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Biography of Eagles


One of the biggest rock acts in the world during the '70s, the Eagles seem to have had their primary impact on country music. Chief ambassadors of the Southern California rock scene, the Eagles took the country-rock sounds of groups like the Flying Burrito Brothers and the latter-day Byrds and brought them to the masses with songs like "Best Of My Love," "One Of These Nights" and "Heartache Tonight."

The four original Eagles--drummer Don Henley, guitarists Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner--first played as a unit on Linda Ronstadt's 1970 Silk Purse, though they didn't form the band until after recording that album. The Eagles recorded their first album, The Eagles, for Asylum in 1972 with British rock producer Glyn Johns. They added guitarist Don Felder for the second album, Desperado, in 1973. The group headed in more of a rock direction with 1974's On The Border, and Leadon left after One Of These Nights, to be replaced by former James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh. Meisner left in 1977 and was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit, who had once replaced Meisner in Poco. Waits between albums became longer--Hotel California and the group's final studio album, The Long Run, each came two years after the previous album of new material. A live album followed in 1980 as a farewell souvenir, for the band disbanded soon after. All the members have continued in music with solo albums or new groups, although Henley and Frey have been the most successful on their own.

By the '90s, their sound had had such an impact on contemporary country music that most people in Nashville considered them a country group. Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles, a tribute album featuring the likes of Clint Black, Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt, came out in 1993; the Eagles followed with a tour and an album featuring four new songs and live recordings of old favorites; the band called the album Hell Freezes Over because that's when members had said the band would get back together. The Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 ranks just behind Michael Jackson's Thriller as the best-selling ever, with more than 24 million copies.

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