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Eagles – Eagles Live (Album Review)

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Eagles – Eagles Live (Album Review)

Live performances are a mixed bag. This is a key reason why I avoid going to concerts. I simply don’t want to come away disappointed, following a lacklustre performance. However, with an increase over the years in lip-syncing, the question regarding what constitutes a live performance yields intriguing results. However, what happens if the artist in question is such a perfectionist that they are determined to release a live recording that has its origins based in a series of live performances but thanks to excessive overdubbing can no longer really be regarded as a live performance. Well, the Eagles did just that on their first live album, released in 1980, Eagles Live.

Now, as much as I love this release, it pales in comparison to the sonic prowess of Hell Freezes Over. That said, Eagles Live is thoroughly enjoyable as it has the spit and polish that only studio overdubbing could accomplish. It is disappointing to acknowledge that this release needed significant post-recording modifications in order to bring it up to the Eagles’ demanding standards. While I lament the obvious notion that this isn’t completely a live performance, I also applaud the work done here as the Eagles were facing internal turmoil during this release, resulting in the overdubs being done in different studios, in different locations, across the United States. It’s honestly a miracle that any live album resulted and it showcases just how good the production team was in getting the sound so good with such obstacles in their way. There is little doubt that the modern era of digital recording has made these types of multi-location collaborations easier and more fluid, but Eagles Live plays so fluidly that only the most observant fans will notice the additional production elements. The rest of us will enjoy the album for what it is. A compilation of the Eagles very best songs, played live but perfected in the studio.

Hotel California (July 29, 1980, Santa Monica) is an exceptional song, but this rendition sounds concealed and while the performance is worthy of inclusion, you’d think with all the post-production aspects of this release that this would sound significantly better than it does. Regardless, if you want to hear what I believe to be the very best version of Hotel California, then you need to check out the recording on Hell Freezes Over. That said, it’s Hotel California; what’s not to like?

Heartache Tonight (July 27, 1980, Santa Monica) is, as I’ve mentioned before, an exceptional song and this live rendition is no exception. I subjectively enjoy this rendition more than the studio release on The Long Run, as the treble is dialled back on this version and subsequently is less shrill than the original. A minor detail, yes, but one that is important to me and may be important to you as well.

I Can’t Tell You Why (July 28, 1980, Santa Monica) is simply glorious. I don’t know about you, but I could listen to Timothy B. Schmit on vocals all day. Yes, this rendition, as many are on this live album, is very close to the original studio release, but when music is this enjoyable, it ceases to matter as I just sit back and enjoy the experience.

The Long Run (July 27, 1980, Santa Monica) isn’t one of my favourite Eagles’ songs and this live rendition doesn’t really change that opinion, although the brass instrumentation is fantastic. Overall, it isn’t fundamentally bad, it just isn’t a song that I feel I need to listen to. That said, I won’t skip it when it comes on.

New Kid In Town (October 22, 1976, The Forum) is, for me, similar to The Long Run. Although, I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoy this rendition. Again, the treble region has been rolled off and I don’t know about you, but that is appealing to me as the music just sounds right with a slightly reduced treble range.

Life’s Been Good (July 29, 1980, Santa Monica) is a killer rock and roll song from Joe Walsh’s solo catalogue, first appearing on But Seriously, Folks, that offers a flawless transition on the album. Given the egos associated with the Eagles, I find it refreshing to see that Walsh’s solo efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

Seven Bridges Road (July 28, 1980, Santa Monica) is a cover of the Steve Young classic. Young’s original is fantastic, but the intermingling vocal harmony of the Eagles takes Seven Bridges Road to another level of sonic perfection. Either way, whichever edition you listen to, you’re bound to love this song.

Wasted Time (October 22, 1976, The Forum) is one of my all-time favourite Eagles’ songs. Absolutely brilliant and a welcome addition to this live album.

Take It To The Limit (October 20, 1976, The Forum), on this live release, is stronger than the original on One Of These Nights as the mix, this time, just sounds right. Whereas, I’ve always felt the mix was a little unbalanced on the original studio release.

Doolin-Dalton (Reprise II) [October 21, 1976, The Forum] is a lovely, albeit brief, interlude.

Desperado (October 21, 1976, The Forum) is, as I’ve mentioned before, one of their greatest songs and is translated to the live performance masterfully; albeit with a little post-production. Nevertheless, it is an exceptional song and I consider this rendition to be one of the very best versions of the song I have ever heard the Eagles perform.

Saturday Night (July 28, 1980, Santa Monica) has, as I’ve mentioned before, perfect harmonics that make for a lovely song that flows perfectly from Desperado.

All Night Long (July 27, 1980, Santa Monica) is another Joe Walsh solo classic. I absolutely love it!

Life In The Fast Lane (July 31, 1980, Long Beach) is fantastic. That rhythm and riff are incredible but I’m not a fan of this live interpretation as I feel the studio release, on Hotel California, is significantly stronger. In some ways, however, this live rendition may be the most live song from this album as the differences are more pronounced than that heard on other songs.

Take It Easy (July 27, 1980, Santa Monica) is always great and closing out this live album with it is perfect as it encourages me to listen to the album again and stay within the Eagle’s catalogue.

Overall, Eagles Live is an extraordinary release that while not entirely live, is a welcome addition to the Eagles’ back catalog. While one may decide not to listen to, or purchase, this album because of the overdubbing throughout, I would argue that it can still be enjoyed and quite frankly given I dislike live performances that are lacklustre, I’m glad a little spit and polish can be applied in order to improve the audio quality and performance. There is nothing worse, in my opinion, than hearing a live performance sound so different to the studio release that you question if the live record was recorded by a cover band. That said, lip-syncing acts have to be abolished as it’s an insult to the concert goer who attends primarily for the atmosphere associated with a live performance and pays extensively for that privilege. By comparison, the individual who buys or listens to a live album knows instinctively that some production has gone into the final product and unless you’re into the bootleg scene, acknowledges that live is not necessarily as live as the artist, record label, and associated marketing would like us to believe.

Eagles Live is available to own on CD and iTunes.

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Eagles – Desperado (Album Review)

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Eagles – Desperado (Album Review)

A year after their astonishingly good Self-Titled debut, the Eagles returned with Desperado; an album arguably leaning more towards a country-styling, than their debut, as they focused on the old west in American culture. Considering Desperado as a concept album, one can't help but see a correlation between Desperado and Elton John's similarly themed 1970 released Tumbleweed Connection. Perhaps the Eagles copied that concept, but if that was ever an element, it has never been discussed to my knowledge. Either way, as a fan of the old west, when the theme is done well, as it is in this case, it can be extraordinarily rewarding for the listener.

As a life-long fan of the Eagles, Desperado was always going to be a must-own release for my collection and the copy I am fortunate enough to own is the 2014 vinyl reissue. Sonically, it is a beautiful reproduction that is dynamically pleasing with an incredible soundstage that is as wide as it is deep. I love it when the speakers disappear, and I become immersed in the musicPart of the immersion can also be attributed to the album artwork that is striking in its presentation and this particular reissue has a textual cover, reportedly the same as the original 1973 vinyl release. At least it isn’t a fingerprint magnet like those albums released by Music On Vinyl (MOV); they look stunning and are very well pressed, but over time the fingerprints weaken the artwork. While the red text, on the near-black background looks a little washed out and therefore more difficult to read, it is a major improvement over the Self-Titled debut whereby the text was basically unreadable. 

While the re-issue was marketed as replicating the original artwork, the album label is different to the original releases I’ve seen whereby they had the plain white background, this edition has the clouds background. It isn’t really an issue, but I do appreciate authenticity. It would have been incredible for the record label to match the texture of the record sleeve but I'm not even sure if that can be technically achieved, as the labels are applied during the heat/moulding stage, but it is nevertheless cool to think about. 

The record itself comes in a lovely static free inner sleeve, black in colour with a clear centre. While the music itself is paramount, both sides of the album are mastered and pressed perfectly. This is certainly a re-issue that I would recommend to any fan of the Eagles.  

