The Eagles Become Reincarnated As Rock 'N Rollers

Feb 24, 2002
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Illustrates the musical changes wrought by Hotel California

Cons:Only ten songs

The Bottom Line: The Eagles changed musical direction with Hotel California and changes in personnel. This collection defines what they became after their California country-rock days.

If you examine the discography of any band that's been on the scene for a long time, you can usually point to a particular album that marked a change in direction or artistic style for the band. So it is with one of America's most enduring groups, The Eagles--with the release of the classic Hotel California in 1976, The Eagles reached a musical milestone in the truest sense of the word. The California country-rock style that was featured in their earlier music was no longer the focus of the group--they opted for a harder, edgier form of rock 'n roll that tended to address contemporary subjects.

Another reason for the change is a personnel shift--Joe Walsh joined the group for Hotel California, and both Randy Meisner and Don Felder would depart shortly thereafter, with Timothy B. Schmit taking over bass and vocal chores. The addition of these new members added to the change in artistic style that began with Hotel California.

Greatest Hits--Volume 2 is a collection of the best music of The Eagles after their transformation from California country-rock players to authentic rock 'n roll stars. Pehaps it's fitting that this collection is loaded with songs from Hotel California, watershed album that it was--four of the ten tracks are taken from this album, and all of the tracks are representative of the musical philosophy of the transmogrified band that The Eagles were to become.

Hotel California is one of the most haunting, surreal tunes that you'd ever want to hear, while Life In The Fast Lane addresses the lifestyle of the rich, famous and cocaine-addicted people in southern California. Heartache Tonight and Seven Bridges Road demonstrate that The Eagles didn't completely forget their roots, while The Sad Cafe and After The Thrill Is Gone are maudlin efforts that tug at the heartstrings.

The Eagles never rock harder than they do in the sensual Victim Of Love with its' nasty slide guitar, and The Long Run is the title song from one of their most popular albums after the personnel changes were completed. I Can't Tell You Why features beautiful vocals by Timothy B. Schmit, and New Kid In Town is a truly thrilling arrangement that displays the ensemble singing talents of these sublime musicians.

Anyone who is a fan of The Eagles probably has all these tunes in his or her collection. If you do buy this album, be sure to purchase the first volume also--by comparing the two, I think you'll see what I'm talking about when I say that the significance of the album Hotel California on the career of this band can't be de-emphasized.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this article.

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