Monday, July 27, 2020

And Then I Wrote...

Chanced across this pan I did of an Eagles album for the Magazine Formerly Known as STEREO REVIEW the other day, and it completely cracked me up.

THE EAGLES: The Long Run.

Performance: They gotta be kidding

Recording: Expensive

I really don't believe this record. Yes, against all expectations (for this they labored three years?), here is still more monied angst, lame social commentary, and overproduction from the Eagles, who apparently are convinced that what the world needs now is a tuneless, turtle-tempoed essay on the human condition from the perspective of five very rich, very bored Angelenos.

Here, for example is a potentially good idea for a song about a mass murderer at Studio 54 ("The Disco Strangler") that makes the most obvious points imagineable about loneliness and alientation. Here's an unbearably smug attempted dissection of the casting couch mentality ("King of Hollywood") rendered in a manner so laid-back it approaches the catatonic. Here's a song about the good old days of hanging out at the Troubador Bar ("Sad Cafe") that is guaranteed to be of absolutely no interest to anyone outside the Eagles immediate circle of friends. Here's a watery love song pasted together from snippets of old George Benson records ("I Can't Tell You Why") and the most tired-sounding bit of blues-based rock ("Heartache Tonight") they have yet essayed. Here's a vaguely funny evocation of mid-Sixties frat-house partying ("The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks") that is supposed to be a throwaway yet ironically has more life than anything else in the package. Here are tedium, a total waste of the not inconsiderable talents of Joe Walsh, and the sound of a band with nothing to say, but saying it at incredible length ("King of Hollywood" runs more than six minutes).

In sum, the Eagles' The Long Run is the most pointless vinyl extrusion of 1979, with the possible exception of The Georgie Jessel Disco Album, which I understand A&M is readying in the wake of their success with a similar venture by Ethel Merman. Like I said, I really don't believe this record. -- S.S.

Wow, Steve -- don't mince words, tell us what you really think.

And yes, in case you were wondering, that's gonna be in my forthcoming greatest hits book, which -- pandemic permitting -- will be available in some format early next year.


Mark said...

Well executed, SS. As a longtime and from-the-beginning fan of Joe Walsh, I particularly liked the “not inconsiderable talent” reference.

elroy said...

I remember this!

Very excited about the book, too!

paulinca said...

I love this! While I have a soft spot for this record (though I was six when it was released), I can't disagree with this review, especially in light of not only what the band had already done, the three year lifetime of absence but finally the revolution that occurred since Hotel CA.


edward said...

Given I had no interest in the Eagles before or after, this is probably the first review I've ever read of one of their albums. Good to know I was right all along;>

Alzo said...

Looks like you beat Mojo Nixon to the punch.

Jim said...

I recently reread your review of "Shoot Out the Lights," which was my introduction to Richard and Linda Thompson nearly 40 years ago. That review also held up all these years later. If you need to fill space on this blog someday you should reprint that one.

neal t said...

Wait for the book :)

The main reason I hated them back in the day was they allowed themselves to be tagged America's greatest rock band while they were ate the peak of their popularity.

pete said...

Nowhere near America's greatest rock band, ever. We should have a List-O of commercial California rock bands that are better than the Eagles:

The Doobie brothers
The Bangles
The Beach Boys
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Steely Dan (yes, at first they were a California band)
Sly and the Family Stone
Jefferson Airplane

The key word is "commercial," otherwise I would have included Love, Little Feat, Buffalo Springfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Moby Grape, and plenty of others. PS. I saw the James Gang open for Led Zeppelin in Cleveland the night men first walked on the moon, July 20, 1969. The kid can play. And they had a great drummer, too, Jimmy Foxx, the guy they need the group after! It really hurt my feelings when JW joined the Eagles.

pete said...

that's "named the group after ."

Anonymous said...

Pete, you missed Creedence Clearwater Revival.

neal t said...

& missed Da Mac!

The Dude said...

I still hate the fuckin' Eagles, man.