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The mid 1990's saw the reformation of the 70's American country/rock band The Eagles. At the time, founder member Glen Frey declared "We never broke up - we just took a fourteen year vacation!" So, the Eagles were back with a bang, a comeback tour was on the cards and everyone expected the release of a new studio album. Well the 'Hell Freezes Over' tour went ahead in 1995 and was accompanied by an album of the same name, but unfortunately, many diehard fans were to be disappointed. Yes, the album was good. A fourteen year absence from the music scene had not diminished the band's ability to create and perform good music. However, this album only contained four newly recorded tracks, the remainder of the album comprising their greatest hits, with a couple of Don Henley's solo tracks thrown in for good measure. A couple of years later, a 'greatest hits' album was released, this time performed by various other artists, and then in 2006, yet another 'greatest hits' double album was released. We all know the likes of Hotel California, Desperado, One of These Nights etc., but they had all been included on various other albums and it was now time that some new material was forthcoming. And then finally, in 2008, it was officially confirmed that the Eagles were about to release their new album of brand new songs - 'Long Road out of Eden'.
The current line-up of Don Henley (drums, guitar & vocals), Glen Frey (keyboard, guitar & vocals), Joe Walsh (guitar & vocals) and Timothy B Schmidt (guitar & vocals) had finally completed their first album in 28 years, and the big question is: Was it worth waiting for?
No More Walks in the Wood
This is the opening track to the album and is a very short (2 minute long, in fact) acapella piece, performed by all four band members, and is accompanied only by a solo guitar. This track is faultless and proves that you don't need a backing track and drum machine to create a good piece of music. The voice of each individual band member can be determined very easily and, although they are all in their 60's, it's obvious from the start that these boys know how to perform! (My Rating: 8/10)
It's now time to up the tempo. How Long was the first single to be release from the album, both in the UK and the US. This is a very catchy track and anyone familiar with the Eagles' music will recognise the familiar trademark of lead vocals alternating between Don Henley and Glen Frey. (My Rating: 10/10)
Busy Being Fabulous
This upbeat track opens with a bit of a 'country' feel to it, and the theme continues throughout the song. This is old style Eagles music with Don Henley on lead vocals. A very catchy track. (My Rating: 9/10)
What Do I Do With My Heart?
In my opinion, this is not one of the strongest tracks on the album. Glen Frey doing what he does best and providing lead vocals with a fault-free harmony of backing vocals from the three remaining band members. This track is very reminiscent of Glen Frey's solo work from the 1980's, and does not have a particularly 'Eagle' orientated sound to it. (My Rating: 7.10)
Guilty of the Crime
A Joe Walsh special! Anyone familiar with Eagles music will be only too aware of the individuality of Joe Walsh's music. He has the kind of voice that, the minute you hear it, you know exactly who is singing. This track is no exception. This is a very upbeat piece of work and has a familiar sound to that of Bob Seger's 'Still the Same'. YouTube it if you don't know the song and you'll see what I mean. (My Rating: 10/10)
I Don't Want To Hear Any More
When the Eagles originally decided to split in the early 1980's, Timothy B Schmidt had only just joined the band and never really got the chance to show his very varied vocal range and musical talent in general. He certainly makes up for lost time by taking lead vocals on this track. I Don't Want To Hear Any More is a very gentle song which suits his voice down to the ground, and tells a very simple story - she wants to leave him. He's had enough of hearing about it and basically doesn't want to hear any more. There! That's about it. In all honesty though, as simple as this track is, it does have a certain amount of depth and feeling to it.
(My Rating: 9/10)
Waiting in the Weeds
This is another slow ballad with Don Henley taking lead vocal. This track does not start off with a great deal of promise, and the introduction comes across as kind of insipid. It is only when the main beat of the song kicks in that this piece really gets going. All in all, a very good track, once you have given it a chance. (My Rating: 9/10)
No More Cloudy Days
This Glen Frey track was actually performed by the band before this album was released. During their Farewell 1 tour (yes, I was there and witnessed it!) this song was included, though I don't recall that it was ever released as a single. Not one of my favourites on the album, No More Cloudy Days is another slow track and again, resembles a lot of Glen Frey's earlier work from the 80's. For those not familiar with his solo stuff, just think 'Miami Vice'. Get the picture? (My Rating: 7/10)
This, as you would say, is a song with attitude - with a capital A! If he wasn't stuck behind a drum kit, you can imagine Don Henley strutting across the stage belting out this very fast, up-tempo track. Quite simply: man tells woman to be careful who she is running around with. They have a past together, something went wrong and now she is hanging out with the wrong crowd. (My Rating: 8/10)
Timothy B Schmidt takes lead vocal again on this very slow, gentle track portraying yet another failed relationship. A very quiet guitar intro opens the track, and all in all, this is a very melodic piece of work and fine vocals. (My Rating: 9/10)
You Are Not Alone
Anyone old enough (like me) to remember Ralph McTell's 'Streets of London'? Well, the intro to this track bears an incredible resemblance. But that's as far as the similarities go. Once this song gets going, Glen Frey delivers a fault-free vocal throughout and I personally cannot criticise this song. Very beautiful, though to some, it may come across as a little dull. (My Rating: 10/10)
I would say at this point that Disc 2 is a little more politically orientated. As oppose to Disc 1, which just seemed to concentrate on 'nice' music, Disc 2 really shows that the Eagles like to put more than a little thought into their music, as well as their beliefs. Very enjoyable all the same.