SIDE ONE

Doolin-Dalton is incredibly compelling. That harmonica just reaches into my soul every time I listen to this masterpiece. It’s also important to note that it is less harsh on the vinyl version when compared directly to any of the digital counterparts.

Twenty-One is too ‘country’ for my liking. The banjo is an acquired taste and while I don't dislike it, I feel it is played too fast for this song and subsequently it’s as though I’m listening to two different songs when Twenty-One starts playing.

Out Of Control is a solid rock song that I feel would have sounded better on On The Border, just as James Dean does. If you didn't know, James Dean was recorded for Desperado but held back at the time as it didn’t match the album perfectly.

Tequila Sunrise, as I've said before, is a beautifully relaxing song that gets better the more often I hear it. I don't know as I could ever tire of this song as it uses every part of the soundstage to ensure you're enveloped in sound. Amazing!

Desperado, having not been released as a single, has become a fan favourite and is one of the Eagle's very best recordings. Vocally it is a little rough around the edges, but that gives the song character and I couldn't imagine it with any more spit and polish.

SIDE TWO

Certain Kind Of Fool is fantastic. The perfect guitar strum. The perfect tempo. The perfect vocal delivery. Certain Kind Of Fool is a hidden gem that casual fans would likely miss but is undoubtedly one of the best songs on the album.

Doolin’ Dalton (Instrumental) is a distraction and while it flows well into Outlaw Man, Desperado would have been fine without this deviation. Interestingly, this instrumental track has never been listed on the back of the record sleeve. It is written on the record label, however. Other than a typo that has remained consistent throughout the years, I can’t help but wonder why this may be the case.

Outlaw Man is a killer song with a spectacular soundstage and while positioned on the B-side of the album, it’s an A-side in my opinion. I love it! On a side note, this song would have been perfectly suited to Fleetwood MacRumours era.

Saturday Night is a lovely ballad. Perfect harmonics and just an all-around great song. As good as some of the tracks on Side One are, it is really the second side that makes Desperado a must-own album. Astonishingly good!

Bitter Creek is one of my all-time favourite Eagles songs. You may not have heard it before as it is unlikely to be played live and doesn’t appear on any of the Eagles’ career perspective releases, but there is something very special here. The simplicity of that guitar strum and intermingling vocal, interspersed with the harmonies, is nothing short of amazing.

Doolin-Dalton (Reprise) is enjoyable but I would have been extremely happy if Bitter Creek was the final song on the album. I’ve never been much of a fan of the reprise, as I would generally prefer to hear the original track again, however, I do enjoy the electric guitar tracking instead of the harmonica as it creates a unique experience that works remarkably well.

Similarly, Desperado (Reprise) builds upon the original song without disrupting the magic that made the original so special. It’s a perfect way to close the album, ensuring I’ll listen again and stay within the Eagles’ catalogue.

Desperado is an album of hidden gems, combined with a few hits and a couple of misses. However, it all comes together in a coherent album that is thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of the Eagles.

Desperado is available on Vinyl, CD, the TIDAL Store (16/44.1kHz FLAC), and iTunes (Mastered for iTunes).

If you prefer streaming, Desperado is available on TIDAL Hi-Fi and Apple Music.

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Eagles – Self-Titled (Album Review)

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Eagles – Self-Titled (Album Review)

Some of the most interesting albums are debuts as they can either make or break an artist. Regardless of the outcome, it’s always interesting to see how the artist evolves over time, especially from a retrospective viewpoint. That said, I don’t believe I’d be wrong in suggesting that the Eagles had already found their sound on this Self-Titled debut and went about refining their talent on each subsequent album.

Album covers in the 70s were probably as unique as they have ever been, with artists and record labels seeing what would work and what wouldn’t on the large vinyl canvas. The Eagles’ debut is no exception as the cover would not only encompass the bands country meets rock musical style perfectly but would fold out to a larger poster that one could hang or admire while listening to the album. Over the years, the Eagles’ Self-Titled release has been reissued numerously and the edition I’m fortunate enough to own is the 2015 vinyl re-issue with the original album artwork. Yes, it looks impressive, but as the record doesn’t sit in a dedicated enclosure, one has to be careful not to pick the record up, out of its outer sleeve, and watch as the record slips from one’s hand across the room. Okay, so perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but if you’re new to vinyl, these unique designs can be a challenge when dealing with the larger format. 

