Sometimes you hear something that inspires you. What it inspires you to do, is up to you, but often times, it is to pick up an instrument. Hell Freezes Over
was one of the first albums I really remember listening to and loving when I would have been just 4 years old. It also made me want to learn the guitar. After seeing the Live Concert of this album, I made it clear to myself that I would learn how to play the guitar.
The Eagles had a bitter breakup in 1980, and Don Henley was quoted saying that the band will play together again when “Hell freezes over”. Freeze over it did. They got back together in 1994 and did an MTV special with that same name, and later released this album with 4 new studio tracks and 11 live recorded ones. As mentioned before, the concert was released on video, and became one of the best selling concert films of all time. It is no wonder either.
With a unique bled of Hard Rock, Bluegrass Country, and Surf Rock; the Eagles were a huge success in the 1970s. The two hurricane forces of the band were Don Henley and Glen Frey, both distinguished songwriters now. The rest of the band contains Joe Walsh and Don Felder on guitar, and Timothy B. Schmit on bass.
On the album, the first four tracks are the new studio recorded ones; “Get over It” employs Hard Rock, whereas the rest are Ballads of sorts. These songs are absolute gems to me. The layered guitar work is what really jumps out at you in these songs. Don Henley and Glen Frey’s voices are still in top shape, and the melodies are wonderful. As for the rest of the album, which was all recorded live, its main rival in my music collection is The Who’s Live At Leeds
. Making these two albums my favorite live albums ever. The live segment kicks off with the band’s fist breakthrough single “Tequila Sunrise”. What is most noticeable is the percussion in the background, and the use of the Mandolin by Don Felder. Next is probably their most famous song “Hotel California”. This version is certainly a treat to hear. Extended intro, and use of only acoustic instruments, the band really shows of their talent on this one.
Throughout the album, other band members get to come forward and sing a song or two as well. My favorite being Joe Walsh’s “Pretty Maids All in a Row”. His voice is kind of acquired taste, per say, but it truly is beautiful.
Like I said before, the most noticeable parts of the album are the acoustic guitars, and percussion. The combination of the two (as heard in Hotel California) is magic to the ears. This album just leaves you hanging off your seat wanting more. The band delivers, and what I like about this album most, is you feel satisfied after you are listening to it. Maybe it’s just me, because it had such an impact on my childhood, but I honestly think that any music fan would find at least one thing on this album to really appreciate.