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Thread: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    When one of the Eagles has a birthday, I like to go back and listen to their catalog. I just did that for Joe.

    One thing I've always thought about him is that his work is the most uneven in his solo material. He's not mediocre. He hits the highest highs (Turn to Stone, Help Me Thru the Night) but also the lowest lows (Coyote Love).

    Most people who are as brilliant as he is have their off days, but they don't dip quite as far down as he does.

    I have no idea why this would be - why he skips mediocrity entirely to go either really high or really low most of the time.

    However, that seems to not be the class in his most recent solo album, and it's not in the case with his Eagles material either (for obvious reasons).

    Any thoughts?

    Or is my premise entirely off-base?

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    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    I tend to agree with your overall assessment about Joe's solo work, Soda.

    Obviously, I don't know the reason for this, but it may be partly because of the rate in which he was putting out albums that he just had to include lots of fillers. I would imagine it's hard to be consistently brilliant as a solo artist when you are putting out a new album almost every year. To me, the overall quality of Joe's solo work seemed to decline as his substance abuse escalated. There are a few exceptions, but overall, his earlier output is much stronger than what he released in the mid-80's and early 90's.

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
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    Border Desperado JoeFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Hello! It's been an age since I've visited but with the band touring here in the UK in June, I decided to wander back and see how everyone is doing. Thought I'd offer up my opinion on this.

    I agree that Joe's work can be uneven but I don't think he has that many of the lowest lows. Coyote Love is bad and there are also other songs that are awful if I'm honest but all the Eagles have songs that have missed the mark. Does he have more of them and are they worse? Hard to say, I don't listen to the solo material of the other Eagles as much, but I wonder if I would feel the same way even if I did. I'm JoeFan for a reason and I like most of his work, even the albums from the wilderness years in the Eighties and Nineties.

    I think dreamer has a good point about how often he was putting out albums playing a part. We must recognise how hard it is to put out 100% quality if you're trying to churn out songs like a machine for a corporate deadline. It's impressive that despite all of the deadline pressure and substance abuse issues, he was still able to create so many brilliant songs.

    Interesting point about his recent work having neither of those extremes. I hadn't really thought about that.

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Well, hello!

    Yes, even as I posted it I was thinking, "my premise may be fundamentally flawed here" lol. But it's something I've often wondered as I've listened to his work.

    He was putting out a lot of albums when his colleagues were slowing it down. I guess it was under pressure from the record label - they must have had him by the short hairs.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Welcome back, JoeFan - it's great to hear from you and hope all is well with you. I also agree that Analog Man was a strong album. Hopefully, his next output will be just as good.

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

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    Border Desperado JoeFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ive always been a dreamer View Post
    Welcome back, JoeFan - it's great to hear from you and hope all is well with you. I also agree that Analog Man was a strong album. Hopefully, his next output will be just as good.
    Thanks. Has he said anything about working on a new album, or working on new material?

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFan View Post
    Thanks. Has he said anything about working on a new album, or working on new material?
    I don't think so, but he has been working on stuff. This is from a couple of years ago:



    It's mostly an instrumental except for a short segment, but he's obviously still creating.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    Out on the Border Scamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    When one of the Eagles has a birthday, I like to go back and listen to their catalog. I just did that for Joe.

    One thing I've always thought about him is that his work is the most uneven in his solo material. He's not mediocre. He hits the highest highs (Turn to Stone, Help Me Thru the Night) but also the lowest lows (Coyote Love).

    Most people who are as brilliant as he is have their off days, but they don't dip quite as far down as he does.

    I have no idea why this would be - why he skips mediocrity entirely to go either really high or really low most of the time.

    However, that seems to not be the class in his most recent solo album, and it's not in the case with his Eagles material either (for obvious reasons).

    Any thoughts?

    Or is my premise entirely off-base?
    I know this is an older thread but I just saw it.
    I noticed that this earlier music seemed to go up and down too but I thought it was from his alcohol and drug use and his life events. Marriage's, divorcee's, kids and working or not working. After he got sober he stabilized, playing better, stable work, got back with his kids, matured and basic got hold and control of his life. Even found love again.

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    Border Troubadour KingWalsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    Ok time for me to add my two cents. Iím a huge fan obviously, so maybe biased but I think his 80s stuff up to The Confessor was great; and all prior 80s stellar...period! First of all, the 80ís brought all kinds of new dynamics/struggles for stars from the rock scene of the 70s. They were all trying to fit in to the trends of new wave/synth craze, less guitars, and pop music becoming more ďHitĒ-makingĒ.

    So, take that and add his addictions and then add his personal problems PLUS add bad advice (try to be more pop) and I feel he lost direction. I remember an interview where he said that bad reviews and such would fuel him to drink more to help with creativity (paraphrasing) He has said on his radio show and in other interviews, he regrets he didnít take his solo career more seriously during that time, and wishes he had those 8 or so years back (paraphrasing) I also think Joe spread himself real thin. He made quite a few guest appearances on albums in the 80s-90s, so that had to play a part too.

    As mentioned previously, he was releasing records like what every two years or so. Thatís tough! And even Glenn and Don have some stinkers in their wheelhouse (living in darkness, damn it rose) and as always its subjective! But even those less liked albums of Got Any Gum, Ordinary Average Guy,Songs for a Dying Planet still have some solid songs on there and get a bad rap.

    I will end this saying thank God he found direction and came back with Analog Man (thanks Marjorie for pushing him to do so) and some really good guest appearances with John Mayall, Johnny Lang, Taylor Hawkins, Sheryl Crow etc! Hoping he releases that blues album he recorded. Heís a busy guy and thatís what I got to say about that

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    Out on the Border Scamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Uneven in Solo Work

    I agree Kingwalsh. I hope he Finnish the blues album too. He seems to like blues. He has played it so many times over the years, solo and with some great artist too. Joe said in an interview a while ago that he just had a couple more people that he needed to get with. Can't wait.
    Just think if he put out an album with all the people he's played with over his career it would be a double at least..
    I would like to lock him and Marty Stuart in a studio over night. Marty with his mandolin Joe with his guitar. I can only imagine what would be on a tape. Plus have one to record their conversations. Would be something. They are so much alike in many ways.

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