The Eagles’ Self-Titled Record Took Flight 40 Years Ago
Formed in Los Angeles in 1971, the Eagles have become one of the best-selling acts of all-time and can lay claim to having two records (‘Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975′ and ‘Hotel California’) rank among the Top 10 best-selling records of all time.
But let’s bring it all back to the Eagles self-titled debut album, released in June 1972. The fact that a band that had only been playing together for approximately one year at the time that his record was released is a testament to the songwriting prowess contained in the band. Their intricate harmonies were weaved over a tapestry of country, rock, and folk music.
Recorded in England over the span of two weeks with producer Glyn Johns (The Who, Led Zeppelin), the album was a slow building success story, having attained gold sales status in a little over 18 months thanks to hits like ‘Take it Easy,’ ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling,’ and ‘Witchy Woman.’
Vocals and songwriting duties were split amongst the band members although a few of the album’s tracks were written by co-writers including Jackson Browne (‘Nightengale,’ ‘Take it Easy’) and Byrds founder Gene Clark (‘Train Leaves Here This Morning’). The Eagles’ debut record also marked the beginning of a fruitful relationship with songwriter Jack Tempchin who wrote the group’s big hit ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ and would also write future favorites for the band including ‘Already Gone.’
On a recent edition of the North American syndicated radio show ‘In the Studio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands,’ Glenn Frey acknowledged the impact that bands including Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers had upon the Eagles. Of course, Frey’s acknowledgement of the influence that both the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco had upon the Eagles is only appropriate considering Eagles member Bernie Leadon had played with the Flying Burrito Brothers while Randy Meisner had previously performed with Poco.
He stated, “I think in particular, Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers were influences on us because they were right there at the Troubadour. We got to see them play live and watch what they were doing and check out the harmonies and check out the songs they were writing or doing.”