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The Eagles: 70s Rock Sensation Then vs. Now

the eagles
The Eagles (Credits: NBC)

The Eagles were a popular American country rock band in the United States in the 1970s. In those times, they had a reputation like Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, or any other act. They were the ‘most consistent makers of quality hits of any American Band since Creedence Clearwater Revival.’

They were hugely hated. They weren’t just boring, and they were the worst band in the world. They were misogynistic and egoistic. The band’s discography has a huge number of songs that made it big in the US.

Eagles are known for their simple lyrics. Don Henley is the drummer and percussionist of the Eagles band and also one of the lead vocalists. Glenn Lewis was also the lead vocalist and passed away in 2016.

Bernie was the guitarist, and Randy was the songwriter and bass guitarist. The Eagles were in the Top 30s in 1972. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 and won 6 Grammys.

They were angry at almost everything- record labels, press, publicists, musicians, and even the members. The lyrics were against women, which became disturbing to listeners. The Eagles had a thing against women, and masculinity was becoming a problem.

On the other hand, they wrote some charming song titles like Tequila Sunrise, Peaceful Easy Feeling, and Desperado. Tequila Sunrise has a soft melody of melancholy and lost love.

Listening To Witchy Woman

‘Witchy Woman’ is a haunting and enchanting song about Los Angeles club girls backed with electric guitars, Ouija boards, girls’ dorms, seduction, white witchcraft, and ‘ruby lips.’ Mostly it was about a dorm roommate of a girl that Don dated who knew witchcraft in the days when the occult was in fashion.

Things get unusual as the song was written about a girl who had schizophrenia. The lyrics talk in the medical context, a cocktail infused with stories of mad, hallucinating, and intoxicated girls’ stories.

It is a break from pop culture and more into symbols like ‘raven hair’ and ‘occult’ that gives a magical setting to electronic music. The song gives serious, strong Halloween vibes here.

You can almost feel the magic of the witch ready to cast a spell with a ‘silver spoon’ in a psychiatric ward drinking alcohol to induce hallucination. They successfully made an elevation from black magic to folk magic, palm reading, and Indian sound infused with Hollywood.

It somehow proves that flu-influenced lyrics are enchanting, like the seductress. These raw lyrics started their professional songwriting career. The Eagles research women who are supernatural, evil, occult, and ‘fly high.’

The woman has slept in the devil’s bed and, having seduced the songwriter actually doesn’t seem to be witchy at all. The song is written in an intoxicated state, with R&B influence and witch characteristics that interested people. The song’s history seems to have a deep story behind it.

The band had a Southern California aura, and they have had the taste of success for the longest time.

eagles album

Hotel California album cover (Credits: Stereogum)

Let’s take a closer look at the Eagles: 70s sensation then vs. now.

The Eagles in the 70s

The Eagles formed in 1971 in Los Angeles, Drummer Don Hexley had migrated west from Texas with his band. Guitarist Glenn Frey from Detroit was moving to Los Angeles. Bernie Leadon had a bluegrass background.

Singer Randy Meisner had worked with Rick Nelson, Poco, and James Taylor. They worked on Linda Ronstadt’s album and synonymously worked on the songs of their debut album, recorded in England in 1972 with producer Glyn Johns.

Four albums topped Billboard’s album charts for 27 weeks.  Winning 6 Grammys make them the most legendary rock band in the world.

The Eagles: 70s Rock Sensation Then vs. Now

By the 1980s, they were the most popular band in America, but things turned easily. Bernie and Randy quit because of the toxic atmosphere. Randy was suffering from mental health issues and embarked on a solo career.

Meisner had joined another band, World Class Rockers. Joe Walsh was tripping with alcohol addiction, and the band broke up in 1980.

Don Henley had a girl overdose at his Hollywood party, and the police charged him. He was accused of having marijuana, cocaine, and stuff that drugged a minor. He was given drug counseling, probation, and fined.

In February 2013, the Eagles released a documentary called History of The Eagles and went on tour. In 2016, guitarist Glenn died at the age of 67 in New York from rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia.

After the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Frey went solo with hits like ‘The One You Love,’ ‘Smuggler’s Blues,’ and ‘You Belong To The City.’ Eagles’ Greatest Hits sold 29m, as shown by The Recording Industry Association of America.

The current members of the band are Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, and Vince Gill. Joe Walsh is an iconic guitarist and is listed on the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. He joined the Eagles in 1975, playing lead guitar.

Timothy replaced Randy, who played at the band’s reunion in 1994. Vince Gill is a country phenomenon winning 22 Grammys out of 47 nominations. They are still living up to their 70s aura, singing old songs on tours.

Eagles before and after

Eagles before (top) and after (bottom) (Credits: no treble)

The Eagles played on the ‘Hotel California Tour’ from 2020 to 2023. The Hotel California has been certified platinum 26 times by the Recording Association of America and has two Grammys. It has sold 200 million albums.

The ‘Long Goodbye Tour’ would be a finalizing tour for the classic band, starting in September 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Presale tickets and VIP packages for concerts began on July 12. The tour stops are Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Denver.

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