The Eagles seemed to be everywhere on the 70’s. Radio just loved them, you couldn’t go an hour without another of their catchy yet strangely bland tunes coming on. For me there was never a more apt description of their music than their early single ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’.
The soft country sound was big in the 70’s whether it was the likes of the Bellamy Brothers requesting access to your beautiful body or the Dutch group Pussy Cat inexplicably singing about Mississippi. By 1975 we were leaving the three day week and power cuts behind us. For some reason all my early 70’s memories seem to involve the dank dark winters. However I cant think of the Eagles without remembering the long summer holidays, the sun turning our front lawn brown while I sweltered indoors bored out of my mind and cursing yet another track on the radio by the bloody Eagles.
I’m sure it was all to do with my age but my life felt like a boil about to burst I wanted revolution I just wasn’t interested in the New Kid In Town.
And finally there was Hotel California which I was Ok with for the same reason that I’m OK with Stairway To Heaven. Its kind of reassuring in its unfettered rockiness, ok it had that terrible LA rock reggae thing but it also had the line about checking out but never leaving and the sort of guitar lines desperate to be recreated in the comfort of the amateur player’s bedroom.
The Eagles had managed to encapsulate the essence of LA to us pasty Brits. It wasn’t pleasant this was no Crosby, Stills and Nash hippie thing. Glen Frey managed his metamorphosis from droopy eyed dreamer to porn star in a suit frighteningly easily. In the hands of the band (none of them from California) LA was a paranoid, coked up smog hole.
Naturally its logical conclusion was fear and loathing the band became the Glen and Don show, a corporate entity destined to wring the last buck out of the product.
Well I didn’t like the Eagles, in fact no guys I knew liked the Eagles but when it came to women that was a different story, inexplicably the next stop after David Cassidy and the Rollers seemed to be these guys, don’t ask me why.
I’m sure it was a different story in Boise or Philadelphia and with this in mind I’ve included a link to a fellow blogger who’s more considered and charitable post made me actually want to listen to the band again.
And as Mr Bourbon and Vinyl points out their singing was immaculate. There’s a scene at the beginning of a documentary about the band where they suddenly launch into an accapela five part harmony piece that made my jaw drop, it was that amazing.
So here they are doing the same thing in a clip I’m rather fond of. This is them after incubating their California scene in London in 1973. I love it because this is a fine song (not by the band ha ha ) its got a great bit of singing at the beginning and Bernie Leadon demonstrates why he would have to leave the band by enjoying himself with a guitar solo that goes off piste. Frey of course is having none of it and goes back into the song before it becomes too avant garde.
That’s why I couldn’t get on with the Eagles I suppose
Don’t forget to check out the link below for a kinder and more balanced account.