The Eagles

Eagles (often erroneously referred to as “The Eagles”) is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. The group chose the name Eagles as a nod to The Byrds. Comedian Steve Martin records in his autobiography, Born Standing Up, that Frey was very particular that the name was Eagles and not The Eagles. The band played initially as Linda Ronstadt’s backing group.

The seeds for the band were planted when Linda Ronstadt and then-manager John Boylan recruited session musicians Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner to back Ronstadt. They were missing a drummer until Frey telephoned Don Henley, whom he had met at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles. The group auditioned for Ronstadt; she approved, and the band backed her on a two-month tour and on her eponymous 1972 album.

After their tenure with Ronstadt and with her encouragement, they decided to form their own band, signing with Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts also initially managed the band.

The group’s eponymous debut album was quickly recorded and released in June 1972.

The first single and lead track, “Take It Easy” is released. The song reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and propelled the Eagles to stardom.

The single was followed by the bluesy “Witchy Woman” US #9

1973

Their second album, Desperado, is released.

It was during the recording sessions that Don Henley and Glenn Frey began writing with each other, co-writing 8 of the album’s 11 songs

The album was less successful than the first, reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop album charts,

“Tequila Sunrise,” which reached #61 on the Billboard charts,

“Outlaw Man,” which peaked at #59.

1974

Bill Szymczyk produced most of the upcoming album. Szymczyk brought in Don Felder to add slide guitar to a song called “Good Day in Hell,” and the band was so impressed that two days later they invited Felder to become the fifth Eagle

1975

“Best of My Love,” which hit the top of the charts on March 1, 1975, becoming the Eagles’ first of five chart toppers.

Their next album, One of These Nights is released,

the album’s title track and the Grammy Award winning “Lyin’ Eyes.”

“One of These Nights” hit #1 on the Billboard chart on August 2, 1975.

The album also contains the futuristic sounding instrumental “Journey of the Sorcerer,” which is known to many as the theme to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Between the release of One of These Nights and the supporting tour, Bernie Leadon left the group, disillusioned with the direction the band’s music was taking

Leadon left the band in December 1975, famously announcing his resignation by pouring a beer over Frey’s head.

In order to continue with their tour schedule, the group quickly replaced Leadon with Joe Walsh,

1976

Meanwhile, in early 1976, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) was released. It went on to become the best-selling album in U.S. history, selling over 29 million copies in the United States and 42 million copies worldwide to date

The group’s next album, Hotel California, came out in December 1976.

1977

“New Kid in Town” was a #1 hit in Billboard on February 26, 1977,

and the title track, “Hotel California” on May 7, 1977

“Life in the Fast Lane” was also a major success,

The ballad “Wasted Time” closed the first side of the album, while an instrumental reprise of it opened the second side. The album concluded with “The Last Resort,” the song Frey, to this day, refers to as Don Henley’s greatest work

Hotel California has appeared on several lists of the best albums of all time. It is also their best-selling studio album, with over 16 million copies sold to date in the U.S.

After the tour, Randy Meisner left the band and moved back to his native Nebraska, where he began a solo career. The band replaced Meisner with the same musician who had succeeded him in Poco, Timothy B. Schmit.

In 1977, the group, minus Don Felder, performed some instrumental work and backing vocals for Randy Newman’s album Little Criminals, including the controversial surprise hit “Short People” which has backing vocals by Frey and Schmit.

In 1977, the Eagles went into a recording studio to produce their next studio album, The Long Run. The album took 2 years to make

1979

The album The Long Run is released

yielded the group’s fifth and last #1 single in Billboard, “Heartache Tonight” (November 10, 1979)

1980

The Eagles broke up in 1980

The Eagles also contributed to Boz Scaggs’ hit single Look What You’ve Done to Me, the love theme from the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, and featured on its soundtrack.

On July 31, 1980, in Long Beach, California, tempers boiled over into what has been described as “Long Night at Wrong Beach.”[9] Frey and Felder spent the entire show describing to each other the beating each planned to administer backstage. “Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal,” Frey recalls Felder telling him near the end of the band’s set. Felder recalls Frey making a similar threat to him during “The Best Of My Love.”

It appeared to be the end of the Eagles, although the band still owed Warner Bros. a live record from the tour. Eagles Live (released in November 1980) was mixed by Frey and Henley on opposite coasts; the two decided they couldn’t bear to be in the same state, let alone the same studio

The seeds for the band were planted when Linda Ronstadt and then-manager John Boylan recruited session musicians Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner to back Ronstadt. They were missing a drummer until Frey telephoned Don Henley, whom he had met at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles. The group auditioned for Ronstadt; she approved, and the band backed her on a two-month tour and on her eponymous 1972 album.

After their tenure with Ronstadt and with her encouragement, they decided to form their own band, signing with Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts also initially managed the band.

The group’s eponymous debut album was quickly recorded and released in June 1972.

The first single and lead track, “Take It Easy” is released. The song reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and propelled the Eagles to stardom.

The single was followed by the bluesy “Witchy Woman” US #9

1981 – 1993

After the breakup of the Eagles, each ex-member tried his hand in a solo career. Joe Walsh had already established himself as a solo artist in the 1970s before and during his time with the Eagles, but it was uncharted waters for the others.

