Tag Archives: Don Henley

Singers: The Eagles

The Eagles have the second-best-selling album of all time -- Greatest Hits 1971-1974 -- and another, Hotel California, in the top 20. Uploaded by acesshowbiz.com.

Someone may point out an exception that hasn’t occurred to me, but to the best of my recollection, The Eagles have never recorded a bad song. This group that began as a backup band for Linda Ronstadt is one of the most talented and most successful of the rock era.

Certainly, the music-buying public has given its hearty approval. The Eagles have had five number one singles and six number one albums. Two of their albums (Their Greatest Hits [1971-1975] and Hotel California) are among the twenty best-selling of all time. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) ranks as the number two album of all-time, behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

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The Eagles found a perfect country-rock sound in their earliest music, with songs like “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Take It Easy.” The band at that time consisted of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. Don Felder joined the band for the On the Border album in 1974. That coincided with the group’s trending toward rock and away from country, which caused a disillusioned Leadon to quit. Joe Walsh, formerly of The James Gang, took his place.

The Eagles have had more than their share of infighting during their history. The band broke up for 14 years, but reunited for the “Hell Freezes Over” tour in 1994. Today’s Eagles are Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmidt.

The Eagles hits that made the top twenty (with their highest position on the Billboard chart) are:
“Take It Easy” (12) • “Witchy Woman” (9) • “Best of My Love” (1) • “One of These Nights” (1) • “Lyin’ Eyes” (2) • “Take It to the Limit” (4) • “New Kid in Town” (1) • “Hotel California” (1) • “Life in the Fast Lane” (11) • “Please Come Home for Christmas” (18) • “Heartache Tonight” (1) • “The Long Run” (8) • “I Can’t Tell You Why” (8)

Song: “Desperado”

Though it's one of the Eagles' most popular songs, it was never released as a single. Uploaded by bvhorse.site.aplus.net.

There’s a Web site devoted to love song lyrics, and “Desperado” is featured there. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work. Sure, it’s nominally about a cowboy who won’t allow himself to be vulnerable, but I don’t see any way to stretch things and call this a love song.

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“Desperado” the song was on Desperado the album, released in 1973. It had a western theme, with numbers like “Outlaw Man” and “Doolin-Dalton”. And while it’s easily one of the Eagles’ most popular songs, I was surprised to learn it was never released as a single. Even so, Rolling Stone considered it one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

I’m also surprised more people haven’t heard “Desperado” in a spiritual context. “Come down from your fences – open the gate,” alludes to opening your heart, being open to God, who is “the rainbow above you”. And the call for a decision is, “You’d better let somebody love you – before it’s too late.” Probably not at all what Henley and Frey were thinking, but…that’s what it’s always brought to my mind.