Skip to content

The Eagles – Hotel California (1976)

May 12, 2017


Exemplary logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


[Album 536/1001]

“I get so emotional baby, every time I think of you.”
– Whitney Houston, So Emotional

Well, things got a bit emotional on the Facebook this week.

Every Sunday, I post the link to my Artist of the Week Quiz on my Facebook page.

Now I’m not saying I’m proud of it, but a few days ago, I ended up being pretty harsh towards the Eagles.

Fortunately, my wonderful wife was able to rein me in before things got too out of hand.

The whole brouhaha is pasted below.




My main problem with the Eagles?

Every time I think of them, I do not get so (or even remotely) emotional.

They’re clearly capable musicians; special acknowledgement is in order here for Don Henley, providing the title track lead vocals from behind the drum-kit, not missing a beat (or lyric for that matter) in the memorable mid-song, drum re-entry.Hotelcalifornia

But apart from that moment early on, I was a mostly detached observer for the rest of the album.

It might be easier, to borrow/modify a line from The Big Lebowski, if I hated the Eagles, man.

Of course, if I loved them unreservedly, as tens of millions seem to, that would likely be the optimal solution.

Instead, I’m usually left feeling indifferent about The Eagles

Title track aside, listening to Hotel California this week was no exception.


The Eagles


Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to Kristin & Wendy for the post inspiration!



From → 1970s

  1. Kudos for the Lebowski reference, dude.

    And I like your reasoning. Come to think of it, I don’t feel emotional when I hear their songs either. I never thought of it that way before. But it is true. There’s a certain.,.emotional flatness?…when I listen.

    • My thanks Mike!
      I’ve had that admire without excitement feeling before with Steely Dan, but in their case, I still looked forward to re-listens a little more.
      It sounds like there’s lots to enjoy among the Eagle solo recordings, so I may find more excitement there!

  2. I’m pretty much indifferent myself. No hate but no love either. Maybe inspiring indifference is more damning than being a love/hate band though?

    • I think you’re right, not feeling much of anything may be the most scathing review HMO – perhaps that’s why Wendy suggested I check my language!

  3. Agreed, having said that the title track is a fine tune, but I’m a bigger fan of Joe Walsh’s solo career and I’m surprised he doesn’t have an entry in the book.

  4. Zack permalink

    Much like most of what is played on classic rock radio, I used to love the Eagles. After the 10,689,436th time hearing the same song that love turns to like…
    Oh my God. Is that what marriage is like?

    • Surprisingly, I still enjoyed my 10,689,437th listen to the title track!
      Some of the other familiar tracks didn’t fare as well upon re-listens though – marriage is wonderful!

  5. Outta my fucking cab!!

  6. Competent but boring. (Sorry Wendy!)

  7. I always find them interesting to discuss as they’re so polarising. I like the harmonies, and they have IMO some genuinely strong songs like I Can’t Tell You Why and New Kid In Town.

    But there’s a smugness that makes them hard to love, Don Henley is a great lead vocalist but a lousy drummer, and I don’t think they ever made a filler free album.

    • I tend to think the true greats are polarizing, so perhaps they are truly great and I’m missing out!
      New Kid in Town was probably closest to the 2nd standout of the album for me, I liked the vocals at the end especially

      • I think they’re just very good at some aspects of making music, and very poor at others, so they’re perplexing.

  8. “I hate the fucking Eagles, man”.

    I do like Joe Walsh, though.

  9. Yeah, I don’t know what it is about the Eagles I just don’t like. They have all the right ingredients but I never cared for how they put them together. I like solo Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley… so go figure.

    • Maybe they’re the musical equivalent of The Washington Capitals – loads of individual talent but it just doesn’t quite connect & deliver in its current formation?

  10. I’m not doing this as self-promotion but merely as a way of expanding a conversation started at my blog a few years ago regarding The Eagles:

    I sort-of understand the contempt that some people have for them but I also disagree with those folks because there are simply too many great songs in their catalog and in Don Henley they have one of the all-time great singers (lots of emotion in that voice, in my opinion). Also, I’m not sure getting emotional about music is a requirement to loving it. Sure, there are plenty of artists who impact me that way, but I can also enjoy Kraftwerk, The Ramones and Motorhead with little emotion but lots of enthusiasm.

    I think The Eagles’ ubiquity works against them for a lot of people, but I’ve always said that a song being “overplayed” doesn’t make it a bad song, no matter how tired you are of it. I don’t need to hear The Temptations’ “My Girl” again anytime soon but I also acknowledge its greatness.

    • Thanks for your comments Rich – I’m with you when it comes to the low emotion/high enthusiasm for Motorhead!
      I was surprised with the title track here – I would have thought it would have been one of those tracks where I’d reached my ‘lifetime quota’ but it ended up being the one I looked forward to the most on each re-listen. I think I hear a new guitar line each time!

    • I do think that repeat plays of a hit can spoil it. Something like ‘Heartache Tonight’ is an ear worm, but repeat plays expose that the underlying song isn’t very interesting. I

      • I know what you mean but I guess my point was that a great song should remain a great song no matter how many times it’s played. Sure, there are songs we love immediately that eventually lose their impact but those aren’t necessarily great ones. I’ve always loved “Heartache Tonight” but I never considered it anything more than a simple, catchy Glenn Frey ditty.

  11. Indifference is OK, Geoff. It’s just a band. Some love them, some hate them, so what? Me, I like them. I don’t swear they’re my favourite band or anything, but I have their hits sets and a few albums. I’m always most impressed with them as songwriters. Those tunes are ironclad and built to survive apocalypse. Whether folks like them or not, I figure it’s obvious they nailed it as songwriters.

  12. That was harsh, Geoff? I’m starting to think the Canadian brand of niceness is a little too literal! I think I was harsher about them on your blog!
    I didn’t mind them as Linda Ronstadt’s backup band though.

    • Haha, I know I’m so mean!
      I hadn’t realized they’d had that backup band role too – maybe I’d prefer them in that capacity!

  13. Even Ian Anderson has joked about how the chord progression and even the melody in this song is similar to Tull’s “We Used to Know” (absolutely excellent song on an excellent album, by the way). He and others have speculated that the fact that the Eagles supported Tull in the early 1970s might have something to do with this. However, the music is by Don Felder, who wasn’t in the Eagles then.

    This doesn’t mean that there was no influence (and, if so, I’m sure that it was not intentional), but if there was (though I tend to suspect coincidence as the explanation here), it had nothing to do with Tull and the Eagles being on the same bill.

    • I’d say the chord progression of Hotel California was among the major selling points for me – so if it was influenced by Tull, I have a feeling I’d enjoy we used to know as well!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1976 | 1001albumsin10years

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: