The Eagles were already a massively successful band—One of These Nights hit #1 in the United States—when Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon in 1975. He had been invited to join Humble Pie following Peter Frampton‘s departure, but Walsh turned them down and later joined the Eagles. The first album with Walsh, Hotel California, was released in December 1976 and hit #1 just like its predecessor. Three more Eagles albums featuring Walsh topped the charts: 1979’s The Long Run, 1994’s Hell Freezes Over, and 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden.
Joe Walsh recorded two albums with Barnstorm, 1972’s Barnstorm and 1973’s The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get, the later containing the classic “Rocky Mountain Way.” Many fans have forgotten that these were Barnstorm albums and not Joe Walsh solo records, and that’s how the record company promoted them. Walsh said, “I wanted to be a band, not a solo artist. Vitale, especially, should’ve gotten more credit ’cause it wasn’t all me….It was in every aspect a collaborative effort.” The group also served as a backing band for Michael Stanley’s 1973 Friends & Legends record.
Joe Walsh first achieved stardom with James Gang on Yer’ Album in 1969. It was 1970’s James Gang Rides Again that contains the classic rock staple “Funk #49,” while another legendary song, “Walk Away,” appeared on the band’s third and final studio release, Thirds. The group released three studio albums in three years, along with a live album, before Walsh left to form Barnstorm.
2016 has been a rough one so far when it comes to celebrity deaths. Lemmy, David Bowie, and now Glenn Frey have all left this terrestrial plane. I listened to the Eagles a lot during high school, but not quite so much in the past twenty years or so. Sure, there are some go-to songs there, but as a whole, I’m just not into the band like I once was.
A friend asked me last night what my three favorite Eagles songs were. I answered immediately: “James Dean,” “Ol’ 55,” and “Hotel California.” No hesitation whatsoever. Then I started thinking about an Eagles “Ultimate Mixtape.” It gets a little more difficult.
If you are not familiar with the “Ultimate Mixtape” concept, here is a quick run-down of the rules:
- Every album must be represented by one and only one song. The most difficult album for me here was On The Border, which includes my two favorite Eagles songs.
- The selected song does not have to be a single used to promote the album.
- Live albums are fine if you want to use them, but you are not required to include them if you are satisfied with your “Ultimate Mixtape” without them. Sometimes they are a great tool to sneak in a classic song when the studio version didn’t make the cut.
- “Greatest Hits”/ “Best of” albums are eligible only if they contain new songs, or new versions of old songs. That’s why neither of the first two Eagles “Greatest Hits” albums are included, but the 2003 compilation has a newly recorded song.
Everyone’s “Ultimate Mixtape” will be different, and I would love to know how yours differs from mine. Are you ready to rock? Let’s check out “JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Eagles edition”…
- “Take It Easy” (Eagles, 1972)
- “Desperado” (Desperado, 1973)
- “James Dean” (On the Border, 1974)
- “After The Thrill Is Gone” (One of These Nights, 1975)
- “Hotel California” (Hotel California, 1976)
- “Please Come Home For Christmas” (“Please Come Home for Christmas” single, 1978)
- “Heartache Tonight” (The Long Run, 1979)
- “Seven Bridges Road” (Eagles Live, 1980)
- “Wasted Time” (Hell Freezes Over, 1994)
- “Ol’ 55” (Selected Works 1972-1999, 2000)
- “Hole In The World” (The Very Best of The Eagles
- , 2003)
- “How Long” (Long Road Out Of Eden, 2007)
- Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good” (But Seriously, Folks…, 1978)
- Randy Meisner, “Hearts On Fire” (One More Song, 1980)
- Don Felder, “Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride)” (Heavy Metal: Music From The Motion Picture, 1981)
- Glenn Frey, “The Heat Is On” (Beverly Hills Cop: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1984)
- Don Henley, “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” (Building The Perfect Beast, 1984)
- Timothy B. Schmit, “Boys Night Out” (Timothy B, 1987)
- Bernie Leadon “Backup Plan” (Mirror, 2004)
What do you think? Did I miss your favorite Eagles song or solo project on the bonus disc?
Joe Walsh will release Analog Man in June, his first new solo album since 1992’s Songs for a Dying Planet. The first single, the title track from the album, has hit the world wide web. Check it out:
That is pretty much what Joe Walsh is supposed to sound like: classic rock. I’m glad he hasn’t tried to update his sound to “fit in” with modern music, and I hope other classic rock artists follow his example.