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Thread: Celebration of "Desperado"

  1. #81
    Out on the Border BBKron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    One last thing that I forgot to include in my previous post. Although the themes I described occurring throughout Desperado and Hotel California certainly sound very negative and depressing, I don't look at either work themselves as being depressing. Quite the contrary, they can be very uplifting. The 'messages' of these albums were meant to be warnings, lessons to be learned, for individuals, as well as society. For Desperado, 'Don't let this happen to you', Stop, make the right (or at least better) decisions. Don't end up like this, full of regret, etc. For, HC, It's more like 'Don't let this happen to US, Let's not be like this, let's make changes for a better society, etc.' They are intended to be 'wake-up calls' to people and society. Thus, we can follow these stories, feel for what the characters are going through, and use that to determine how to not make the same mistakes in our lives, or to somehow better ours. Neither album is what anyone would call 'cheery', they are quite downbeat, but overall, I think both make very positive contributions towards people's attitudes and lives. Anyway, just wanted to add that, as it may have seemed that I thought the albums were depressing, when they really are not. They are cautionary tales.

    Anyway, I think part of the reason these albums have become so iconic is because of this depth of vision beyond just the superficial setting of the song, or the 'radio-friendly' sound. These albums and song cycles are not only musically-satisfying, but have these deeper levels of meaning and broader significance that make the whole album just that much more special than a collection of miscellaneous songs. These broader themes and concepts lift the overall album into another level of meaning and importance.
    Thanks for the opportunity to express myself about this.
    BBKron

    Check out my music blog, the BB Chronicles at http://bbchron.blogspot.com

  2. #82
    Stuck on the Border MikeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Quote Originally Posted by BBKron
    BTW, MikeA, Hotel California is very much a concept album, through and through, and it was intended to be. I am quite astonished that anyone here (that is, serious Eagles fans) would not have realized that. Henley himself, in an interview with Dutch magazine ZigZag in 1976 said about HC, "This is a concept album, there's no way to hide it, but it's not set in the old West, the cowboy thing, you know. It's more urban this time." In the same interview, he also said they were making a "statement using California as a microcosm of the whole United States, or the whole world, if you will, and to try to wake people up..." About the song HC, Henley said "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and about excess in America, which was something we knew about."
    First off, with "Desperado," I could (and DID) listen to it and KNEW then as I KNOW NOW that it was a concept album. I really didn't need to be told in order to recognize it as being such. It does indeed tell a story about a notoriously bloody gang. You can get from the lyrics of the songs the connection between the nature of the gang and the individuals who made up that gang...some insights into the personalities of the individuals. It all fits together and does point out character flaws that in some cases "relate" to the people listening to the work.

    It is/was Brilliant in that the Eagles could take that theme and present it in a way that most people could privately if not publicly, admit that some of the same thoughts and concerns could apply to them. But it was done in a contained theme set in the Old West where lawlessness was even less under control than it is today.

    Regardless as to what Henley says about Hotel California, it does not meet that criteria in the same whole-hog "concept" definition as does "Desperado". Not on the surface anyway in the way Desperado did/does.

    Yes, it does have songs on it (namely HC and LITFL whose meanings are pretty obvious) that describe the debauchery and indulgence that was and is a blight on society...something to be avoided...a warning. Pretty Maids presents a retrospective attitudes describing the way in which lot of people live in the past (or want to live in the past) rather than face the problems of today and move forward.

    But the rest of the songs on the album with the exception of "Last Resort" were songs of broken relationships. Only if I accept the fact that the artists were labeling them as decadence and therefore something to avoid in order to straighten out society, can I see them fitting in with the concept of the Eagles diagnosis of a failing social structure.

    If they were truly intended as such by the Eagles, then I'd have to give them a failing mark for presentation. Not that Hotel California and all of the songs on that album were anything short of GREAT. I don't mean that. I'm talking strictly of any great statement on Society or Culture with the intent of them tying together enough to be declared as parts of a work intended to be "Conceptual" as a whole.

    I think an artist has a responsibility to those who try to appreciate their art. If they paint a picture of a "horse", that is the way they should expect it to be perceived. They should not expect those viewing it to grasp the concept that the picture was really one of a "duck" who wanted to be a horse.

    It is the responsibility of the artist to present their concepts in a language that their viewers (or listeners) can comprehend and in doing so, comprehend the concept that the artist was representing.

    Now, if I'm "comprehending" the concept of the entirety of the album "Hotel California" I'm going to see it as a critique placing failed relationships on a level higher than the bad caused by the valid concerns expressed in the song HC and LITFL augmented by the concerns expressed in Last Resort. Somehow, I don't think that the Eagles intended that to be the concept they wished to express if indeed the album was intended as a Concept Album.

    But if indeed that was their intention, then the only way I would have "gotten" most of the Social Commentary was by Henley telling me so and then listening to abstract interpretations of the lyrics that the songs consisted of (excluding HC, LITFL and LR). If that was the intent, I'd say it was not their best effort.

    But thankfully, the songs stood on their own merit individually and didn't need to be explained in vane of being Conceptual or Theme Based. It is not at all obvious to me that it was a Concept Album.

    MikeA

  3. #83
    Stuck on the Border EaglesKiwi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Possibly the songs about broken relationships work with the "concept" if we considered the concept as being searching for what you think you wanted - but then finding out it's not what you want after all... ??

    I agree with you Mike, that all these songs stand on their own merits and if HC is going to be considered a "Conceptual" or theme album then it's a fairly broad concept!
    ---------------------------------
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  4. #84
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Desperado was released on this day in 1973. It's time once again for us to celebrate Desperado Week! Woot! (It's my fave Eagles album).

    I'm putting the CD in the car today. There's not one stinker on this album, IMHO.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  5. #85
    Stuck on the Border whitcap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Happy 39th anniversary Desperado! This is one of my favorite albums.

    Open up your eyes take the devil from your mind

  6. #86
    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Ah ha! Time for an av change!
    https://i.imgur.com/CuSdAQM.jpg
    "They will never forget you 'till somebody new comes along"
    1948-2016 Gone but not forgotten

  7. #87
    Out on the Border SteveJoburg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Got home from work, logged in and went Hey??? Seriously dig the Desperado theme on the board.

    And the album, of course, is a modern classic...


    I woke up this morning with an attitude
    looked at the headline, put me in a real bad mood

  8. #88
    Border Rebel Windeagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    Love this album!

  9. #89
    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    It's still my overall favorite Eagles album! I love it!

    And the powers that be back in the day never thought it would make it. I guess it wasn't their best selling album, but it stood the test of time. IMO anyways!
    https://i.imgur.com/CuSdAQM.jpg
    "They will never forget you 'till somebody new comes along"
    1948-2016 Gone but not forgotten

  10. #90
    Stuck on the Border Topkat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celebration of "Desperado"

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to DESPERADO! Wow 39 years! Sheeh, I'm old.
    Although this is not one of my favorite Eagles albums, the song still holds it's place as the final song at almost every Eagles concert! It's a classic!

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