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Thread: Celebration of "The Long Run"!

  1. #11
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    I'll do my ranking of the songs later. Even the ones I didn't initially like have grown on me to a degree... except one. Which one? Well, it's not too difficult to guess, is it? It's the one many people tactfully describe as "not their best work." It's DISCO STRANGLER, which I forced myself to listen to in order to do my review but still makes my ears bleed (sorry Willie)!

    ETA: I know some people like it, and I recognize their opinion is certainly as valid as mine or anyone else's.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  2. #12
    Stuck on the Border
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    This is my first post using our new computer and Windows Vista.

    The thing about Disco Strangler is it is so BASIC. It's just a refreshing change from the band's usual style.

  3. #13
    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    I try to imagine what it must have been like to put this on the turntable and listen to it old school, right when it first came out - never hearing any of these songs before, getting introduced to Timothy for the first time. I bet it was pretty dang cool.
    I remember the first time we played that album. My husband and I looked at each other and both of us thought "WTH?"! TLR and HT were both normal Eagles songs, but the rest was ............! It took awhile, but we learned to like it! And it was great to hear Timothy! That was our thinking at the time.
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    "They will never forget you 'till somebody new comes along"
    1948-2016 Gone but not forgotten

  4. #14
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    OK, here's my rundown, from best to worst.

    WARNING: I don't hold back on those last three. Sensitive folks are advised to skip that segment!


    THE BRILLIANT

    Heartache Tonight - Here we have the highlight of The Long Run which is right up there with the Eagles' best work. This song showed they could still pull it out. What's not to like about it? Glenn's vocal is off the chain - no wonder he won a freaking Grammy for it! The way he growls "Heartache Tonight" and belts out that chorus, the way he sings that "We can beat around the bushes" segment, even his whoops at the end.... they all exude vitality and energy; it's the way he sings the entire song. It's downright exciting to listen to it. It makes you wanna crank the volume up and rock out, singing along at the top of your lungs. The catchy guitar riffs, the way the guitar starts up, then backs off and sneaks back in as you move towards the chorus at which point it comes back full blast, the part where the music drops out and the vocals go acapella with just the beat, the use of the handclaps... everything about this song works. To this day it's a showstopper that brings the house down. To put it simply: Heartache Tonight ROCKS MY WORLD!!



    THE EXCELLENT

    Those Shoes - Oh, so hot, from the the throbbing bass line to the moaning guitar. How can a talk box guitar be sexy? Yet, it is. It's like a groan-box here, lol (at least it is until the end). Don's vocal is absolutely smoldering. It's like he's telling the woman "How can you expect me to pay attention to what you're saying when you're making me want you?" That's the hottest part of all - how hungry he sounds, especially on the line "once you've started wearing those shoes." As for "Oh no, you can't do that" - it's so catchy it stays in your brain long after that song's stopped playing. The whole song is a turn-on, as long as I don't let myself think about some of its sexism (but hey, it was the 70s).

    The Long Run
    - As was said earlier, from the beginning you know something good is coming (although supposedly that was copycatted from another song but ANYWAY). I do think it has aged well since it still plays great live, and I know I enjoy it. Don's vocal on it is terrific - sassy and fun - plus the guys' answering vocals really work. Many of the lyrics are clever. "All the debutantes in Houston, baby, couldn't hold a candle to you." "We're scared, but we ain't shakin; Kind of bent, but we ain't breakin'." Those are just a couple examples. The structure also keeps it interesting - the way the song changes to minor chords leading up to the major chords for the tag line "in the long run." It builds anticipation for it. Great beat and drum work throughout which also helps build excitement in the song. That nuance towards the end, when the song pauses for a beat, and goes into those four notes leading up to the instrumentation and ad-libbing at the end.... terrific. There's also something sexy about Don's voice on the ad libs in the end, especially "ooooh, run, run, run baby... run, run baby..." Great song.

    The Sad Cafe - A lovely song and a fitting "final song" for the Eagles (at the time, obviously). The lyrics are very evocative - the images of the rain, the clouds and the shore, the use of lines from an old hymn to create the feeling of a once-strong hope that now seems far away and long ago, the use of references like the tracks on Santa Monica Boulevard to give that song the extra emotional power that comes from personal experience. Musically, it's also beautifully sad. This is another song where arrangement and structure create a mood that reflects and emphasizes the theme of a dispirited resignation to harsh reality mingled with a real grief for the things, the desires, the hopes, the people that got lost along the way. Don's world-weary vocal is magnificent. As far as I know, this is the only Eagles song with a sax solo (played by renowned saxophonist David Sanborn), and it works wonderfully, sounding both wistful and sorrowful.

    I Can't Tell You Why - This was Tim's musical debut as an Eagle, and he did it up right! His vocal on this is both gentle and mournful, exactly what the song calls for as it exhibits the same kind of conflict between the existence of both love and frustration in the relationship. Glenn's answering lyrics on the second verse add a nuanced sophistication that gives the song an extra push from very good to excellent; their harmony is perfect. This song shows that the Eagles were very right to hire this new guy with the long hair. Overall, the instrumentation is very subtle, relying on the vocals to engage the listener. When the vocals stop and it goes into the guitar solo, that also works well by switching back and forth from highs and lows in the way the relationship does. This song brings everything together so that you really feel the angst and conflict of the song; you get immersed in the mood. It's extremely effective. Well done, guys!

    In the City - Here comes Joe! His instinct for catchy riffs works here, as it has so many times. The beat and melody pound through just like the pounding relentlessness of the brutal city. While it may not be easy for Joe to hit those high notes anymore, I'm glad he wrote it that way. The working up to the high notes make you feel the building frustration he's feeling, the building desire to GET OUT; the vocal builds as the tension builds and then that last high note just get belted out as the pressure valve blows. The "in the city, in the city" at the end could get repetitive if it weren't for those guitar licks keepin' it interesting. Works for me!



