Writers: Don Henley
Producers: Bill Szymczyk
Recorded: March-October, 1976
Released: May 3, 1977
|Players:||Don Henley–vocals, drums
Glenn Frey–guitar, piano, vocals
Joe Walsh–guitar, vocals
Randy Meisner–bass, vocals
Don Felder–guitar, vocals
|Album:||Hotel California (Elektra, 1976)|
Along with Warren Zevon‘s self-titled sophomore effort, Hotel California became a symbol of the seedier side of the Los Angeles nightlife. Both albums depicted depravity, drugs, and spiritual emptiness that jarred with the overriding touchy-feely music that emanated from the West Coast.
Regardless of the group’s sweet country harmonies and melodic song structure, much of the Eagles‘ output was jaded and cynical, if not downright mean-spirited. “Life In The Fast Lane” stands as the most obvious example; with “Hotel California,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Desperado,” and “Witchy Woman” following close behind.
Hotel California marked the group’s third consecutive Number One album, and it was certified platinum in January 1977.
In order to toughen up its laid-back West Coast sound, the Eagles brought guitarist Joe Walsh aboard prior to recording Hotel California.
In addition to Walsh, much of the darkness on Hotel California can be attributed to the large amount of substances the band itself was consuming. Singer-guitarist Glenn Frey recalls: “Led Zeppelin might argue with us, but I think we had the greatest traveling party of the ’70s…I seem to remember the wine was the best, the drugs were good, and the women were beautiful.”