Bringing The California Country Folk That The Eagles Were First Known For, ‘Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975’ Is A 70s Dope Smokin’ Trip.
I didn’t really get the gypsy Laurel Canyon vibe associated with LA, even having grown up in California and LA for much of my life – but of course, I matured to appreciate all styles eventually – which is part of growing wise I think, and I want to say my first actual foot in the door to this vibe was by way of Neil Young’s 1972 Folk Rock album Harvest. For many years, I played the shit out of that album, and though I was introduced also to The Grateful Dead, I felt their music meandered too much and I simply could not get down with it (to this day), and then there was The Eagles recommendation, who, as successful as they are (4th highest selling band in U.S. history), I never saw them as better than the arguably similar Soft Folky groove of Fleetwood Mac. So yeah, my money is still on Mac, but as a result of my likes and dislikes being set for quite some time, I have to admit, I guess I went out of my way to not dig The Eagles it would seem – especially because I really disliked their Hard Rock and Arena Rock catalogue, with one infernal song somehow ordained to be the one song that rules them all; “Hotel California.” How many times have I told friends and strangers alike, ‘If I hear this song one more time I’m going to…”. But thanks to the Rock gods, I found a best of album that, to my shock and surprise, did not contain “Hotel California” on it. This was enough to give it an A rating without even hearing the album. Just kidding – I listened to the album, and was pleasantly surprised that it consisted of some solid songwriting and bumping instrumentation that takes me to a place and time I never lived – another dimension if you will, where Los Angeles bands were not city dwellers at all but rather, hippy cowboys who could ‘go their own way’, as Fleetwood Mac famously sang. Which is interesting for me because their song came out in 1977 and so did The Eagles’ “Hotel California”, and they are both my most disliked songs from both bands – as I find them extremely corny versions of the cooler Rock that they were doing - overly commercial and written with a success in mind, that which they would inevitably garner over the coming decades.