YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #22
SINGLES: Take It Easy (#12), Witchy Woman (#9), Peaceful Easy Feeling (#22)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you love deep cuts, yes, but nothing else really made a peep on the radio.
LINEUP: Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Quartet with industry experience (mostly being on the wrong end of commercial success) coalesces around a country-rock sound that launches a sound and a career..
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The foursome who formed the original Eagles all had experience in the music industry in country-rock. Leadon had the most credibility, with stints in the Dillard/Clark Experience and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Meisner was originally in Poco and later was with Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon band. Henley and Frey were in bands that no one really heard of, but all were backing Linda Ronstadt in 1971 when they decided to join forces.
The result was a mix of nearly straight country, rock with country influences, and straight rock. You’ve heard the hits a badillion times by now, but of the rest of the songs on the album, Leadon and Meisner really come off well. Frey’s straight rocker seem to come off forced. Leadon’s banjo defines the band, especially since it’s the instrument in “Take It Easy” that makes that song unique.
The battle between country and rock would continue through their albums. Here, their more country influences won this one – side two is the better side even if two of the hits kicked off side one.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Meisner’s “Take the Devil” was the song that sold Glyn Johns, the producer, on the group
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: Sure, the hits are overplayed, I know. But there’s some pretty decent deep cuts from the Leadon / Meisner contingent.