    NOT BAD

    King of Hollywood - I didn't like it at first. The subject matter is distasteful and Don and Glenn's vocals are creepy. Yeah, I get it. The vocals are supposed to be creepy to reflect how icky the "King of Hollywood" is. That's all well and good... I just don't find it enjoyable to listen to. As for that last line blaming everything on the size of his privates... that's just juvenile. However, the more I listen to it and once I get past the creepy vocals, I can get into it musically. The "He's calling... calling... calling" works, and it's very clever to have each of the band's guitarists take a solo. Those solos are well-done and make the song much more interesting melodically. Since I like those solos so much and appreciate the instrumentation on the rest of the song as well, my final verdict is: not bad.



    BAD

    The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks - "You got down and did the Gator, and half an hour later, You were barfin' all over your girlfriend's shoes" - Seriously, guys? Seriously?! Oh my gosh, the entirety of the song's lyrics are lame, but this inglorious beginning is the worst of the lot. Like with Teenage Jail, the Eagles are forcing us to enter the realm of the juvenile delinquent. This time, however, we get to hear about him getting drunk, vomiting, and banging sorority girls in the bushes at a frat party amidst hollers of "GATOR!" I do so much eye-rolling during this song that it's a wonder my contact lenses don't get stuck to my brain. At least it's more fun melodically than the two other members of the Eagles Hall of Shame, Teenage Jail and Disco Strangler (see below).



    AWFUL

    Teenage Jail - The second-worst song in the Eagles catalog. Why, oh why must they force me to partake in the misery of sulky, self-pitying high schoolers with this boring drudgery of a melody? Almost as tedious are the insipid lyrics. 'You're not like your mothers... you're not like the others..." Mmmkay. It doesn't help that the way they're sung reminds me of kids going "Nah-nahnny-boo-boo." I do like it when Don actually ventures from the plodding "melody" to echo it in a relatively interesting way, but sadly, that soon ends. Good news: when the cool guitar solo kicks in at the end, it perks up the song and raises it from "excruciating" to "almost tolerable."



    HARD-CORE SUCKAGE

    Disco Strangler - Oh, where to begin when attempting to express just how hard this song sucks? Let's start with the vocal. Don sounds constipated, squeezing out his vocal until it's little more than a strained whine. Here we get to see the "Golden Throat" turn into the "Constricted Windpipe." I guess the "Rome is burning" lyric is clever but the rest of the song's lyrics are inane. Apparently some serial killer is stalking the members of ABBA. Sadly, all of this crap isn't even the worst thing about the song! What I hate the most about this song is its lack of any kind of discernible melody, instrumentally or vocally. Its excuse for "melody" is annoying, repetitive, boring riffs and a stilted vocal which obstinately refuses to coordinate itself with the beat (except for perhaps the title line "slip into the arms of the Disco Strangler" part). Admittedly the "beat" does often sound as if the drummer is having a series of small seizures. You know a song is bad when you find yourself thinking, "Gee, maybe they should have included Felder's song 'Heavy Metal' after all." Easily the worst song the Eagles ever recorded, it's also worse than anything its co-writers put out solo. I'm not just talking about Glenn Frey and Don Henley. Even the songs on Felder's Airborne are better.... and that's just sad.



    FINAL THOUGHTS

    Overall, The Long Run is uneven - soaring highs, plummeting lows. However, the highlights of the album justify its existence and make it worth the agony that the Eagles suffered to put it out. I'm glad it wasn't the last album they ever did, though. Long Road Out of Eden is stronger overall.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  5. #15
    Moderator Brooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    That was absolutely great, Soda! I couldn't agree more! Actually those last two were hilarious! You go girl!
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    "They will never forget you 'till somebody new comes along"
    1948-2016 Gone but not forgotten

  6. #16
    Stuck on the Border Koala's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    Soda, as always, great album review, love the detailed comments on each song!
    "For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation!"
    (Glenn Frey)


  7. #17
    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    I agree with Soda that The Long Run is uneven, and it is one of my least favorite Eagles albums. But, having said that, I still think that, overall, it is a strong album and I enjoy listening to it. When I finish my list, I’m thinking that it won’t be that different from Soda’s with regard to the order that I like the songs; however, I don't rate the weaker songs nearly as harshly as Soda. The words “awful” or “hard-core suckage” don’t compute in my brain with regard to Eagles music. I will grant you that a few of these tracks are “not their best work”, but none of them make my ears bleed and I find them all likeable. For me, I reserve the label “hard-core suckage” for songs that are almost universally hated on. I don’t think that’s the case with these songs, and, hopefully, some of you who rate this among your favorite albums will give us your thoughts.

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

  8. #18
    Stuck on the Border
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    Well, I am nowhere near as eloquent as Soda is.

    To me the stripped back production is a refreshing change from the lush strings of the HC album. I like the fact that some of these songs go to the opposite extreme. I think Soda's comment about Disco Strangler 'some serial killer is stalking the members of Abba' is particularly unfair. To me 'disco' is just a metaphor for all the urban alienation going on in the song and in other songs on the album, even ICTYW.

  9. #19
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    Point taken about the lyrics, FP. I was going for the laugh there. I still think they are ineffective, however. If they were going for symbolism, it was very clumsily done.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Happy 30th Anniversary The Long Run!

    I'm sorry, but disco still sucks after all these years. "Look at me, look at me, I'm beautiful, I'm somebody..." will forever be an obnoxious attitude and one carrying the same shouldn't be surprised it they're strangled. Just an observational opinion and one that should not be taken seriously. Guess I always listened with a grain of salt?

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