View Full Version : What's An Eagles Song?

Ive always been a dreamer
01-30-2009, 02:09 PM
This came up in another thread, and I am interested in what others think about it. If the Eagles or some of the Eagles write a song, but never record it, do you consider it an Eagles song?

I don't really think of it as an Eagles song, but it's certainly debatable. In my mind, I think of Eagles songs as song that they actually recorded. The song in question in the other thread was Too Much Drama. Henley and Frey wrote this song, but to the best of my knowledge, neither ever recorded it. It was recorded by Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship fame. But, since it was written by them, what the heck, I guess it technically could be considered an Eagles song. Any thoughts???

01-30-2009, 02:11 PM
I think it should be considered an Eagles song. I am of the opinion that if someone writes a song and it is recorded by someone else, then it is the original writer's song because that person thought of it, and wrote it first.

01-30-2009, 06:25 PM
I would agree with EL. If Frey and Henley wrote the song then I guess there was the potential that they would record and sing it together. They made up the music and lyrics to it. So it WOULD be an Eagles song!

01-30-2009, 06:44 PM
Hmmm, is this like if a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it does it make a sound...?

Just kidding. I agree with Dreamer. For example, if Lennon/ McCartney wrote a song for The Stones but never recorded it as The Beatles, then it's not a Beatles song.

01-30-2009, 08:17 PM
I would call a song like Too Much Drama a Frey/Henley song, not an Eagles song. It's only an Eagles song if the Eagles record it. "Frey/Henley" does not equal "Eagles" in this case. JMHO.

01-30-2009, 08:38 PM
Maybe its like where a baby is adopted, who are its parents? The biological ones (Henley, Frey, ergo Eagles) or its adoptive singer?Just an analogy!

01-30-2009, 08:46 PM
I gotta agree that it would be a Frey/Henley song, not an Eagles song. The "Eagles" didn't write it nor did they record it. Glenn Frey and Don Henley (two members but not the entire group) wrote it and another artist recorded it. Just an opinion though. 8)

Ive always been a dreamer
01-30-2009, 10:48 PM
Well I think everyone has valid points here. The reason I started this topic in the first place is because I think these things are definitely open for interpretation. I think a lot of people, including myself, generally associate ownership of a song more with the recording artist than the songwriter. However, when I thought about it, I was thinking perhaps it should be the other way around. Is the true owner of a song the songwriter(s) or recording artist(s)? I guess the answer is probably both, but it seems to me that the recording artist tends to get more credit. I mean think of Take It Easy, which most all of us here know was written by Jackson Browne and Glenn. But ask just about anybody on the street and they will tell you without a doubt, it's an Eagles song. The same is true for Peaceful Easy Feeling, How Long, and many others.

01-30-2009, 11:00 PM
True, dreamer, but I still think it's important to make a distinction between the songwriter(s) and the group that songwriter is a part of. That's why I emphasized "Frey/Henley song" over "Eagles song." Now if Felder, Walsh, and Schmit had contributed to the songwriting at the time as well (1979), THEN I'd say you can call it an Eagles song even though they didn't record it.

01-31-2009, 02:50 PM
I had never heard of Too Much Drama until it came up in the other thread. I have to go along with those that think it's a Henley/Frey song and not an Eagles song since they never recorded it. I suppose there are lots of those lying around (in the vaults maybe) (no, they say there are no vaults!). I would think of it as the recording artist's song. I'm also sure that the writer thinks of it as his song too though.

I'm confused! :laugh:

01-31-2009, 05:06 PM
I am also of the opinion that the song primarily belongs to the songwriter until it is recorded, so therefore it is a Henley/Frey song until it's recorded, when it would have become an Eagles song. I have never heard it, though I know of it.

A distinction is that Somebody is a Jack Tempchin song, but because the Eagles recorded it , it is also an Eagles song.

02-01-2009, 01:24 AM
Hmmm, is this like if a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it does it make a sound...?

Just kidding. I agree with Dreamer. For example, if Lennon/ McCartney wrote a song for The Stones but never recorded it as The Beatles, then it's not a Beatles song.
The first thing I thought of was the tree falling in the empty woods, too!:hilarious:
I think the song really can 'belong' to both the songwriter and the recording artist. For many many years, I only knew the song Jersey Girl as a Bruce Springsteen song--he recorded it, and I assumed he wrote it. It's listed on his website under his "Songs", and it's exactly the type of song he would write. It was only within the last few months, and from being on this board, that I learned it was written by Tom Waits! I think it was from a thread about Tom and Ol' '55, where I then watched a You Tube video, which then led to another one of Tom performing Jersey Girl...and I did a double take! So, I looked into it a bit further, and found out that Bruce had only covered Tom's song--it was then I heard the sound of :heart::heart: breaking all over New Jersey...

However, now I realize that given how much I like Ol' '55 and Jersey Girl, there are probably other Tom Waits' songs I would like as well. So, some time soon, I have to check him out!