The inner sleeve is plain and somewhat lacklustre if I’m to be honest. The red text on the natural background is incredibly difficult to read and subsequently wasn't really well thought out in my opinion. The label itself is plain but elegant. Yes, even though I use the Audio Technica AT-618 LP Stabilizer, I love looking at the record labels. I even lust over compact discs and in a bygone era, it wasn’t uncommon for me to appreciate the designs of the compact cassette. I'm not sure why it’s such a fascination, but I find it a thoroughly enjoyable part of the record collecting process.

Of course, as impressive as the record looks, it would be for nought if the audio quality wasn't up to par. Well, I think we can all agree as to just how sonically stunning the Eagles are, and this debut is no exception. The record is as black as the ace of spades, perfectly flat, and has no noticeable inner groove distortion or surface noise. While purists may lament that a significant majority of reissues are being sourced from high-resolution digital files, rather than the original master tapes, the pressing of this 2015 reissue is flawless with a full analogue sound that simply has to be heard to be believed. I have compared both the TIDAL Masters (MQA) and Apple Music (Mastered for iTunes) editions against the record and you won’t see me part with this vinyl record anytime soon. Yes, it is that good and for fans of the band, I highly recommend this particular reissue.

SIDE ONE

Take It Easy, as I've mentioned before, is perfect for a country drive. When I hear this Eagles standard, I can only imagine the excitement of fans when they put the record on for the first time in 1972. It must have blown their minds for it still astonishes me to this day as to how developed the musicality of the Eagles is on this debut. In many respects, it's good that Jackson Browne was unable to finish the song and required Glenn Frey’s involvement. I simply couldn’t imagine the Eagles debut without Take It Easy. Jackson Browne did, however, record a rendition for his 1973 album, For Everyman, and while it’s a lovely interpretation, that doesn’t stray far from the Eagles’ original, Browne’s interpretation failed to set the world on fire as the Eagles’ version did.

Witchy Woman is a killer track that really showcases just how well the vocal harmonies of the Eagles members flow together. Witchy Women is, in many respects, the perfect classic rock song that encompasses many musical eras and styles. Seriously, I could be here all day just listing them, but let’s just enjoy listening to this absolutely amazing tune, shall we?

Chug All Night is a slow starter but develops into a solid song that is thoroughly enjoyable. While it may not be a fan favourite, the album wouldn’t be the same without the frantic beat and low volume harmonies that are off-the-chart. A great rock song!

Most Of Us Are Sad is sensational! The drum and bass track blow my mind, as does the guitar strumming and vocal harmonies. Music doesn't get much better than this.

Nightingale was almost not included on the album as producer Glyn Johns felt it was substandard. One could hardly argue with him as it is filler, a B-side at best, but the record label, in this case, won and it’s of course included. In reality, it isn’t fundamentally a bad song, it just isn't to the same calibre as the other songs on the album. 

SIDE TWO

Train Leaves Here This Morning is a lovely country-focused tune that has a beautiful soundstage and depth that envelops you in sound.

Take The Devil is one of the best songs on the album, and in the Eagles catalogue, that very few know about as it doesn't make an appearance in live performances or on career perspective releases. The rhythm is seriously addictive, and the musicality of the entire recording is uncompromising. 

Earlybird has a fun little entrance, but it can be equally infuriating if you're not in the mood for those chirpy bird sounds throughout. Nevertheless, while it may be a B-side, it's a solid song that fits well with the style of the album.

Peaceful Easy Feeling is a lovely song, but as I've said before, the guitar twang mid-song is a little too high pitched for my liking and I subsequently find it distracting. A shame considering it is an otherwise exceptional song with yet another beautiful vocal presentation. 

Tryin' is a solid song to close the album with. Nothing to write home about, but a perfect B-side if there ever was one. Tryin' certainly makes me want to listen to the album again and stay within the Eagles’ extensive catalogue.

