Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Eagles - Hotel California (1976)

Note: the CD I listened to was the 1999 remaster.

A group releases its best album after they've already released their greatest hits album? And it could stand as a greatest hits album itself. Quite unusual for a theme album. The thing has sold over 32 million copies and received numerous accolades to go along with 3 massive hit singles:
  • Record of the Year Grammy (Hotel California)
  • Best Arrangement for Voices Grammy (New Kid In Town)
  • #37 in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
However, critics have gone from hating it to loving it back to hating it. Which is why we hate critics. Just appreciate the nice music and the metaphorical lyrics, sheesh. Examples:
1977: "An overarranged wash embodying the worst of rock-cum-Hollywood sensibilities." - Rolling Stone
1982: "A legitimate rock masterpiece" - The Los Angeles Times
1998: "I hate the f*ckin' Eagles, man. - The Big Lebowski
2005: "Country-rock reached a refinement never equaled again." - 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
2012: "An awful lot of the album is snarky whining from co-leaders Don Henley and Glenn Frey, two guys who didn't really seem like they had that much they could legitimately complain about" - CultureCatch
2016: "I really like this thing" - The CD Project
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (8 non-consecutive weeks, January - May, 1977). It probably would have held the top spot longer if it hadn't been battling the likes of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

Tracks: My favorite track from the get-go has been Life In The Fast Lane, followed closely by The New Kid In Town. We know those from the radio, but don't sleep on the "filler" tracks like The Last Resort, Wasted Time, and Victim Of Love. How could The Dude not like these guys? No boobs? As for the title track, I'll admit that it's a masterpiece, but it's one that I've heard enough for one lifetime. So, to be honest, I usually start on track 2 and then don't skip any others.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I once worked with a nice enough fellow around the year 2002. He was the lonely type who was socially awkward and, as a result, he liked to show up in my office unannounced and expect me to put down everything and talk to him for an hour. In earlier times, he'd be called a simpleton. Anyway, he believed everything he'd ever heard or read, so when he heard me playing some Eagles, I got the complete run-down on the true meaning of this album's cover. If unfamiliar, click here. He also thought Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, so there ya go. If he were around now, I'd ask his take on Trump's odd fascination with the Kardashians.

The stereo panning on Life In The Fast Lane completely fascinated me as a ten year old. I still think it sound pretty cool.

A 407 foot version of the LP rotated at 17 mph atop the Forum for a series of concerts in January, 2014.  More on that here.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Long Road Out of Eden (2007)
The Long Run (1979)

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