Don Henley turned out to have the greatest solo success of the five core Eagles. His solo career was cut short due to a contract dispute with his record company, finally resolved when the Eagles reunited in 1994.

Glenn Frey also found solo success in the 1980s

In 1982, former music writer turned filmmaker, Cameron Crowe, saw his first screenplay turn into a feature length movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Crowe was a fan and had written about the Eagles in one of his articles, and as a result, Henley, Walsh, Schmit, and Felder all contributed solo songs to the film’s soundtrack. In addition, the band playing the dance toward the end of the movie covers Life in the Fast Lane.

Don Felder also released a solo album

Timothy B. Schmit had a Top 40 hit in 1987 with “Boys’ Night Out”.

Randy Meisner had a #14 hit with the song “Hearts on Fire” in 1981.

Fourteen years after the breakup, an Eagles country tribute album titled Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles was released in 1993. Travis Tritt insisted on having the Long Run-era Eagles in his video for “Take It Easy” and they agreed

1994

reunited in 1994 for Hell Freezes Over, a mix of live and new studio tracks

After the “Take It Easy” video was completed the following year, and following years of public speculation, the band finally formally reunited. The lineup comprised the five Long Run-era members (Frey, Henley, Walsh, Felder and Schmit) and additional musicians

“For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation,” announced Frey at their first live performance in April 1994. The ensuing tour spawned a live album titled Hell Freezes Over (named for Henley’s recurring statement that the group would get back together “when hell freezes over”) which debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart,

“Get Over It” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive” both becoming Top 40 hits.

The album itself proved as successful as the reunion tour, selling 6 million copies in the U.S. While the tour was briefly interrupted in September 1994 due to Frey’s serious recurrence of diverticulitis, it resumed in 1995 and continued into ’96.

1998

were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998

In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During the induction ceremony, Frey, Henley, Felder, Walsh and Schmit performed together, and former members Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner rejoined the band for the performance, where the band played “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California.”

Several subsequent reunion tours followed notable for their record-setting ticket prices

1999

The Eagles performed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 31, 1999. This concert marked the last time Don Felder played with the band

2000

The concert was released on CD as part of the four-disc Selected Works: 1972-1999 box set in November 2000.

Along with the millennium concert, this set included the band’s hit singles, album tracks, as well as outtakes from The Long Run sessions. Selected Works sold approximately 267,000 copies at about $60 a unit

2001

The group resumed touring once more in 2001 with a line up consisting of Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit along with other musicians

On February 6, 2001, Don Felder was fired from the Eagles. Felder responded by filing two lawsuits against “Eagles, Ltd., a California corporation; Don Henley, an individual; Glenn Frey, an individual; and “Does 1-50”, alleging wrongful termination, breach of implied-in-fact contract, and breach of fiduciary duty, reportedly seeking $50 million in damages

It was also reported that Don Felder usually did not agree with the rest of the band concerning touring or recording schedules. The rest of the band members wanted the freedom to tour or record as they wanted on their own terms.

2002

On January 23, 2002, the Los Angeles County Court consolidated the two complaints, and the single case was dismissed on May 8, 2007 after being settled out-of-court for an undisclosed amount.

2003

Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” ranked Eagles at number 374

In 2003, the Eagles released a new greatest hits album The Very Best of the Eagles. The two-disc compilation was the first that encompassed their entire career. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts and eventually gained triple platinum status.

Also in 2003, Warren Zevon, a longtime Eagles friend, began work on his final album, The Wind, with the assistance of Henley, Walsh, and Schmit.

2004

the band was ranked #75 on the magazine’s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

2005

On June 14, 2005, the Eagles released a new 2-DVD set titled Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne featuring 2 new songs: Glenn Frey’s “No More Cloudy Days” and Joe Walsh’s “One Day at a Time.”

2006

A special edition 2006 release of Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne, exclusive to Wal-Mart and affiliated stores also included a bonus audio CD with three new songs: a studio version of “No More Cloudy Days” plus “Fast Company” and “Do Something.”

2007

In 2007, Eagles released Long Road out of Eden, their first full studio album in 28 years

In 2007, the Eagles consisted of Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit.

On August 20, 2007, “How Long,” was released as a single to radio with an accompanying online video at Yahoo! Music and debuted on television on CMT during the Top 20 Countdown on August 23, 2007.

On October 30, 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their first album of all-new material since 1979. The album debuted at #1 in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Norway. It became their third studio album, seventh release overall, to be certified at least seven times platinum

The Eagles made their awards show debut on November 7, 2007, when they performed “How Long” live at the Country Music Association Awards.

2008

They launched The Long Road out of Eden Tour in support of their album

On January 28, 2008, the second single off Long Road Out of Eden was released. “Busy Being Fabulous” peaked at #30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at #18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart

The Eagles won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “How Long.” It was the band’s fifth Grammy Award.

On March 20, 2008, the Eagles launched their world tour in support of Long Road Out of Eden at The O2 Arena in London, England.

2009

The tour continued, crossing North America and Europe, with its last date on July 22, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Long Road out of Eden Tour concluded their last currently scheduled American venue on May 9, 2009 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. It was the first concert ever held in the new soccer stadium.

The group was touring in Europe, their last tour date scheduled on July 22, 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal


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