Monday, May 5, 2008

Musical Monday - The Eagles "Long Road Out of Eden"

After 30 years of no new music from the 70's soft-rock supergroup The Eagles, it was a pleasure to see a new CD pop into my view on Amazon.

Actually I had given up on hearing anything new from the boys. Indeed I was one of the thousands who shelled out a horrible amount of money to see them during their mid-90's reunion tour, and I LOVED IT! The '94 "Hell Freezes Over" Live CD has needed to be replaced twice, but well worth the money.

For me it all started with "Greatest Hits 71-75" which I've had in at least four copies... 8-track, LP and two CD's. Maybe I am not alone in this multiple purchase history... the album is the best-selling of all time with over 41 million copies sold to date. Now don't think I'm so hard on my CD collection, so far in this one blog you've read about me having to replace two CD's. One of them I lost through a divorce, the other was given to a poor, sad soul who had never been exposed to The Eagles, and I thought it was a duty to provide them with mine.

This new double CD highlights both sides of the boys (minus Don Felder - sorry man, I really miss your guitar work). Disc one is filled with wispy tunes like "Waiting in the Weeds" which is obviously geared towards people like me who are jonesing for the trademark Eagles ballad sound. Disc two is more hard-rocking which will translate better on the concert circuit I would suppose. ''Frail Grasp on the Big Picture,'' delivers some lovely cynicism with lyrics like, 'And we pray to our Lord/Who we know is American.... He supports us in war/He presides over football games.'

The title track "Long Road Out of Eden" is at least ten minutes long and well worth the thirty year wait. In this one song the listener can get the long-awaited feeling of a real Eagles tune. It reminds me of '76's "Hotel California" with lyrics commenting on the classic American Way; 'Weaving down the American highway/Through the litter and the wreckage, and the cultural junk/Bloated with entitlement, loaded on propaganda/Now we're driving dazed and drunk'.

After these high-falutin' lyrics and commentary on the sad demise of America one must consider the next part of the story. The Eagles are now running their own record label and have chosen Wal-Mart as the album's EXCLUSIVE brick and mortar retailer - at least for a limited time. There is some contradiction about buying an album that attacks corporate greed from a chain of stores that personifies it. I personally got mine through my friends Amazon, and am very happy with my purchase.

After listening to both CD's several times, I feel that the mix of the ballads and the slightly more rocking songs is perfect. The sound isn't too over-produced although I understand that it took six years for them to put it together. I'm sure that this CD will never get the play in my CD player that '71-'75 has had from me in my lifetime... But right now I'm thinking that this offering from the Eagles just might be their best so far. I wonder if this is the last new music we will hear from them for a while, or are they ready to start recording regularly again?

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