Eagles (band) biography
classic rock ·
The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley , Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.
With five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards , five American Music Awards , and six number one albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)and Hotel California , were ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone ’s list of” The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time ” and the band was ranked number 75 on the magazine’s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of
The Eagles are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time ,having sold more than 150 million records —100 million in the U.S.
alone—including 42 million copies of Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and 32 million copies of Hotel California . “Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)” was the best selling album of the 20th century in theU.S. They are the fifth-highest-selling music act and the highest-selling American band in U.S. history.
The Eagles released their self-titled debut album in 1972, which spawned three top 40 singles: ” Take It Easy “, ” Witchy Woman “, and” Peaceful Easy Feeling “. Their next album, Desperado (1973), wasless successful than the first, only reaching number 41 on the charts;neither of its singles reached the top 40. However, the album contained two of the band’s most popular tracks: ” Desperado” and” Tequila Sunrise “. They released On the Border in 1974, adding guitarist Don Felder midway through the recording of the album.
The album generated two top 40 singles: ” Already Gone ” and their first number one, ” Best of My Love “.
Formation and early releases: 1971–73 The Eagles began in early 1971, when Linda Ronstadt and then-manager John Boylan recruited local musicians Glenn Frey and Don Henley for her band.
Henley had moved to Los Angeles from Texas with his band Shiloh (produced by Kenny Rogers ),  and Frey had come from Michigan and formed Longbranch Pennywhistle ; they had met in 1970 at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and became acquainted through their mutual record label, Amos Records. Randy Meisner,who had been working with Ricky Nelson ‘s backing band, the Stone Canyon Band,and Bernie Leadon, a veteran of the Flying Burrito Brothers, joined Ronstadt’s group of performers for her summer tour promoting the Silk Purse album.
These four played live together behind Ronstadt only once for a July concert at Disneyland , but all four appeared on her eponymous album .With Ronstadt’s blessing, Henley and Frey asked Leadon and Meisner to form a band and they soon signed with Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen.
The name of the band was first suggested by Leadon during a peyote and tequila-influenced group outing in the Mojave Desert , when he recalled reading about the Hopis’reverence for the eagle.
Steve Martin , a friend of the band from their early days at The Troubadour, recounts in his autobiography that he suggested that they should be referred to as “the Eagles”, but Frey insists that the group’s name is simply “Eagles”. Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts initially managed the band;they were later replaced by Irving Azoff .
On the Border and One of These Nights : 1974–75
For their next album, On the Border , Henley and Frey wanted the band to break away from the country rock style and move more towards hard rock.
The Eagles initially started with Glyn Johns as the producer for this album, but he tended to emphasize the lush side of their double-edged music. After completing only two songs, the band turned to Bill Szymczyk to produce the rest of the album.
Szymczyk wanted a harder-edged guitarist for the song “Good Day in Hell” and the band remembered Bernie Leadon’s childhood friend Don Felder , a guitarist who had jammed backstage with the band in 1972 when they opened for Yes in Boston.
Felder had been nicknamed “Fingers” at the jam by Frey, a name that stuck due to his guitar proficiency. In January 1974, Frey called Felder to add slide guitar to the song “Good Day in Hell” and the band was so impressed that they invited him to join the group as the fifth Eagle the next day.
He appeared on one other song on the album, the uptempo breakup song ” Already Gone “, on which he performed a guitar duet with Frey. On the Border yielded a number 1 Billboard single (“Best of My Love “), which hit the top of the charts on March 1, 1975.
The song was the Eagles’ first of five chart toppers. Showcasing the harder edge of the band’s new sound with the addition of Felder, “Already Gone” was also successful,reaching number 32 on the charts.
The album included a cover version of the Tom Waits song ” Ol’ ’55 ” and the single ” James Dean “, which reached number 77 on the charts.