Hotel California by Eagles (1976)
I decided that one of the things I'd like to do for this blog was to have something like a memory lane for the music, movies, shows, books, etc that meant something to me throughout my lifetime. Well after a bit of thought, I figured that I might take a look and a listen to things I've loved (or fucking hated) to feel if there was a different take on it for me now that I'm creeping up on a half-century of life (holy fuck!). One of the obvious choices for me was Hotel California by Eagles. (The Eagles? Eagles?)
On my way to work, on my lunch break and on my way home, I really listened to the entire album. I don't think I've listened to it straight through ever before today. You can't not know all the songs. But I don't remember hearing them in the order they're in on the album. I may have since it was one of my mom's favs. But definitely the first time on my own, on purpose. I really did like all of it. Not a snoozer among the songs. You can't listen to Hotel California and not get almost a movie in your mind as you follow along with the lyrics and the melody. They did a really remarkable job there. Total visual in your mind with nothing to go on but Henley's lyrics and Felder's melody.
Overall, you won't regret listening to this classic from beginning to end. I noticed the songs don't really seem like they should blend in and out of each other as well as they do but somehow it works. I don't pretend to know how musicians know about these things. I grew up listening to the album and remember the 33 sitting in its sleeve on my parents' record player in our living room.
But the one surprise was the last song on side A - Wasted Time. It really hit home for me. I felt like I was listening to my own internal struggle on if I'm really happy with my life, settling for my life, and if there's time (and energy) to keep striving for new things. Wasted Time is a must listen!!! Don Henley captures a much more soulful performance compared to the rest of the album. I'd even push to say his vocals are a much better example of his abilities compared to any other songs I've heard from him. I felt the song.
Give it a listen. Let me know what you think. Any favorites?
My take? 5 shots out of 5!