They wanted everything to do with the 70s, but absolutely nothing to do with the 80s. On September 24th, 1979, the Eagles released their last studio album titled “The Long Run,” until the year 2007. “The Long Run” also marked the first Eagles album featuring Glenn Frey without long hair. Yes that is important to know.
The Eagles broke up the night of July 31st, 1980, and did not officially get back together until the night they recorded their live album “Hell Freezes Over,” on November 8th, 1994. Between these two dates, the public received two Eagles albums, but neither had directly to do with the band being in the same room at the same time.
In 1980, “Eagles Live” was released simply because the Eagles owed Elektra one more album, and had not yet released a live album up to that point. This album was essentially Don Henley in LA and Glenn Frey in Miami, flying tapes back and forth to create one whole album. Frey was quoted on ultimateclassicrock.com during an album review on “Eagles Live,” saying, “I knew the Eagles were over about halfway threw 1979’s The Long Run album.” Then in 1982, Asylum Records compiled a second greatest hits album to be released, “Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2.”
What is noticeable about “The Long Run” being released in 1979, is the gap between the release of their previous studio albums. Each of their previous studio albums had a one year gap being, ’72, ’73, 74′, ’75, and ’76. “The Long Run,” was not released until ’79. To no surprise, this album was nicknamed “The Long One.”
In an article on bbc.com about how the album “Hotel California” started the break up of the band, in reference to “The Long Run,” Frey was quoted saying, “Going to the studio was like going to school, I simply didn’t want to go. But most importantly, during the making of The Long Run, Henley and I found out that lyrics are not a replenish-able source.”
Enough about the negative side, because although the bands relationship wasn’t at its best, the music is what mattered. They still did what they do best, and that’s record hit music. The album peaked at no. 1 on the billboard 200, and three songs found their way on the billboard hot 100. “Heartache Tonight” peaked at no. 1, “I Can’t Tell You Why” at no. 8, and “The Long Run” at no. 8.
The first song I’ll note is my personal favorite, “The Sad Cafe.” This song is about the famous bar in LA, The Troubadour. Many artists played at this bar before they were big, and even after. In Elton John’s case, his first American performance was there. The Troubadour was the place to be for musicians in the LA scene. The inner sleeve of the album says “This song is respectfully dedicated to the memory of John Barrick.” Barrick was a bartender at The Troubadour.
To finish off the song, there is an amazing 1 minute 30 second saxophone solo at the end performed by David Sanborn.
Out of the silver light, the past came softly calling
And I remember the times we spent
inside the Sad Cafe
Oh, it seemed like a holy place,
protected by amazing grace
And we would sing right out loud, the
things we could not say
We thought we could change this world
with words like “love” and “freedom”
We were part of the lonely crowd
Inside the Sad Cafe
Now I look at the years gone by,
and wonder at the powers that be.
I don’t know why fortune smiles on some
and let’s the rest go free
– “The Sad Cafe” lyrics
www.troubadour.com/history (link to a history timeline of The Troubadour)
Now i’ll touch base on their album titled song “The Long Run,” and “In The City.” It’s no surprise that “The Long Run” peaked on the billboards since it has a catchy tune, and catchy lyrics to go along with it. It also becomes obvious that the song is about two people in a relationship wondering if they can make it together. With the situation the Eagles were in with their own relationship, you can’t help but think about the status of the band back when this song was being recorded. “In The City” was originally recorded by Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh to be part of the soundtrack for the motion picture “The Warriors” (released in ’79). The Eagles recorded another version for their album.
Did you do it for love?
Did you do it for money?
Did you do it for spite?
Did you think you had to, honey?
Who is gonna make it?
We’ll find out, in the long run – “The Long Run” lyrics
It’s survival in the city
When you live from day to day
City streets don’t have much pity
When you’re down, that’s where you’ll stay – “In The City” lyrics
Now it’s time to talk about their no. 1 hit “Heartache Tonight,” “I Can’t Tell You Why,” and “Those Shoes.” So first, “Heartache Tonight,” which was co-wrote by Henley, Frey, JD Souther, and Bob Seger. Seger had history with the Eagles, and well, surprisingly he did not contribute to an Eagles album until ’79. If you listen to this song on full blast with headphones in, over and over and over, you might get a headache, but for good reasons. “Those Shoes” has Walsh and Don Felder playing one of my favorite instruments, and that’s the talk box guitar. The talk box brings out the rawness this song has, and the guitar solo by Walsh is right behind the Saxophone solo in “The Sad Cafe.”
“I Cant Tell You Why,” was the first song to be co-wrote by the bassist Timothy B. Schmit. Schmit was fairly new to the band after replacing bassist Randy Meisner in ’77. This song is of the blue-eyed soul genre, and features Schmit on lead vocals.
Eagles performing “I Can’t Tell You Why” in the studio.
Next up is “The Disco Strangler” and “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks.” These are some interesting names now aren’t they? Well they’re interesting songs as well. “The Disco Strangler” will find you jamming out to an invisible instrument, and “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” will have no trouble getting you to sing along. In case you’re wondering, “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks,” is indeed a reference to Greek life in college.
There was beer all over the dance floor
And the band was playing rhythm and blues
You got down and did the gator, and half
An hour later, you were barfing all over your
Girlfriend’s shoes – “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” lyrics
Last but not least is “Teenage Jail,” and “King of Hollywood.” “King of Hollywood” is perfectly slow-paced, and the premise of this song is about the protagonist telling this other person that they will help them become a star. “Teenage Jail” is an eerie song, and tells the listener that the protagonist is lost and doesn’t know what to do. The instrumentals go hand in hand with the eerie premise to the song.
The 70s were on the verge of closing, fortune only smiled on some, and a band from California was on the verge of break up. Meanwhile, 10 impressive songs were being played on airways, or turned on tables.