The Worst Song From Every Eagles Album
There were three distinct recording eras in Eagles' history: Their rootsy first records, their rock-inflected later period and the reunion albums.
What unites them all – besides the presence of Don Henley and Glenn Frey – was the odd dud of a song. It wasn't easy finding the "worst" song on the Eagles' multiplatinum masterpiece Hotel California, and the final choice is bound to spark conversation. The same can't be said of patchy stuff like Eagles or The Long Run.
In the end, however, every Eagles LP – even acknowledged favorites like One of These Nights, much less more divisive projects like Long Road Out of Eden – made room for that one inherently skippable track.
The question then becomes: Which one? As always, individual mileage may vary. Below is our list of the Worst Song From Every Eagles Album, focusing on the tracks that most certainly did not go the distance:
From: Eagles (1972)
This was never supposed to be on the album, but Asylum label head David Geffen wanted one more Don Henley vocal. All they had left over, however, was a poor attempt at this Jackson Browne track. "Although I agreed that another song from Henley would be great," producer Glyn Johns said in Sound Man, "it had not worked out. The performance of the song by the band never came close to being good enough after several attempts. So, I had little faith in trying again." Undeterred, Geffen then moved to set up a postproduction session. So Johns quickly finished "Nightingale," and it sounds just like that – a slapped-together also-ran.
From: Desperado (1973)
The moment where they took a rather dubious link too far. Henley later admitted that "the metaphor was probably a little bullshit." After all, Eagles were in '70s-era Los Angeles – very much not the Old West – "staying up all night, smoking dope, living the California life."
"On the Border"
From: On the Border (1974)
This LP arrived during the Eagles' uneasy transition from roots to rock, personified by the midsessions exit of early producer Glyn Johns. (He oversaw only "You Never Cry Like a Lover" and "Best of My Love," though the latter ironically became the first of their five chart toppers.) The title track illustrated the difficulty Eagles initially had in toughening up. A clumsy attempt at dunking on recently resigned President Richard Nixon, "On the Border" isn't as sharp as it needs to be lyrically – or musically. Wait, were they actually trying for a Temptations vibe?
"I Wish You Peace"
From: One of These Nights (1975)
Away from Eagles, Bernie Leadon has been a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. So you might have expected one of his last moments with the Eagles to be representative of that rootsy history. Instead, Leadon shared writing duties on this slow-death dirge with live-in girlfriend Patti Davis – daughter of future President Ronald Reagan, who had all but disowned her for cohabitating with the Eagles multi-instrumentalist. Henley, and he was being kind, dismissed the results as "smarmy cocktail music."
"New Kid in Town"
From: Hotel California (1976)
In truth, there really isn't a bad song on Eagles' career-making Hotel California, but this perhaps too-sweet entry finishes last among equals.
From: The Long Run (1979)
Irritating musically, unfocused lyrically and featuring a squiggly synthesizer solo(!) by Glenn Frey, this somehow ended up as the B-side to his galloping chart-topper "Heartache Tonight." That's the definition of Eagles yin and Eagles yang. It's still difficult to believe that J.D. Souther — the easygoing country-rocker who helped compose signature Eagles songs like "Best of My Love," "Victim of Love" and "New Kid in Town" — was involved with such a plodding, flaccid throwaway.
"Get Over It"
From: Hell Freezes Over (1994)
Seemingly prone to dour moods, Henley can be almost biblically judgmental, and this humorless, painfully obvious song draws out the worst of those tendencies. Even a scalding turn on the slide from Joe Walsh can't get things back on track as Henley continues "all this bitching, moaning, pitching a fit." Still, it had been almost 15 years since the Eagles last released a single, so "Get Over It" reached the Top 40 anyway.
"Frail Grasp of the Big Picture"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)
Eagles made the dismaying decision to stir in many of the best-forgotten elements (OK, let's just say it: synths) from their respective '80s-era solo careers late in this two-disc set. Henley's "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture" goes one better, offering a media-hating lyric from I Can't Stand Still to go with the sleek keyboards from Building the Perfect Beast. This heaping helping of Henley's world-weary condescension is dragged the rest of the way down by a dreary groove that sounds like off-brand Steely Dan.
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