Long Road Out of Eden
Once upon a time, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was renowned for being one of the longest records ever to be recorded. These days, there is little or no doubt that the record has been broken now that the Eagles have come up with Long Road out of Eden. A full ten minutes worth of music shows just what talented musicians these people are. You really do have to have your stereo turned up to actually hear the beginning of this track as it is incredibly quiet. Although not a fast song, this does come across as being very powerful, with Don Henley showing us just why the Eagles are still as strong today. (My Rating: 10/10)
I Dreamed there was no War
As I said, this disc does lean towards the political direction. It's a well documented fact that the band are anti-Bush and anti-Iraq. This is an instrumental track so I think the intention is that you make of it what you will by the title. Primarily, this is a guitar based track with a slight melancholy aura about it. (My Rating: 6/10)
Raunchy Raunchy Raunchy! Depending on how you look at it, Glen Grey is either being sexy or angry, but either way, this track comes across as very tongue in cheek, though I don't feel that is the intention. Extremely fast and upbeat, this song tells how the woman has been bad. So bad that she keeps looking over her shoulder with the feeling that somebody is watching her. This is very un-Eagles sounding in my opinion but a cracking piece of work all the same. (My Rating: 10/10)
Frail Grasp on the Big Picture
For an Eagles track, this starts off sounding very 'poppy'. Joe Walsh is as superb as ever with some fantastic guitar riffs and Don Henley takes lead vocal once again.
"Well ain't it a shame 'bout our short little memory
We never seem to learn the lessons of history
We keep making the same mistakes - over and over and over and over again
And then we wonder why we're in the shape we're in"
This smells awfully of a political dig at the current state of affairs in the US. However, and despite obviously trying to get a political point across, this is a good piece of music with a good up-tempo sound. (My Rating: 9/10)
Last Good Time in Town
The intro to this track has a slight Caribbean feel to it. It's one of the few tracks on the album where Joe Walsh takes lead vocal. Although he does have a style of his own when it comes to singing, I don't think he has the strongest voice in the band. Not one of my favourites, but ok as an album track. (My Rating: 7/10)
I Love to Watch a Woman Dance
Another very quiet track with not too much atmosphere to it, in my opinion. Glen Frey often seems to take on the more gentile tracks and this is no exception. It is what I would class as a 'nice piece of music' but nothing to get too excited about. (My Rating: 6/10)
Business as Usual
Don Henley's political views are on show again and this track denotes President Bush's ability and willingness to carry on as usual when the US have allegedly caused death and destruction in the world. "We have the prettiest White House that money can buy" is evident that the former President could not count the Eagles as part of his fan club! A very poignant song. (My Rating: 9/10)
Center of the Universe
A good guitar instrumental opens this track before Don Henley gently comes in with some well written lyrics on how he will stand by his woman throughout it all, even though they are not in the center of the universe. It obviously made sense when they wrote the lyrics, but this is not one of the best songs on the album. (My Rating: 7/10)
It's Your World Now
As soon as this track starts, you may well think you are on a sandy beach in Hawaii surrounding by Hula dancers, not something normally associated with Eagles music. Glen Frey takes lead vocals on this track and, although a little on the slow side, this is a very nice piece of music. (My Rating: 8/10)
Hole in the World
This track starts off with all four members of the band singing acapella. The song was actually written back in 2001 when the 9/11 atrocities took place in America. On the day the four airliners were high-jacked and subsequently crashed, the Eagles were due to go into the studio to record. Instead, they got together and wrote Hole in the World in the space of a day, and the song intended to depict how quickly the state of the world can change. A very thought provoking song to end the album. (My Rating: 9/10)
The album cover itself is certainly a no-frills affair. The Eagles are very environmentally orientated and are involved in numerous environmental groups. It is for this reason that they decided not to release this album with the usual plastic CD case. The album cover itself is made of recycled card and the whole package is intended to be environmentally friendly. The artwork itself is very simple with the whole picture being in sepia and portraying all four members of the band walking through an arid desert. I can only assume that this is representing the 'long road out of Eden'!
