“One Of These Nights” (One Of These Nights, 1975). This title track of their 1975 album marks the debut of Don Felder as a full member of the band. His guitar lead adds a nice energetic dimension to this R&B-flavored song.

“Wasted Time” (Hotel California, 1976). This tune is a lovelorn ballad sung by Don Henley. The song is about a relationship break-up. Glenn Frey on the main piano part, Joe Walsh on organ, and Don Felder on the guitar.

“Seven Bridges Road” (Eagles Live 1980) – This song is not an Eagles original, but rather by songwriter Steve Young. The band would typically use it as a backstage warm-up. It appears on side 2 of Eagles Live. The song shows the full vocal capabilities of the band, as well as their bluegrass and country influences.

“Saturday Night” (Desperado, 1973). This tune, sang in a classic fireside style, talks about the innocence of youth and losing a first love. Again the vocals are sublime.

“Take It To The Limit” (One Of These Nights, 1975). This song features Randy Meisner on lead vocals, and is yet another great sing-along. Randy’s high voice is very distinctive and lend itself to this song which is about trying to live life fully and being willing to take chances.

“Desperado” (Desperado, 1973). This song has become a standard in pop music, from weddings to karaoke to “Seinfeld”. With Desperado (the song and the album), the band was trying to create something of a Western concept album: the outlaw as hero and sage (or in this case, songwriter) if you will. Featuring a classic lead vocal by Don Henley; this album is where the team of Frey and Henley began to assert creative direction and control over the band’s sound and writing.

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