Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Released - 1976, on Asylum Records. Produced by Bill Szymczyk
Don Henley Lead and Backing Vocals; Drums
Hotel California was the Eagles fifth album, and some feel it's the best one they ever put out. It was their first LP without founding member Bernie Leadon, the last one with original bassist/singer Randy Meisner, and the first album with Joe Walsh.
The best song on here is the title cut. It features some nice guitar weaving between Don Felder and Walsh, with Don Henley singing the lead vocals, as he does on most of the numbers on this LP. When this song was released, lots of questions and answers went around as to what the Hotel California was suppose to be. Everything from a whore house, to some kind of drug haven, to a house of worship for Satan. Of course it was none of that; according to band members, the song is about living life in excess in America. That of course is also what another excellent song found on here, "Life In The Fast Lane", is also about. This tune is just as good as "Hotel California", but just in a different way, since it has a different feel to it. This track moves about faster and is pure guitar driven rock 'n roll, thanks to Walsh, and this is the only song on the album that he plays the lead on.
After those two top songs, and other than "Victim of Love", which I also dig a lot, the rest of this album wasn't as much of a hit with me as it was to others. When I played it today, it was nice to hear again, but a few songs on here are forgettable to me, and great LPs should not contain such songs. So although I see this one as overrated overall, it is still a good album.
- Keno June 2010
Return to Rock Album's Reviews