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Matthew C. Clark

Ranking The Studio Albums: The Eagles

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James   

For me the first 5 were very close in terms of ranking them, "Long Run" was very good, but not up to Eagles par. The last one 10 years ago was a double album, if they´d taken the best 40 minutes from that album and put those 40 minutes on a single album, that single album would be right there with the first 5.



 

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LC   

My Eagles LP rankings:

1. Hotel California (1976): A, despite a sort of backlash this album and the title track seem to be getting...

2. Desperado (1973): B

3. One of These Nights (1975): B

4. The Long Run (1978): B-

4. Eagles (1972): B-

5. On the Border (1974): C+

I don't know Long Roads Out of Eden very well, so I have to give it an incomplete. However, I believe Marv loves it, so... I need to give it a fair shake. 

I realized from doing this that I'm not an Eagles fanatic. I love the Eagles, but for me personally, I get what I love from them by listing to the compilations. That first one—Greatest Hits (1971-1975) is an A++ record that I've listened to a million times. Greatest Hits Vol. 2 isn't quite at that level, but it's not terribly far off. I'd probably still give it an A- or B+. Heck, it's got "Hotel California," "Heartache Tonight," "I Can't Tell You Why," "New Kid In Town," "The Long Run," and more.

And, I love the two live albums.  I like the 2nd one, Hell Freezes Over (1994) a little better. I'd give it an A- or B+. The set list is just about everything you'd want, and the playing is tight. The 1980 Eagles Live album merits a B- or C+... Remember that Rolling Stone called it "perhaps the most heavily overdubbed [live album] in history. Plus, I didn't and don't care for the song "Seven Bridges Road," which was actually released as a single.

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James   

Wow, I´d give "Long Run" a B+....the rest would be As - A+s. Also, for me, the Eagles´ brilliance is in their deeper cuts, though the hits are great too. LC, the star songs from "Long Road out of Eden" are the title tune, "Waiting in the Weeds" and "Do Something" ....at least for me.  Waiting in the Weeds is probably the best, and really on a higher level than anything they ever did, musically. It reaks of genius and perfection. But I personally like "Do Something" even better.  Nice message, and a beautiful melody.

My ranking:
1. On the Border...songs like "My Man", "Ole 55" and "Is it true" push it to 1st place for me.
2. Hotel California......has more songs I don´t like so much than any of the other albums (Victim of Love, Life in the Fast Lane, and Wasted Time is just ok)....but its brilliant tunes (Try and love again, Last Resort, New Kid in Town)....more than compensate.
3. Deperado
4. Eagles
5. Long Road out of Eden
6. Long Run..."Those Shoes", "Greeks don´t want no freaks", "Sad Cafe"......my favorites from the album.

First 5 are A - A+s. Long Run is a B+.



 

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LC   

Hmm... Perhaps I'm being too tough on the Eagles. I mean, if you were to ask, I'd say, "love the Eagles!" But like I said, the hits are of such high quality, that they're what would make me say that. The deeper cuts never called out to me, generally speaking. (Except on Hotel — "Prety Maids All in a Row," "Wasted Time," "Try and Love Again"). But, given your flurry of As, I'll have to do a deep dive and see what might grab me. 

Interestingly, I would say that if you had a big Eagles song bucket and dropped in their solo hits, there are two Henleys that would rank in my top 5 among all of them—"Boys of Summer" and "End of the Innocence," which to me are A+ songs, maybe his finest moments. I also dig "Dirty Laundry" and "Heart of the Matter" and "Last Worthless Evening." Even though there are a couple of Henley solos that I find annoying, I think he was as good after the Eagles as he was during the Eagles. As for solo Glenn Frey—he had his moments ("The One You Love" is great), but I think he was way better within the Eagles environment than on his own. Joe Walsh is always a kick....

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James   

Pretty much agree, though for me "Heart of the Matter" is Henley´s pinnacle, and as good as anything the Eagles put out, for my taste. I remember seeing him
perform that live on Saturday Night Live. The studio version is fantastic of course, but that live performance took the song to another level.
 

 

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