Back in the day when music was reigned by kings such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and so many more hard rock and roll acts, there was a rock band in America that was on the rise after releasing four albums and was about to release their fifth album, an album that would have gargantuan success and the put the band at the top of the charts. Yes...i'm talkin' 'bout The Eagles and their 1976 release of the landmark album Hotel California. Not too many bands could blend the flavors of country and rock so well and produce such an excellent taste in sound. This album has a lot of styles ranging from mellow ballads to hard rockers and even a little orchestration as well. "Hotel California" would prove to be a classic song, heck, I believe it's one of the best songs ever created and I can easily tell you why. "Life in the Fast Lane" is another popular hit as well as the country pop of "New Kid in Town". The lyrics are some of the best by any band ever and anything else that's involved with this superb music is top notch. From the classic and memorable cover art to the beautiful ballad "Try and Love Again", there is a lot to discover and a lot to enjoy in this album.
Glenn Frey (Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals)
Joe Walsh (Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals)
Don Felder (Guitars, Vocals)
Randy Meisner (Bass, Vocals)
Don Henley (Drums, Vocals)
1. Hotel California (6:30)
Right from the get go we have a powerful song in "Hotel California". Everything about this song is so perfect, from the deep lyrics to the awesome solo this song has it all. In the intro we have some acoustic guitars strumming around the fretboard until the vocals come in with the opening lyrics; "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air" and so on that do more than an amazing job describing the scene and surroundings. As you start to understand the whole concept of this album and this song alone, it only grows on you more and more. There is plenty of memorable lines in "Hotel California" but my favorite from the song is the final verse; "Last thing I remember, I was running for the door, I had to find the passage back, to the place I was before, relax said the night man, we are programmed to receive, you can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!". These lines really sum up the song well but there's still a superb solo to enjoy. It may not be the best solo ever but it's still great to hear and a fine way to end such a fantastic song. 5/5
2. New Kid in Town (5:03)
The follow up song is a gentle country ballad with some soft singing and lushful guitar playing. The lyrics seem to be about being whatever is new until it grows old and something else becomes new and the cycle repeats and what not. My way of seeing it is trying to always be in the spotlight and always recreating yourself so your image never fades out and you're always "the new kid in town". But that's just my opinion and take on them, i'm sure everyone might look at it differently then me. Anywho, towards the end of the song it gets quite emotional as far as the singing goes with some help from the background vocals and soon enough the song fades out and were onto the next one. 5/5
3. Life in the Fast Lane (4:46)
The third song is a pure hard rockin' song with one catchy riff that i'm sure you're familiar with. The lyrics again are great, this time summing up livin' a life pretty much on the edge. A lot of subjects are covered here from drugs, sex and anything dealing with hollywood. My favorite lines; "They had one thing in common, they were good in bed, she said 'faster faster', the lights are turning red" are some of the catchier lyrics from the album. Throughout the song you have a great riff but some even better leads changing up here and there that give the song another dimension. Well, I won't go on about this song! 5/5
4. Wasted Time (4:56)
A ballad follows up the rocker "Life in the Fast Lane" and it let me tell you it's a great one too. This time the lyrics seems to be about lookin' back on life and thinkin' that it was all wasted time and now life is only shorter. Don Henley does a fantastic job on the vocals and their is some great paino work to go along with it all. The tempo's change up a bit from being highly emotional to sad and depressingly quiet which adds a little something to the song. Overall, a fine ballad and nice change of pace that you'll find quite often in this album. 4/5
5. Wasted Time (Reprise) (1:23)
A sweet little orchestra reprise of "Wasted Time". Not a lot to say really...Not something I listen to outside of the album but it does make for a nice little instrumental. I'm not going to rate it though...
6. Victim of Love (4:09)
Back to the rockin' we go! This song has a heavy beat along with some excellent slide guitar playing from Joe Walsh. I really like the lines; "You say he's a liar and he put out your fire, how come you still got his gun in your hands" and what not, again...catchy lyrics and some sweet riffs, the band creates another great song to enjoy on the album and this one...is a nice little change up from the ballads that actually in a way, dominate the album. 5/5
7. Pretty Maids All in a Row (3:58)
This song is a really, really quiet ballad and I find it to be the most underated tune out of the nine songs on the album. After about the :30 second mark some paino work comes in along with some shallow yet soulful vocals. This song is actually a bit haunting, especially the last minute with the "ohhh's" and "ahhh's" until the song fades away to the end. But I must say, you got to give this song some serious listens and i'm sure it'll really grow on you like it did on me, oh, you might want to turn up the volume as well! 4/5
8. Try and Love Again (5:10)
"Try and Love Again" is my personal favorite from the album, opening with some melodic electric guitars it kicks into a beautiful country like tune. Now I absolutely hate country but this song has a rockin' vibe along with the emotion and amazing singing. The chorus is great as is the nice little guitar pieces foudn throughout the song. This is one of the best love songs of all time too, not cheesy at all, it's straight from the heart and another favorite line of mine is here; "It might take years to see through all these tears". The drum beat is nothing special but adds a little depth to the song and in the end, what can I say? I love this song and even if you don't like it as much as me, I think you'll enjoy it too. 5/5
9. The Last Resort (7:28)
The final song on the album! "The Last Resort" is the perfect song to end the album too, it has great paino playing throughout the entirety of the song as well as some emotional singing from Don Henley. The lyrics are a whole new thing to talk about though...You'll have to look 'em up and have your own take on them. This song is also the longest song on the entire album and has a great epic feel to it only beaten out by the title track. The song ends perfectly by quietly fading out and the album ends and your left wishin' it was still goin'. 5/5
Well I hope i've helped in your decision on wether or not to buy this! I mean, it's one of those top selling albums ever, i'd be suprised if you didn't have it already! But if you don't, man...you're missing out for sure. Anyways, with a little country influence and a need to rock, this band proves it with such songs like "Hotel California", "New Kid in Town", "Life in the Fast Lane", "Try and Love Again" and "The Last Resort". Also, some of the songs on this album are perfect to relax to and I suggest if you're looking for the perfect song to relax to, "Wasted Time" and the reprise are perfect for the situation. In the end, The Eagles would never top this album and their only better selling release being "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975". Let me see...yeah...that's it!
+ "Hotel California"...'nuff said...
+ Great combination of country mixed perfectly with rock
+ All the band members provide vocals on atleast one song and all do a terrific job
+ Great album flow from song to song
+ Great mix of rockers and ballds and a little in between as well
+ Some of the best lyrics ever are in this album and in these songs
- "Wasted Time (Reprise)" may seem useless but oh well...