The debut Self-Titled Eagles album is astonishingly good from start to finish and shows a band with a sound signature that would take others years to develop. It really is one of their greatest albums and even if you're a casual fan, you'll find something to love on this Self-Titled debut.

Eagles – Self-Titled is available on Vinyl, CD, the TIDAL Store (16/44.1kHz FLAC), and iTunes (Mastered for iTunes).

If you prefer streaming, Eagles – Self-Titled is available on TIDAL Hi-Fi and Apple Music.

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The Very Best Of The Eagles (CD Review)

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The Very Best Of The Eagles (CD Review)

The first time I recall hearing any Eagles music was in 2002 when I was at a Sony retail store and the sales clerk auditioned a mini Hi-Fi system using The Very Best Of The Eagles CD. It was on that day that I first heard Hotel California and I would forevermore be a fan of the Eagles.

No, I didn’t buy that mini Hi-Fi system but I have continued to use Hotel California as part of my audition playlist when demoing new audio hardware.

This past weekend, on a family drive, I decided that instead of relying on my cellular connection and iPhone, I would take a CD with me. The Very Best Of The Eagles seemed a perfect choice and is interestingly absent from Tidal et al anyway. Yes, there are other compilations by the Eagles that I could have selected, but I am quite familiar and fond of this album. That said, while my home usage of music streaming services is continually growing, I’m becoming tired of trials and tribulations of streaming music in the car.

I should note that it isn’t the fault of the streaming services, but the associated playback hardware that infuriates me. Firstly, when I connect my iPhone 5s, via USB, the Apple Music app launches and starts streaming the last played song or music video. In my case, it plays Ed Sheeran’s The A Team (Live) performance from the iTunes Festival in 2012. It’s a great performance, but I want control over what will be played and when. Also of concern is the cellular data use, still a premium service in Australia, that streaming this video consumes each time I’m away from Wi-Fi. I have tried numerous times to fix this problem within the settings for both the iPhone and MyLink software that runs on the car stereo, but to no avail. Unfortunately, neither technology offers a solution to this problem and it is a known issue that Apple Inc. has simply not addressed. Perhaps some people enjoy the fluidity this feature provides, but it drives me insane. All I need is a switch to disable this behaviour and I will be happy.

I have also tried to utilise Bluetooth in the car, but it too is convoluted. Bluetooth is a flawed technology when it comes to audio, yet I am surprised at how many audio manufacturers continue to adopt it. I acknowledge it as a universal standard, and the only real option for connecting devices when not connected to a Wi-Fi network, but the technology needs to be re-engineered. While some work is being done in that area, existing Bluetooth integration remains problematic. The most infuriating limitation I have come across is when trying to listen to music from TIDAL Hi-Fi via Bluetooth to the car stereo. The Bluetooth decoder is simply incapable of correctly recompiling the music and what you get is a song with a serious stutter. Yes, I am aware that TIDAL Hi-Fi tracks exceed the Bluetooth 4.0 protocol and the iPhone still does not support any form of aptX, but the iPhone is capable of down sampling music so that it can be transferred over Bluetooth. I should note that this playback method works flawlessly with my Bose Soundlink Mini and aptX is not available in the car anyway. Therefore, it is somewhat verifiable that the car stereo is the cause of the problem. Of course, the service department re-flashed the firmware, but the problem still exists. Thankfully, our 2016 manufactured car still supports the 3.5mm audio input jack and CD playback.

That got me to thinking, perhaps I should start expanding my CD collection of compilation albums. While I have all the Eagles albums on vinyl, there are times when I just want to listen to a broad range of their most popular works. Sometimes it is refreshing to put the CD into the player and not worry about multipurpose digital devices and connection woes. I find that it brings me closer to the music and while I’m not sure how I will proceed, I think that there is a time and a place for streaming and physical music alike. Perhaps the car is the latter.

