In 1973, the Eagles followed up their mega-successful self-titled debut (released a year earlier) with a concept album inspired by the Old West. Featuring a cover image of the band members in cowboy gear, Desperado must have seemed ripe for ridicule.
But with songwriters Don Henley and Glenn Frey taking center stage, penning eight of the album’s 11 tracks, the songs were just too good to dismiss. While the album failed to sell early on, it eventually reached double platinum status and is considered a seminal album in the country rock genre.
I deliberately left the Eagles out of Montauk Madness, but now I feel a little guilty about it.
I’ve always considered myself an Eagles hater, based mostly on my dislike of their signature album, Hotel California. But last September I took a dive into their whole catalog and realized I’m actually quite fond of their earlier, more country-folk songs.
2016 wasn’t a typical year for me, musically. Any year that sees Donald Trump elected president isn’t a typical year, period, so that’s not surprising.
When I sat down to compile my year-end 2016 best song list, I had trouble coming up with a solid top ten, let alone the 20 or so I usually offer. I didn’t buy as many new albums as usual and I was disappointed in most of the year’s Billboard hits. So rather than half-ass a best-of list I’ve decided to instead write about ten meaningful musical memories from 2016.
A year after their successful debut album, the Eagles released the concept album Desperado, intent on being taken more seriously as artists.
Initially conceived as an album about anti-heroes, the album turned the Wild West into a metaphor for the rock music industry and society as a whole. Or at least that was the idea. Even the band members admit that the concept was half-baked. As Don Henley put it, “The metaphor was probably a little bullshit. We were in L.A. staying up all night, smoking dope, living the California life, and I suppose we thought it was as radical as cowboys in the old West.”
Our 40th birthday cruise was a celebration of both my birthday and my wife’s (both of which fall in December) but her actual birthday fell during the trip.
Yesterday’s Schooner Bar clip was from the night of her birthday, after we had enjoyed a lovely dinner in one of the cruise’s “premium” restaurants. I tend to think it’s a scam to make people pay extra for food on a cruise for which all of the meals are supposed to be included, but the ambiance (only five other tables in our dining room as opposed to a hundred) made it worth it.