~~~MY FINAL OPINION~~~
So, to answer my question at the end of the second paragraph of this review: Was this album worth waiting for? Well, in a word, YES!
As with all albums, there are a few, shall we say, not so strong tracks, but the majority of the songs certainly make up for those weaker ones. If you are looking for another Hotel California album, this could not be further from it. The Eagles have certainly developed in their musical style, and with this album, it was nice to see them take a chance and stay away from the old, safe genre of 'country rock' which they seem to have been labelled with, and move on to a style which is slightly more up to date, but still as good.
**Album is currently available from play.com at £9.99**
Ok, that it! Thanks for reading.
(also on Ciao - matthewsmum)
This album is, despite only being a year old, classic Eagles, and one of their best. It was worth the wait, as although it's polished and sounds perfect, it is full of raw, real emotions, and every line is delivered with that feeling as a driving force.
I was also impressed they kept the momentum going with two discs, 21 tracks in fact, of consistently beautiful music, each song speaking directly to me as a listener and making me believe everything they're singing.
This is also a brilliant showcase of the different genres covered, from pure heartbreak as we can hear in I Don't Want To Hear Any More, to catchy, commercial almost pop sounds in How Long, to folkier music in No More Walks In The Wood, and a few others in between.
A must-listen album to anyone who likes and knows good music, although for the more emotional amongst us (myself included), have someone to cuddle or a box of tissues with you when listening.
The Eagles are the first band i can remember hearing, and have loved them ever since, i waited for this album since i was about 9!
And boy was it worth the wait!I tell people it is a great record, and they say it should be, it took them 27 years to write it!This is utter rubbish, it is well written, well mixed and well produced, and the backing vocals still sound as good as they did all those years ago.
I prefer the first CD over the second one, i feel they have tried to modernise to much on the second one, whereas the first is just the good old Eagles.
My favourite tracks on this record are -
How Long - not too complicated, sand from the heart, great backing vocals
Busy Being Fabulous - a well told story that must be familiar to many people
The rest are all pretty good, but these two stand out for me.
The Last Resort is still the best song they ever made though!!!!!!
This is the Eagles first studio album for 27 years.
For your money you get 2 cd's and a booklet all contained in a bifold cardboard case. You would expect a better quality product than this, the cardboard looks like its seen a former life, recycled maybe.
Disc one contains 11 tracks which are as follows
1 No more walks in the wood.
2 How long.
3 Busy being fabulous.
4 What do i do with my heart.
5 Guilty of the crime.
6 I dont want to hear any more.
7 Waiting in the weeds.
8 No more cloudy days.
9 Fast Company.
10 Do something.
11 You are not alone.
CD two is 10 tracks long including the UK bonus track.
The listing is as follows
1 Long road out of eden.
2 I dreamed there was no war.
4 Frail grasp on the big picture.
5 Last good time in town.
6 I love to watch a woman dance.
7 Business as usual.
8 Center of the universe.
9 Its your word now.
10 Hole in the world (UK bonus track0.
The title track of long road out of eden is an epic as you would expect of the eagles. This goes on for 10 minutes and 17 seconds.
The album is worth purchasing for this track but alot of the other tracks seem to be there as filler. The track no more walks in the wood is a disappointment and not the ideal starter to the album the title track should have been used to start the album off in my opinion.
The dedicated eagles fan should get the album just to complete their collection but people unfamilar with their work may be better getting an album featuring their most famous track of Hotel California.
Altogther a reasonable album though and has sold successfully worldwide. Dont buy it if you think you are buying a greatest hits album as it isnt.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 No More Walks In The Wood
2 How Long
3 Busy Being Fabulous
4 What Do I Do With My Heart
5 Guilty Of The Crime
6 I Don't Want To Hear Any More
7 Waiting In The Weeds
8 No More Cloudy Days
9 Fast Company
10 Do Something
11 You Are Not Alone
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Long Road Out Of Eden
2 I Dreamed There Was No War
4 Frail Grasp On The Big Picture
5 Lately (Last Good Time In Town)
6 I Love To Watch A Woman Dance
7 Business As Usual
8 Center Of The Universe
9 It's Your World Now
10 Hole In The World