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.
Uploaded by michaelarnoldart.com.
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)
They started singing together in 1939, but the Grammy people didn't recognize them until 2002. Uploaded by pac.unlv.edu.
The Rolling Stones formed in the early sixties. That’s a career span coming up on 40 years, which is remarkable. But the Blind Boys of Alabama started singing in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega. And though only two of the original members are still living, they’re still touring, still performing.
Uploaded by 2.bp.blogspot.com.
For most of the group’s history, the Boys performed pure gospel music in the traditional black churches and gospel music venues. Then in 1983, they appeared in The Gospel of Colonus on Broadway, and their new audiences were thrilled. So were other well-known artists, who asked the Blind Boys to record with them. In fact, they’ve featured some of these sessions on their album Duets, in which they sing with Ben Harper, Timothy B. Schmidt, Bonnie Raitt, Jars of Clay, Lou Reed, and others.
They released their first album in 1948, the intriguingly titled I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine. They’ve released dozens of albums since, and the Grammy folks finally took notice a few years ago. The group received the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album every year between 2002 and 2005. And in 2009 they were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Though they’ve expanded their appeal, they haven’t abandoned their faith. Here’s one of their great performances. Head over to YouTube and catch some others. It’s still not too late to get on the bandwagon.
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.