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We played at a small gallery in Waterloo, London at a show that we organized ourselves. We had a great audience, the atmosphere was charged with good vibes, everything looked and sounded perfect. When we played, it seemed like there was a direct connection between my brain and my fingers. Every idea was instantly transformed into good sound. Yes, I played a few bum notes, but it didn't matter one bit.
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Eagles released their 5th and finest studio album on 8th December 1976 on the Asylum Records label.
The album signalled a change in musical direction triggered by the influences of the latest additions to the band's personnel. Founder member Bernie Leadon (co-writer of Take it Easy, Witchy Woman amongst others) left the band after the tension between himself and Glenn Frey reached its peak with Leadon famously pouring a beer over Frey's head and telling him: "You need to chill out man!". Joe Walsh was added to the line-up of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Don Felder and Randy Meisner. The addition of Joe Walsh to the relatively recent addition of Don Felder moved the band out of the country scene and into rock n roll.
The title track of the album is the band's most famous and most commercially successful track. The meaning of the lyrics of Hotel California has been the subject of much speculation and interpretation mainly to do with devil worship and the occult. Don Henley himself said that the song was about the loss of innocence, the decadent decline of the American dream and disgust at the excesses of the time. Hotel California - both album and single - reached number 1. The first single released from the album New Kid in Town also reached number 1 and the final single Life in the Fast Lane peaked at number 11.
Drummer and vocalist Don Henley was later to reveal that in his opinion Hotel California was the album where the Eagles peaked; guitarist and vocalist Glenn Frey identified the album as the beginning of the end for the band. The album went on to sell over 32 million copies worldwide. Other well-known tracks on the album include Wasted Time, Victim of Love, Pretty Maids All in a Row and The Last Resort.
Hotel California is still going strong some 40 years after its initial release and is regularly cited amongst the greatest songs of all time.
And still those voices are calling from far away...
Did you know?
Black Sabbath were recording Technical Ecstasy at the same studios in Miami and the recording of Hotel California had to be paused on many occasions as Sabbath were too loud!
The album lost on a Grammy Award for Album of the Year to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours
The cover artwork features the Beverley Hills Hotel