From their early days, the Eagles quickly found themselves embroiled in headaches and disagreements. Conflicting situations which will animate the famous formation throughout its fruitful career and which will be present during the creation of their first opus which will celebrate, on Wednesday, its 50 years.
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When recording this album titled Eagles, guitarist Glenn Frey wanted a more rock sound. Bernie Leadon, the other guitarist, wanted more country sounds.
There were also differences between Frey, drummer Don Henley and producer Glyn Johns, who also wanted to emphasize the country side of the Eagles.
The director was not at all impressed when he saw the quartet in a bar in Boulder, Colorado in December 1971.
David Geffen, co-founder of the new label Asylum Records, had sent the four musicians to Aspen, Colorado in 1971 so that they could become a real group.
Frey, Henley and Leadon were part of the line-up that accompanied singer Linda Ronstadt. Bassist Randy Meisner had joined this touring band for a show.
Geffen loved Glyn Johns' work with the Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin and approached him to direct the Eagles' debut album. Unimpressed by what he had seen on the boards, he had refused.
David Geffen managed to convince Johns to give them a second chance and go see them rehearse in Los Angeles. The director was not more interested. Until the vocal harmonies of the ballad Take the Devil rang in his ears. He changed his mind and agreed to produce the quartet's first album.
“There was this sound. An extraordinary mix of voices and incredible harmonies. It was superb, ”he says in the documentary History of the Eagles.
The album was recorded in two weeks, for $125,000, at Olympic Studios in London.
In addition to the vocal harmonies, the four members of the formation share, vocally, the ten songs of this "vinyl" totaling 37 minutes.
Released on May 1, 1972, a month before the album was released, the single Take it Easy, written by Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne, reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In record stores, on June 1, 1972, the opus will be an instant success. The album climbed to No. 22 on the Billboard 200 chart and reached No. 13 in Canada.
The singles Witchy Woman (9th position) and Peaceful Easy Feeling (22nd position) will follow in August and December 1971.
too many bosses
Eagles is ranked number 207 on Rolling Stone magazine's revised 500 Greatest Albums of All Time chart.
Beyond disagreements and a director who wanted to emphasize country sounds, Glenn Frey admitted in a 1975 interview published in Rolling Stone magazine that he was right.
“Glyn Johns has been key to our success in many ways. We just didn't want to make another album of sluggish country rock from Los Angeles, ”he said in the pages of the American magazine.
In June 2016, Don Henley told the same publication that he was aware, from the first steps of the formation, that the flight was not going to be smooth.
“The band members had strengths and weaknesses and weren’t always very objective about it. There were differences of opinion on the musical direction. Variety and contrast are good things when it's something channeled well. We could see that we were going to have, at some point, problems with the distribution of tasks. There were too many chiefs and not enough Indians,” he said.
This did not prevent the Eagles, which are still active, after a few changes in staff, from selling 200 million albums.