The Eagles have released a new documentary that tells the history of the band.
We’re going to pass.
They are objectively one of the most successful bands ever. They’ve sold 100 million albums, and their first greatest hits album is the best-selling album of all time in North America.
Yet the music can, and in our opinion should, also be seen as some of the most cliched, maudlin, and ultimately perishable ever recorded.
We’ve compiled 11 maxims that explain why they will end up in the dust bin of history.
1) There are two Americas: the one that likes or “doesn’t mind” the Eagles, and everyone else.
The one where people actively or passively accept an Eagles song when one comes on the radio, and those for whom “Take It Easy” triggers an immediate gag response. This second one will eventually win out.
2) The band insists on being called “Eagles” instead of “The Eagles.”
Check it out. Certain band members and many fans will yell at you if you get it wrong:
We’re going to do it anyway.
3) Just look at these lyrics:
“Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see/It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.” (from “Take It Easy”)
“One of these nights/One of these crazy old nights./We’re gonna find out, Pretty mama, What turns on your lights.” (from “One Of These Nights”)
“It’s another tequila sunrise/Starin’ slowly ‘cross the sky, said goodbye/He was just a hired hand Workin’ on the dreams he planned to try The days go by.”
4) To this day, the Eagles keep getting schooled by Fleetwood Mac.
In Rolling Stone’s annual readers poll fro 1977, Mac beat out the Eagles for artist of the year and band of the year. As Marc Eliot writes in “To The Limit: “The British-American group would always have a broader if less intense following. Quite simply, the presence of Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie was what separated the men from the boys…If Mac also ‘aged’ more gracefully, it was because the music it made came from the real-life drama of its romantic relationships, while the songs of the Eagles seemed by comparison to come from loners, not-so-young men acting like teenage boys still on the sexual make.”
5) Scientists have been hunting four decades to find any trace of irony in the following photo. They have yet to turn up anything.
6) They have a song called “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
What does that even mean?
7) All these truly mediocre songs were made by truly mediocre people.
Founding member Bernie Leadon was so sensitive, and Glenn Frey was so impossible to get along with, that Leadon quit the band by pouring a beer over Frey’s head. The band broke up in 1980 after a benefit concert when Frey threatened to kill “Hotel California” co-writer Don Felder, after Felder insulted the concert’s host, Sen. Alan Cranston. When their greatest hits became the best selling album in North America of all time, Leadon and fellow founding member Randy Meisner weren’t even informed and had to call someone to get their copy of the award. Later, when Felder was fired from the band in 2001 and subsequently sued them, received his invitation to appear in the new documentary through his lawyer, via the Eagles’ own lawyers.
8) The Eagles are the Budweiser of rock n’ roll.
Successful, no doubt. Smooth, sure. Yet ultimately watered down and unsatisfying.
9) The Eagles invented the money-grab reunion tour, despite not needing any money.
The “Hell Freezes Over” tour in 1994 became one of the most successful in music history, despite the fact that Henley continued to enjoy a string of hits throughout the ’80s and Frey was enjoying a relatively successful career in Hollywood.
10) Even Don Henley thinks they were actually pretty lame.
Henley, who along with Joe Walsh is generally regarded as the most thoughtful member of the band, has previously said “I’m certainly not thrilled with everything the Eagles did,” with respect to their songs. He also told Whoopi Goldberg in an interview in the early ’90s, “We hit the nail on the head sometimes — and we missed it by a mile sometimes,” he said in an interview in the early 90s.”
11) The Eagles will come to be remembered as the Perry Como of their generation.
Perry Como was the king of music for the Greatest Generation, which meant he was the last thing any aspiring musician who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s wanted to take after. Well, 30 years later, the same can be said of our frightful foursome. They will remain frozen in time. When was the last time you heard a great new song based off a guitar hook?
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