|THE EAGLES - BIOGRAPHY||
The Eagles were among the most successful rock groups of the '70s, and their blend of country, folk, and rock continues to sell well in catalog. The group's four original members were Los Angeles session and group veterans assembled by producer John Boylan in 1970 as backup musicians for Linda Ronstadt on her Silk Purse album. They then served as her backup band for two years. The four were Glenn Frey (b. Nov. 6, 1948), guitarist; Bernie Leadon (b. Jul. 19, 1947), who played banjo and mandolin; Randy Meisner (b. Mar. 8, 1948) on bass; and Don Henley (b. Jul. 22, 1947) on drums. All four sang, though Henley and Frey took most leads. Signed to Ronstadt's label, Asylum, they issued their first album, The Eagles, in June 1972. It was a moderate hit (going gold a year and a half later) and produced the Top 40 hits "Take It Easy" (written by Frey and Jackson Browne), "Witchy Woman, " and "Peaceful Easy Feeling."
The second Eagles LP, a semi-concept album called Desperado (1973) that emphasized an "outlaw" image, was somewhat less successful. For their third album, On the Border (1974), the group added guitarist Don Felder. This was a breakthrough record, going gold in three months and producing the #1 hit "Best of My Love, " which didn't top the charts until almost a year after the album's release, just in time to set up their fourth album. One of These Nights (1975), the first of four straight albums to top the charts, featured the title track, "Lyin' Eyes, " and "Take It to the Limit, " both Top Ten hits.
The Eagles released a greatest-hits album in 1976 (it now stands at 14 million sales, the best-selling hits record of all time) and suffered the loss of Leadon, who was replaced by former James Gang leader Joe Walsh (b. Nov. 20, 1947). At the end of the year, they released Hotel California, which has now sold nine million copies. Its hits included the ominous title track, "New Kid in Town, " and "Life in the Fast Lane."
In 1977, Meisner left the band and was replaced by former Poco member Timothy B. Schmit (b. Oct. 30, 1947). It took the Eagles until the fall of 1979 to complete The Long Run, another million-seller, featuring the chart-topper "Heartache Tonight" and Top Ten successes in the title track and "I Can't Tell You Why." The next year saw the release of a live album, but by 1981 the Eagles had split up. All five members have since released solo albums, the most successful of which have been by Henley and Frey.
In 1994, the Eagles reunited for a summer stadium tour and recorded an album as part of an appearance on the TV show MTV Unplugged that featured several new songs. The resulting album, Hell Freezes Over, was released in November of 1994; it debuted at number one and sold over five million copies by June of 1995.