Sunday, February 2, 2014

An Old Guy Reviews Old Guy Music

This is a really long post about the Eagles. That's right, the Eagles. I really liked the Eagles when I was a kid, until The Long Run had a disco song on it and I wrote them off. Then I went through a phase where they just weren't weird enough for me. Then Glenn Frey wrote the wretched "Smuggler's Blues" and appeared on Miami Vice and, like most of America, I wished for his death.

Now that I'm so old that even PRETENDING to be cool would just be ridiculous, I realize that, after all these years, I like some Eagles songs.

Recently, I purchased a used copy of the double CD "The Very Best of the Eagles." It's more Eagles than anyone really needs. I don't think Don Henley's children want that much Eagles.

However, that much Eagles is what I purchased. And now I'm going to review every track on this soft rock boondoggle.

Here's a key to the ratings:

**** Four Stars: I really like this song.
*** Three Stars: I like this song.
** Two Stars: Meh. I've heard worse.
* One Star: Blech. I skip these.

Take it Easy ****
Glenn Fry was born in Detroit, so his country twang on this song should bother me, I guess. It doesn't.

Witchy Woman ***
That girl done did Don Henley wrong. He'll have to console himself with several teenage groupies. I totally understand why a lot of people hate Don Henley.

Peaceful Easy Feeling ***
This is the song that's playing when The Dude gets thrown out of the cab in The Big Lebowski for saying he hates the Eagles. That scene is better than this song, but this song is still pretty good.

Desperado ****
This song reminds me of couples skate at the old skating rink. I'd sit alone, drinking a 64oz Coke and eating a giant pretzel, and watch the actual couples skate. Good times?

Tequila Sunrise ***
Like Desperado, but less so.

Doolin - Dalton **
Like Tequila Sunrise, but less so.

Already Gone ***
I'm probably overrating this because of how damn catchy it is.

The Best of My Love **1/2
I once saw a guy sing this at karaoke like his life depended on it. Off key, couldn't hit a single note, but he meant this shit, man! More than the actual Eagles meant it, probably.

James Dean *
As catchy as Already Gone, but in a way that annoys me. I don't know, I don't have to explain myself to you.

OL '55 ***
This is a Tom Waits song. I like to think of Tom taking a swig of cheap whiskey and punching Glenn Frey right in the spleen.

Midnight Flyer **
Original guitarist Bernie Leadon was also a virtuoso banjo player, and he keeps this misbegotten foray into Bluegrass from getting the dreaded "one star" treatment.

On the Border *
Fun Fact: On the Border is also the title of one of their albums. Ok, that wasn't much fun. Sorry.

Lyin' Eyes ***
Like Kayne West's "Golddigger" but for extremely white people.

One of These Nights ***
Glenn Frey has kind of a big nose, so it was almost inevitable that he'd develop a crippling cocaine habit.

Take it to the Limit **
Vocals by original bassist Randy Meisner. Rumor has it that Meisner quit the band after a merciless berating from Glenn Frey for being too sick to hit the high notes of this song in concert. See above for explanation of such behavior.

After the Thrill is Gone ***
Don Henley is a noted douchebag and legendary hypocrite, but he has the perfect voice for the kind of song that a noted douchebag and legendary hypocrite would write.

Hotel California ****
Overplayed? Sure, but I haven't listened to classic rock radio in years.

Life in the Fast Lane **1/2
This song loses a full star and a half because Henley pronounces the word "cruel" as "crew-el." You just can't do that.
Wasted Time *** 
 Damn, this is a lot of Eagles songs.

Victim of Love **
 I think I'm a victim of indifference at this point.
The Last Resort  *1/2
For some reason this song is recorded at a much lower volume than any other song on either of these CDs. That cost it a star. Another half star is lost because Don Henley is singing about the environment, and how "the white man" ruined everything by building buildings (like the mansion Henley lives in) and exhausting natural resources (for the fuel that powers Henley's personal leer jet). 

New Kid in Town ***
I might overrate this song slightly because they play it on the 70s station at work, and it's surrounded by such crap that I'm always relieved when I hear it.

Please Come Home for Christmas ****
I don't like a lot of Christmas music, but this is probably my favorite Christmas song of all time that isn't performed by The Pogues.

Heartache Tonight **
I finally know the secret to the hamfisted nature of this song... It was co-written by Bob Seger.

Sad Cafe **
This might have received three stars had it been earlier on the CD. By the time I got to it I was suffering from intense Don Henley Plaintive Ballad fatique.

I Can't Tell You Why **
New (at the time) bassist Timothy B. Schmitt sings this song, and two stars is the glass ceiling for a song featuring Timothy B. Schmitt on vocals. Seriously, Timothy B. Schmitt singing an Eagles song is like when you get excited to see the Three Stooges on TV, and it turns out to be a Shemp episode.

The Long Run ***
The best song on a not-so-great album of the same name.

In the City ***
Guitarist Joe Walsh sings this one. I once saw him on an episode of Rock and Roll Jeopardy, and Joe Walsh might be the dumbest human alive. He didn't know a single answer. I remember one of the questions being about him and he still got it wrong.

Alex Trebeck: "This Eagles guitarist also had solo hits with 'Rocky Mountain Way' and 'Life Goes On.'"

Joe Walsh: "Uh...Don Felder?"

Those Shoes *
Ugh. Just... ugh. Better than "The Disco Strangler" though.

Seven Bridges Road ****
From their "live" album, which the Eagles admit is the most produced, overdubbed, and edited live recording of all time. I don't care. They went in the studio and replaced Joe Walsh's voice with something harmonious, and the results are pretty good.

Love Will Keep Us Alive **
Okay, this song is utter crap, but I'm giving it an extra star because  Eagles fans waited fourteen years to hear a new Eagles song, and the band let Timothy B. Schmitt sing it. That's some first class trolling right there. Kudos, sirs.

Get Over It (no stars)\
Don Henley and Glenn Frey writing a song complaining about whiny entitlement is as hypocritical as Don Henley and Glenn Frey writing a song complaining about whiny entitlement. Sorry, I couldn't think of a worse example.

Hole in the World *
Their 9/11 song. Maybe the terrorists did win.

That was exhausting.


  1. This review is so much better than any of those Eagles songs. Well, except Tequila Sunrise. I like that one.

  2. And I'm so glad you're blogging again!