After forming in Los Angeles in 1971, the release of their self-titled debut album Eagles was a breakthrough success.
The album saw it’s lead single Take It Easy reach number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs give off a real 70s Californian road trip feeling; on a hot down, going 90 down a highway, a freight train to your right.
Here’s what band members don henley and the late glenn frey had to say about it;
GLENN: Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, and I all lived at 1020 Laguna in Echo Park. J.D. and I shared a 60-a-month, one-room apartment — a couch and kind of a bed with a curtain in front of it. Right underneath us in an even smaller studio apartment was Jackson. He had his piano and guitars down there. I didn’t really know how to sit down and work on a song until I heard him playing underneath us in the basement. He would work on “Jamaica Say You Will,” and he had the first verse and chorus. Then he would sing the second verse — sing it five or six times — and then silence. Twenty seconds later, he would start again and sing the second verse this time, and, if he liked it, he’d sing it over and over again. I had never really witnessed that sort of focus — someone being that fastidious — and it gave me a different idea about how to write songs; that maybe it wasn’t all just going to be a flood of inspiration. That’s when I first heard “Take It Easy.”
DON: We gave Glenn a nickname, The Lone Arranger. He had a vision about how our voices could blend and how to arrange the vocals and, in many cases, the tracks. He also had a knack for remembering and choosing good songs. Jackson had shelved “Take It Easy” because he couldn’t complete it, but it was Glenn who remembered the song from some time earlier and asked Jackson about it one day.
GLENN: I told him that I really liked it. “What was that, man? What a cool tune that is.” He started playing it for me and said, “Yeah, but I don’t know — I’m stuck.” So he played the second unfinished verse and I said, “It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.” That was my contribution to “Take It Easy,” really, just finishing the second verse. Jackson was so thrilled. He said, “Okay! We cowrote this.” But it’s certainly more of him. Sometimes, you know, it’s the package without the ribbon. He already had the lines about Winslow, Arizona. He’d had car trouble and broken down there on one of his trips to Sedona. He spent a long day in Winslow…. I don’t know that we could have ever had a better opening song on our first album. Just those open chords felt like an announcement, “And now … the Eagles.”
Courtesy of “Conversations with Don Henley and Glenn Grey” by Cameron Crowe August 2003.
turning 50 years old in June, the album no doubt set a clear foresight for what the future had in store for the band. With 5 number-one singles, 6 grammy awards and 6 number one albums; their music reached out to lot of people. even today fifty years on, tributes still pour in on youtube comments.
don henley telling the rolling stone in twenty-sixteen; “we wanted to create material that would showcase each of the band members’ strengths. … our main goal, at the beginning, was to write good, memorable songs, make albums that had little or no filler, that were consistent from beginning to end in terms of songwriting and production.”
throughout their discography there’s a range of love ballads, mainstream country but all meshed together to create classic car-radio hits.