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The Eagles are indisputably one of the greatest bands of all time, with a deep discography packed with countless classic songs. They are synonymous with classic rock and 70s rock.
Strap in and prepare to fly with the Eagles as we break down the ten best Eagles songs of all time.
The Ten Best Eagles Songs
10. “The Best of My Love”
What was the first Eagles’ number one song? It’s none other than 1974’s “The Best of My Love,” which was cut from their third album, On the Border.
The country rock ballad was written by drummer and vocalist Don Henley (who also sang lead on the song), guitarist and vocalist Glenn Frey, and frequent Eagles collaborator J. D. Souther.
The record label did not initially appreciate it as one of the best Eagles songs on the album, but after it gained traction at Kalamazoo, MI radio station WKMI, the song was pressed as a single, and the rest is history.
9. “New Kid in Town”
The “New Kid in Town” is one of the best Eagles songs on their monumental 1976 studio album Hotel California.
Like “The Best of My Love,” this song was also written by Glen Frey, Don Henley, and J. D. Souther.
Frey provides the lead vocals, Henley sings the main harmony part, while bassist and vocalist Randy Meisner gives the song its south-of-the-border vibes by adding a guitarrón Mexicano part.
The yacht rock song is about the fleeting, fickle nation of love and romance, Henley said, adding that:
“It’s also about the fleeting nature of fame, especially in the music business. We were basically saying, ‘Look, we know we’re red hot right now, but we also know that somebody’s going to come along and replace us — both in music and in love.'”
8. “Tequila Sunrise”
“Tequila Sunrise” is a Don Henley and Glenn Frey composition featured on their double Platinum second album Desperado.
Henley and Frey did not co-write for the Eagles debut album, but for Desperado they tried their hands at working together, which is a good thing for us fans since many of the best Eagles songs were born out of their collaboration.
Frey was playing guitar on the couch when he came up with a riff he described as “kinda Roy Orbison, kinda Mexican,” After working on it further with Henley, the soft rock hit was born.
The Eagle’s multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Bernie Leadon added to the country vibe of the song with his b-bender electric guitar playing and acoustic guitar solos.
Although it wasn’t released as a single, “Desperado” became known as one of the best Eagles songs.
“Desperado” was another Glenn Frey and Don Henley composition written for their second album of the same name, with the tune tying into the outlaw theme for the album.
Henley said when he played the song’s original version to Frey, he described it as “Ray Charles and Stephen Foster. It’s really a southern gothic thing, but we can easily make it more western.”
Producer Glyn Johns forced the Eagles to record every song on the record within four to five takes, which, considering the final record’s quality, is an absolutely astonishing feat for the band.
Henley said that his greatest regret was not being able to redo his lead vocal part on “Desperado” due to this regime, which is quite curious as the raw vocal part is the centerpiece that makes the song so powerful.
6. “Peaceful Easy Feeling”
“Peaceful Easy Feeling” was not originally one of the Eagles songs, as Jack Tempchin wrote it. The Eagles were the first to record it, though, for their 1972 self-titled album.
“Peaceful Easy Feeling” features Glenn Frey on lead vocals, with Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner completing the three-part vocal harmony. Leadon also provided the solo, which was played on his b-bender guitar.
The song has a soft rock vibe with a country edge and is a pretty straightforward tune compared to some of the more ambitious compositions made later in the Eagles’ career.
5. “Please Come Home for Christmas”
“Please Come Home for Christmas” is another tune written by an outside writer that became one of the most popular Eagles songs.
The song was originally written and released in 1960 by American blues singer and pianist Charles Brown.
The Eagles covered the song in 1978 and released it as a holiday single, with Don Henley on lead vocals.
Brown’s recording was a minor recurring holiday hit, but the Eagles’ touch sent it to number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it the first Christmas song to reach the top 20 since Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Paper” in 1963.
4. “One of These Nights”
How many number-one songs did the Eagles have? They enjoyed five number-one hits on the Billboard 100 during their career, including “One of These Nights.”
Don Henley and Glenn Frey’s composition was the band’s second number-one hit and also helped send their 1975 album of the same name to number one.
“One of These Nights” is a bit unusual among Eagles songs as it has a disco and soul feel, although still with the unmistakable groove of the Eagles.
Henley provided the lead vocals, while Randy Meisner sang the high harmony, which was his signature vocal role in the band.
3. “Life in the Fast Lane”
“Life in the Fast Lane” is a hard-driving rocker with an instantly recognizable hook.
Joe Walsh is credited as lead writer, alongside co-writers Glenn Frey and Don Henley. Walsh also shared the song’s signature dual lead guitar parts with Felder.
The song was the third single from the band’s 1976 album Hotel California, one of the best-selling records of all time, and features many of the best Eagles songs.
2. “Take it Easy”
“Take it Easy” was the band’s debut single and remains one of the best-loved Eagles songs.
The country rocker’s memorable hooks were written by folk rock star Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, with the latter also singing lead.
“Take it Easy” has become one of the signature Eagles songs, and the tune has been featured on all their live and compilation albums.
Travis Tritt covered the song in 1993, and the video for his version featured all five Eagles working together for the first time in 13 years, which resulted in their reformation just a few months later.
1. “Hotel California”
What was Eagles biggest hit? We all know and love it… “Hotel California.”
It’s known as one of the best Eagles songs for many reasons, including its cryptic lyrics, memorable musical arrangement, and, stellar performance.
The song was written by Don Felder, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey, with Henley singing lead.
“Hotel California” was the first song written for the album and set the tone for the whole release, which has since gone 26x Platinum in the US.
The Eagles described the song as an “interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles,” and Henley has also stated it’s about “a journey from innocence to experience … that’s all.”
Whatever you take from the lyrics, there’s no denying the power of the song’s Mexican reggae rhythms (with Mexican reggae being the song’s working title), flawless vocal performance, and stunning dual lead guitar playing from Felder and Joe Walsh.
They’re also one of the most commercially successful bands in history, with 200 million records sold worldwide.
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