Monday, September 07, 2009

Album of the Day #168: HOTEL CALIFORNIA - Eagles

Artist: Eagles

Title: Hotel California
Year: 1976
Label: Asylum
Songs: Hotel California [Don Felder, Glen Frey & Don Henley]/New Kid In Town [Glen Frey, Don Henley & J.D. Souther]/Life In The Fast Lane [Joe Walsh]/Wasted Time [Glen Frey & Don Henley]/Wasted Time (Reprise) [Glen Frey, Don Henley & Jim Ed Norman]/Victim Of Love [Don Felder, Glen Frey, Don Henley & J.D. Souther]/Pretty Maids All In A Row [Joe Walsh & Jim Vitale]/Try And Love Again [Randy Meisner]/The Last Resort [Glen Frey & Don Henley]
Produced by: Bill Szymczyk
Thoughts: Oh, Eagles...How you've some how become the epitome of all that I hate about classic rock radio. How I despise turning the radio on and hearing some random song from your first Greatest Hits record! Oh, the times I've contemplated committing suicide after hearing "Hotel California" for the billionth time!
...Sorry for the rude introduction, but I have never liked the Eagles, with their almost smug "I- Sound-Like-California" sound and this whole "easy going" garbage. You can tell me that they're great until you're blue in the face, but you're not going to get me to like the Eagles.
Thankfully, though, someone in the family bought Hotel California because otherwise, I would have ignored it for the rest of my life. Once you get beyond the annoying, over-played title-track, there are actually some fantastic album cuts and the other two singles (despite also being constant radio staples) are good. "Life In The Fast Lane" is something that just explains itself, with Walsh's killer lead guitar playing.
The album tracks I enjoy, particularly, are "Victim Of Love" and "Try And Love Again" (which easily could have been a fourth single). I think, though, the remaining tracks are a little overcooked. Both "Wasted Time" and "The Last Resort" overstay their welcome (particularly "Wasted Time", which is even given a string reprise to open the second side) and "Pretty Maids All In A Row" is saturated with strings to the point of rendering Walsh's vocal almost inaudible. Whenever I listen to this album, though, I want "The Last Resort" to be a little more punchy. It's long and doesn't really get that interesting, musically anyway.
I suppose if you already really love the Eagles, you probably own this album anyway. If you're not an Eagles fan, like me, I suppose this might be the only album of theirs you might want. I really have no plans on getting anything prior to Hotel California, just because I really don't want to hear all those singles again that I really don't care for.

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