Another dominant band of the 1970s reached the end of the line in 1979, with their last studio release, “The Long Run”. By this point, Randy Meisner followed Bernie Leadon out the door, and the lineup for this album included Timothy B. Schmit in his place, along with Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Don Felder and Joe Walsh. This album doesn’t seem to garner much respect critically, but of all of the Eagles albums, this one is one of my preferred collections.
The title track, a very recognizable and easy-to-like song with Henley on lead vocals starts things off. We have the super-slow and soft ballad “I Can’t Tell You Why”, with Schmit and his high-range voice on vocals next. I have never loved this song, even though it was fairly successful as a single.
The next song is the Joe Walsh-led classic “In the City”, which was originally recorded as a solo song for the landmark late-1970s film “The Warriors”. I’m not sure which I love more, the movie or the song, but both are huge favorites for me and this is definitely my #1 favorite Eagles song out of them all.
The rest of side one is rather uneventful, but side two opens with “Heartache Tonight”, another of the many up-tempo Glenn Frey songs that tend to find their way to the top of each album’s best. I also like “Those Shoes” featuring Henley with some great guitar work from Don Felder. “Teenage Jail” is weird and interesting, it sounds like the Eagles trying to be Black Sabbath. Let’s leave that to the experts, please.
Another simple-but-good Henley track “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” comes next, and the end of the Eagles era winds down with the aptly named “The Sad Café”. Six albums in total, with dozens of successful hits, the band created a foundation of songs that serves them to this day as they continue to recycle the lineup and the setlist for top-dollar ticket prices. Like I said earlier in this blog, the Eagles are one of those acts that jointly appeals to most men and women, and thus, they are the perfect “middle-aged date night” couples rock act. That cynicism aside, between Henley and Frey and their respective peers across the six albums, they were outstanding songwriters and performers and their excellence in this area served them well as they graduated into successful solo careers in the 1980s and beyond.