Of important note is that The Very Best Of The Eagles can also apply to the 1994 release, that saw a different cover and tracking order. The edition featured in this review, however, is the 2001 remaster. I have owned the 1994 release in the past, but you may recall from my other reviews, I was smitten with the digitization of my collection and subsequently sold much of my CD collection for the promise of 1,000 songs in your pocket. Such a silly move, but at least I can learn from my foolishness. My hope is that you, dear reader, will see the error of my ways and avoid your own mistakes for the promise of convenience. Yes, convenient access to music is a wonderful thing, but it is often littered with conditions that are outside of the consumer’s control. One example of this is the fact that this CD I am reviewing is not available on any streaming music network, nor it is available for purchase on iTunes. However, it is readily available on CD and therefore it’s unavailability is not an issue of the compilation being out of print and discontinued. Most likely the omission from digital stores and streaming services is due to ever-changing license agreements between artists, music labels, and associated digital delivery services. There is simply no way to guarantee that an album will be available on TIDAL et al at some point in the future. TIDAL Hi-Fi may well be the CD store in your house, but it should be considered as an ancillary service to a well-curated collection. 

Of course, in classic remaster form, the dynamic range of the 2001 remastered release dropped to an average of 10, versus 15 on the 1994 release. While it doesn’t sound bad, it is not as atmospheric as the vinyl equivalent. Interestingly, there is also a HDCD release of this album, but it was only sold in China and dynamic range information isn’t available. As is often the case, mastering information is not available in the liner notes, thereby limiting any further comparisons between the sources used and the mastering engineer of choice for the compilation. I wouldn’t be surprised if the mastering engineer, for some of these ‘remastered’ releases, is not a faceless computer program that automatically amplifies the music as consumers are clearly incapable of turning the volume up. That said, I find that the mastering is uniform across the entire compilation and I certainly appreciate that aspect of this release.

The artwork of the compilation is sufficient, but the stark orange CD takes a little getting used to. The original 1994 release had a much more appealing desert landscape. When Warner reissued the album with newer liner notes, they also included an orange bar that connects to the CD aesthetically but serves no purpose otherwise. As is the case with many compilation releases, the liner notes are barebones at best. While you’ll find basic song credits, and the original album a song was released on, individual vocal duties are overlooked. While fans of the band will likely know the lead vocalist, for each song without a problem, a compilation album is by its very nature targeting a casual or new listener and this information is imperative when a band shares lead vocal duties amongst all members. Interestingly, Don Henley’s I Can’t Stand Still and Inside Job are advertised within the liner notes, alongside the regular Eagles catalogue. Most likely this promotion is due to Henley’s contract with Warner Music at the time. However, I find it in bad taste that his solo efforts be promoted merely because of recording contracts. That said, I do acknowledge Henley as a founding member of the Eagles and a key element to the identity of the band. Truth be told, I dislike the legal hoopla that is associated with recording contracts.

One Of These Nights is a fantastic song to start the compilation with as it sets the scene for the accompanying tracks to follow and highlights the musicality and intertwining vocals that the Eagles are renowned for. I adore the guitar solo midway through the song as it isn’t overreaching, but serves its purpose while blending perfectly with the backing acoustics.

Take It Easy is a perfect song for a country drive. While I wouldn’t class the Eagles as a country band, this song certainly highlights several country music elements and can easily be accepted in both the rock and country music scene. Take It Easy beckons listener involvement and you will feel compelled to sing-a-long. As with One Of These Nights, the guitar solo is off the charts and a welcome relief from the lyrics. 

Hotel California is the epitome of the perfect song. While I don’t have a top 10 list of my favourite songs, this would certainly be on that list if it existed. However, I find that listening to this song in this compilation is a bit of a letdown. It isn’t as sonically spacious as my vinyl edition of Hotel California. Most likely this is due to the vinyl edition having a dynamic range of 15, versus 9 out of 20 for this compilation CD. Mastering does matter and while the song is still enjoyable, it is nowhere near as consuming as the vinyl release. As I’ve stated several times before, this has nothing to do with the argument of CD vs Vinyl as CD is more than capable of reproducing a 15 on the dynamic range scale. If Warner used the same master, there would be no perceivable difference between the formats.

