Top Ten Eagles Songs: The Also-Rans and the Ten WORST
By Four Walls
May 6, 2016 4:49pm CST
Before I put the #1 Eagles song from my list up, I thought I should show some of the songs that are "close." And, for something you don't see every day (or hardly ever for that matter), I'm going to present my "bottom ten" list: my ten least favorite Eagles songs. First, the ones I considered for the top ten (best): Seven Bridges Road: the Steve Young classic that the Eagles had been doing for years (if you've ever seen the full video of "Hotel California" from 1977 it opens with them singing "Seven Bridges Road" backstage) but only was released commercially on 1980's Eagles Live. Nightingale: from the first Eagles album, one of two songs Henley sang lead on from that album is a rarity in the world of the Eagles: a positive, upbeat love song. Those Shoes: almost a musical rendition of Looking For Mr. Goodbar, this is a dark, gritty look at the way women were looked at in the bar scene in the 70s ("desperation in the singles bars, all the j*rkoffs and their fancy cars...you just want someone to talk to, they just wanna get their hands on you"). Tequila Sunrise: the beautiful country-rock ballad that uses the name of a popular drink to describe the morning sky, and loaded with great lines such as, "take another shot of courage." One of Frey's best vocal performances in the Eagles. My Man: Bernie Leadon's tribute to Gram Parsons, whom he had worked with in the Flying Burrito Brothers. Wasted Time: Henley's beautiful ballad that closes out the end of side one of Hotel California shows him shining with a soulful touch. Now here's a twist: you will rarely see someone rag on their favorite band by listing their LEAST favorite songs. Truth be told, I have almost a schizophrenic music relationship with this band. When I get to my next list you'll see what I mean. Anyway, here are ten songs I'd just as soon never hear again from the Eagles: 10. James Dean: Now, I'll be fair: when this song comes on the radio I'll sing along. Musically it's got a great driving beat, and if we just had the music to go on I'd consider it one of the Eagles' best songs. But the lyrics just annoy me, especially the kiss-off they give the actor at the end: "you were too fast to live, too young to die. Bye bye." If you want a nicer tribute listen to the verse about Dean in Robbie Robertson's "American Roulette." 9. Is It True: Is it true that Meisner's "Is It True" sounds like little more than filler for On the Border? Yep. To me, anyway. 8. Journey of the Sorcerer: when you have a great vocal band like the Eagles the last thing you want is an instrumental. Okay, a minute-long instrumental (such as the brief revisit of "Doolin-Dalton" on Desperado) is fine, but a nearly seven-minute instrumental that sounds like Leadon wrote it while on that peyote-fueled trip to Joshua Tree to shoot the photos for their first album cover? Nah. 7. King of Hollywood: from The Long Run, I do appreciate this song because it shows just how well Henley can sing: he's the bass singer (Frey did the high part). It's also a rather accurate description of the "Casting Couch" ("well he sits up there in his leatherette looking through pictures of the ones that he hasn't had yet...now look at me and tell me, darlin', how badly do you want this part?"). But it's just too long and drawn out. Furthermore, Steve Goodman's "Face on the Cutting Room Floor" did a far better job of dealing with this subject. 6. Witchy Woman: Henley had a short, to-the-point critique of this song in a radio interview in 1979: "I hate this song." He wrote it "in bed, with the flu," and it sounds like the meds were definitely ruling the day. 5. The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks: Oy. I'd expect the men who gave us "Desperado" to not sink into juvenile delinquency when describing college frat life. 4. Teenage Jail: the song before "The Greeks...." on The Long Run is a woeful attempt to mimic Led Zeppelin (in a radio interview Frey even admitted that "we thought of 'Dazed and Confused'" while writing this song). No, guys, leave the hard rock to the professionals. 3. Visions: one of the reasons, if you've ever watched History of the Eagles, that caused Don Felder to brood and whine until he finally left the band/was fired and sued was the fact that he didn't get to do any lead singing. The story in the documentary is that Felder claims he was supposed to sing lead on "Victim of Love," but while he went to dinner the band went behind his back and had Henley record the lead vocal track that ended up being on the album. Well, all I can say is, listen to this song, and you'll see exactly WHY they didn't let Felder sing lead. He was awful. Listen to his solo albums....if you can. 2. Hotel California: Well, now you know what's not going to be #1. A throw-up....er, throw back to the days where it seemed like any song that was over six minutes long was guaranteed to get airplay on FM rock stations (before the days of the "classic rock" or "superstars" format). Much like the Beatles' "Hey Jude," this is a great four-minute song but a horrible six-and-a-half-minute one. And the fact that it has become the #3 or #4 most overplayed song in FM rock history (behind "Stairway to Heaven," "Free Bird," and possibly "Imagine"), where you hear it every hour on the hour, hasn't helped my disdain for this song any. Both times I saw the Eagles (1978 and 1980) they opened with this song, mercifully getting it out of the way. 1. Life in the Fast Lane: How bad do I hate this song? I'd rather listen to that sexist, smarmy pile of explicit-deleted "(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka than this song! It's awful. It's disgusting. I don't like the music. I can't stand the lyrics. It's just the worst thing the Eagles ever did for my taste. So up next....my favorite Eagles song. Here's "Nightingale" from the eponymous debut, one of those good "also-ran" songs:
5 people like this
• United States
7 May 16
I would hope that everyone would admit that they like what they like and dislike what they dislike based on how they really feel, not because there's some imaginary "they" who "say" that "everyone" is supposed to "love" this song or that song. (This is coming from the person who doesn't like "Imagine" or "Don't Stop Believin'," either!)
• United States
7 May 16
I'm surprised that Hotel California hasn't made me vomit yet, but I still love the song. My favorite by them is Love Will Keep us Alive. I loved the whole Hell Freezes Over for a lot of reasons. And I really do agree with Life in the Fast Lane, although Paul Anka's song would still be at the very top of my worst songs list! lol You really made me laugh with that one!
6 May 16
I have only heard a few of these, but I DEFINITELY agree with you when it comes to Hotel California. The song is a bit tramatizing, and just so overplayed that I can't help but dread listening to the longer version and as of recently the shorter version of it.