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Thread: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

  1. #1
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    Wink Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    From where I see it, there are two - make that three - bands called Eagles.

    The first version, the one I preferred and the one I'm most familiar with, is the first version, which, depending on how close you want to cut it, lasted through One Of These Nights, or On The Border.

    The kind of music I most enjoyed from this band was the country-based rock that I considered the stepchild of The Stone Ponys and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Call it a California thing; call it the result of too many nights wandering around the moonlit curves of the Santa Monica Mountains; call it the search for The Angel Of Rapture before last call at the Topanga Corral ("we fix broken hearts").

    So when Bernie Leadon, a musician I'd been listening to for a very long time, departed, it made a huge difference to me and to a lot of the folks (many of them musicians themselves) who considered themselves fans of the Eagles. There were numerous reasons why Leadon left, some of them widely known and others that no one outside of the principals was aware of.

    Remember, this was a group that, on occasion, would perform bluegrass songs; Leadon was (and remains) a virtuoso banjo, mandolin, and dobro player. Neither Frey nor Henley thought that was the path to fame and fortune, and of course they were right.

    Then Randy Meisner, the other country-rock guy, left. He had that High And Lonesome sound that, like Bernie's playing, was a throwback to what seemed like better, less complicated days. Again, there were lots of reasons for his quitting, but the result was similar: the Eagles embarked in a change of direction.

    The last Eagles album I could really relate to, in a romantically intoxicated Full Moon Over Malibu sort of way, was One Of These Nights, partly because some of the songs were about people I'd come to know.

    I certainly appreciate the later material (Eagles Number Two)- great harmonies, awesome chops, outrageously tight and intelligent lyrics. Now we have Eagles Number Three, which I've got to admit I have not seen live.

    But this is a way different generation, with visions and romantic excesses of their own. I hope that they find what they need from this band. As for us old Lonesome L.A. Cowboys, we're still out here, driving along in old trucks, a funny looking cigarette between our lips, Desperado on the stereo, searching for the saloon of our dreams...

    Fooled again...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    Thanks for the thoughtful post, peneumbra. Eagles 1 with Randy and Bernie was definitely my favorite version. High and lonesome sound is the perfect description for Randy's voice. It was something special to hear live.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    To me, they were at their peak vocally with those 4 voices. I definitely think they lost something when Randy left. still gorgeous harmonies but I adore Randyís voice.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    the original 4 remain my favorite lineup too
    i appreciate the talents and entertainment that Don F and Joe W added to the mix, but those fabulous harmonies are what iíve always loved most

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    To me the Eagles didn't come into their own until Felder and Walsh were there together.

    For me the first two records other than the biggest hits were unlistenable. I really hate country music (other than the modern pop country stuff, which is more rock/rnb/edm based) and to me while they called themselves country rock, it was more country than rock. Desperado being my least favorite Eagles album.

    I think if someone likes the Eagles for their vocals, I agree that the original 4 were the best vocally but I never saw them as a vocal band or a harmony band. I saw them as a guitar-heavy rock band with fun songs and singable lyrics and a good vibe. For me OTB, OOTN was leaning in the right direction, obviously too much so for Bernie, but I wasn't a huge BL fan just from a style perspective. I never paid attention to their harmonies, but I know a lot of people liked them.

    Hotel California was the pinnacle of what they did, and I love The Long Run a lot more than most simply because it had more rock songs than the early stuff.

    While I give credit to the original 4, to me they became a supergroup when they invited Walsh and did Hotel California. That's really their pinnacle for me and for a lot of people I think. I just like that classic AOR rock sound that was a little more refined than other bands, which the guys caught flak for from rock diehards. I've never been scared away by pop music at all, or the idea of polished records.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    I agree with you completely peneumbra

  7. #7
    Border Desperado cosec3791's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    I personally feel that the years of 76 till 77 had the best personnel. That is, Henley, Frey, Meisner, Felder and Walsh. Went to a more rock like direction, but could easily play country songs. Meisner and his high flyin harmonies still there. The setlist was very interesting that time. And Walsh brought the best out of Felder imo

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    Peneumbra, you are a breath of fresh air on this board. I find myself really looking forward to your posts. I am also a huge fan of the first incarnation but also of the second too. (Meaning when they added Felder who, along with Meisner, is my favorite Eagle.) Please post more. With all of the ceaseless bickering going on around here, I am starving for the "meat and potatoes" posts that you provide. Thank you! It's good to be an Eagles fan.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    Doesn't it all come down to which version we heard first and that pulled us in? While I can enjoy later work, it's always going to be the original four, playing the songs I heard as young teenager, that exert a pull. It's that magic time when I'd say who my favourite groups were and the response would usually be "Who?" and bask in the glow of being maybe ahead of the game. I might have spots and homework, but I was still special. By "Hotel California", they were so mainstream that my mother was buying the records and music wasn't as big a part of my life.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Thoughts Of A Hopeless Romantic

    Quote Originally Posted by UndertheWire View Post
    Doesn't it all come down to which version we heard first and that pulled us in? While I can enjoy later work, it's always going to be the original four, playing the songs I heard as young teenager, that exert a pull. It's that magic time when I'd say who my favourite groups were and the response would usually be "Who?" and bask in the glow of being maybe ahead of the game. I might have spots and homework, but I was still special. By "Hotel California", they were so mainstream that my mother was buying the records and music wasn't as big a part of my life.
    Itís funny for me I had no idea that the band had different iterations and the background to band when I started listening to them. I liked TIE, HC, LE, PEF and LIFTFL. My favorite was HC but I didnít really think about how there were different lead singers, the evolution of the sound. Now I appreciate that stuff but early on I didnít notice. I have a great appreciation for both sounds and I donít think I have a preference really

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