New Kid In Town isn’t one of my favourite Eagles songs. I’m just not sold on the tempo and don’t feel that it is a song that I can sing along to, even in my own mind. I have always felt that the song is missing something, yet I can’t put my finger on it. Eventually one must accept that it is okay to not like every song by a favourite artist. A song needs to resonate with one’s soul and this track simply doesn’t.

Heartache Tonight has an addictive but simple beat that will have you toe tapping, head bopping, or hand slapping as you drive down the open road. You will find yourself joining in on the solo, completely out of key, in your karaoke attempt to be the lead vocalist for a moment in time. It is an exceptional song!

Tequila Sunrise is a beautiful song that is relaxing and a perfect follow-up to the more upbeat Heartache Tonight. 

Desperado reminds me of Billy Joel’s music with the piano elements. I love how this song progressively builds and becomes a sonic wonderland that highlights the incredible vocals of Don Henley. It is exceptional and one of their best songs.

Best Of My Love has a gorgeous acoustic guitar strum throughout. As I listen to this song, I’m struck by the realization of just how exceptionally talented the Eagles were. While modern music is different, and shouldn’t be compared to the classics, I can’t help but wonder when we will see another group of individuals that can revolutionise music as significantly as the Eagles has.

Lyin’ Eyes is another country/rock-infused song whereby the tempo is relaxing, yet energetic. I love it!

Take It To The Limit is a song where I feel the mix is unbalanced. I find Randy Meisner’s vocal to be too distant in the mix and it bothers me everything I listen to the song. I want to enjoy this song though and I would love to hear a remixing of the song that brings Meisner’s vocal further forward in the soundstage.

I Can’t Tell You Why has a moody brooding feeling that I love. While Meisner’s vocals may be distant in Take It To The Limit, Timothy B. Schmit’s vocals, and the corresponding backing vocals, are perfectly placed in this song. Interestingly, Schmit replaced Meisner in the Eagles line-up and subjectively I feel he was a stronger vocalist and brought a new dynamic to The Eagles.

Peaceful Easy Feeling makes me want to learn the acoustic guitar. It is a lovely song but that guitar twang, mid-song, is just a little too high pitched for my liking. This is especially the case when listening on headphones.

James Dean is not one of my favourite tracks. The instrumental introduction is excellent, but I cringe as soon as the vocals hit. It isn’t the meaning behind the song, but the delivery of the vocals that I dislike. In comparison to the rest of the compilation, this song just feels out of place and I find that I simply want to hit the next track button.

Doolin-Dalton has a lovely harmonica-based introduction. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I love the harmonica sound. Overall, Doolin-Dalton is a lovely song and a welcome mellow sound in comparison to James Dean.

Witchy Woman is very musical and I love the atmospheric approach to the song. The tempo changes throughout and while the song cannot be pigeonholed, it is never dull and predictable; although having listened to it extensively, I know all the small shifts. Boy bands often get a raw deal, especially the modern-day ones, but the Eagles had the perfect interweaving harmony vocal that can only be achieved in a band. Yes, you could post-produce this effect with modern recording technologies, but the advantage was the Eagles could perform this song live.

The Long Run is a song that I neither like nor dislike. It merely exists and while I don’t look to skip the song, I don’t actively seek it out either.

Life In The Fast Lane is a perfect song to conclude the compilation. I always like a final track that will encourage me to listen to the album again. Life In The Fast Lane certainly ticks that box and showcases a number of core musical elements that are present in the unique soundstage created by the Eagles.

Overall, there is very little that one can say about the Eagles that hasn’t already been said. They are simply one of the greatest rock bands in the history of the world and while Glenn Frey is no longer with us, therefore putting the Eagles permanently into retirement, their music will live on in our hearts and souls for generations to come.

While this compilation was released prior to Hell Freezes Over and Long Road Out Of Eden, it misses out on the possible inclusion of newer songs such as the enjoyable Love Will Keep Us Alive and No More Cloudy Days. That said, The Very Best Of The Eagles is without a doubt their very best work and would be a welcome addition to any music collection.

The Very Best Of The Eagles is still available on CD from Amazon.

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