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Posts Tagged ‘eagles’

“Already Gone”

Posted by purplemary54 on January 19, 2016

My favorite Glenn Frey led Eagles tunes are the rockers.  Glenn himself was a rocker from Detroit, although his knowledge and talent allowed him to dip into just about any musical pool he wanted.  “Already Gone” is a sweet little kiss off tune that showcases the Eagles ability to combine their mellow harmonies with good guitar work and a fuck you attitude.  That’s Frey at his best.

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“Please Come Home for Christmas”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 15, 2014

I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of contractual clause that requires artists to, at some point in their careers, record at least one Christmas song.  Some of them seem to get by with recording a song for one of the Very Special Christmas charity compilations.  Some go all in and make an entire album (but I still don’t know what Bob Dylan was thinking).  The Eagles just did one single, but it was a pretty good one.

“Please Come Home for Christmas” was cowritten by and originally recorded by bluesman Charlie Brown in the 60s.  It quickly became a holiday staple.  The Eagles version was recorded in 1978, and was their first to feature bassist Timothy B. Schmidt, the one member of the band no one else in the band hates.

I find it kind of interesting how sad so many Christmas songs are.  It’s not really surprising, considering how the holidays can be quite depressing for some people.  Many people are missing loved ones, missing home, or just alone, and so many songs that play on the themes of loneliness and melancholy are popular.  It’s really kind of a dark time of year.  But if you’re gonna be sad, you might as well have some sad music to listen to.

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“Good Day in Hell”

Posted by purplemary54 on September 16, 2014

I know two Eagles songs in a row is a little beyond the pale, but this pretty much describes how I feel right now.

Southern California is currently hell.  We’ve been in the 90s for nearly a week now.  The heat is supposed to break tomorrow, but the humidity will be back because of the remains of hurricane Odile.  I know my electric bill is going to be sky-high because we’ve been running the AC something like 12 hours a day.  The biggest problem is that it isn’t cooling down that much at night.  Although last night, for the first time in a while, there was a bit of a breeze.  That’s a good sign in my book.

 

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“On the Border”

Posted by purplemary54 on September 15, 2014

Last night, I read this article about the fading art of the fade out on Slate.  I was surprised to learn that a) the fade out in popular music really is something of an art form, technically speaking, and b) that artists don’t use fade outs all that much anymore.

I know I really don’t listen to that much current Pop music; most of my radio listening is Classic Rock.  Come to think of it, most of my musical consumption in general is Classic Rock.  Or what gets classified as “Adult Alternative” (read: well-written, intelligent, witty, and emotional music recorded by and aimed at adults).  And a lot of those artists do use fade outs.  Classic Rock is rife with them.

Mostly, fade outs are the chorus repeated over and over, constantly getting softer until you can’t hear anything.  (There’s more to it than that in terms of how it gets recorded and mixed, but you can read that in the article for yourself.)  It’s a way to end the song without having to come up with a distinct conclusion.  Sometimes, a performer cuts loose and has a little fun in the fade out.  The article mentions a number of notable and wonderful fade outs.  The most famous of them is probably “Hey Jude,” which I believe is still officially the longest fade out in Rock history.  Paul McCartney  really gets in touch with his inner screamer in that song.

What didn’t surprise me at all about the Slate article is that it failed to mention the Eagles, whom I consider the kings of the fade out.  I know that for a lot of people, the Eagles are just the most egregious example slick, corporate music and excessive douchiness. So they don’t get credit for the things they do well.  They don’t cut loose and get wild.  In some ways, their fade outs aren’t really meandering conclusions, they’re extra verses–the stray bits and pieces where the character tells you what he’s really feeling.  There’s a lot of pathos in some of them (“New Kid in Town” is great for that).  But my personal favorite is the snippy political anger in “On the Border.”

It’s weird how both dated and relevant this song is.  Written about Nixon-era scandal and surveillance, “On the Border” actually takes on an even more sinister edge in this era of the NSA and the PATRIOT act.  Younger listeners might not catch the Nixon stuff; “Don’t you tell me ’bout your law and order” is a direct reference to Nixon’s stance as a law and order president–a stance that was obliterated when his role in the Watergate cover-up was revealed.  The album On the Border was released in 1974, and most of the songs were probably written at about the same time.  The title single was certainly recorded as the Watergate scandal was winding down.  Nixon was on his way out, whether or not the resignation was official when the Eagles were in the studio.  You can hear it in the smiling voices (Glenn Frey and Don Felder, maybe?) in the fade out: “Say goodnight, Dick.”

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“After the Thrill is Gone”

Posted by purplemary54 on August 31, 2013

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  No use being a damn fool about it.” –W.C. Fields

Y’all know that I follow football.  I keep up with news and rumors, gossip and playmaking.  I love my 49ers, and I pay pretty close attention to a few other teams.  The New England Patriots is one of those teams; it’s sort of fascinating how quickly they’ve gone from football royalty to insane train wreck.  Between  serious injury problems, a former player accused of murder, and a defense that just sucks right now, they’ve got a long row to hoe this season.  I suppose there’s still enough quality there to get them to the playoffs, but they’re not going far this year.

Neither is third string quarterback Tim Tebow.  He was picked up by the Patriots this offseason after being cut by the Jets, who got him after he was cut from Denver last year (they made a serious upgrade at QB).  This is the third team to release Tebow in eighteen months.  Tebow has promised to keep pursuing his dream of being a starting NFL quarterback.

I’m not going to get into the mess that has been Tebow’s NFL career too much.  I will say that in spite of his success in college, he has turned out to be a pretty lousy QB; he has what is quite possibly the ugliest throwing motion I’ve ever seen.  He gets a lot more attention for his overt shows of faith, on both sides of the spectrum, than his abilities or lack thereof.  (Many of his more devout fans feel that he’s being persecuted because of his faith, but that’s a giant load of BS.)  The thing is, he keeps on cheerfully trying, in spite of an overabundance of evidence that says maybe he should switch positions or quit.

This Eagles song was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey for bandmate Randy Meisner, who had decided to leave the band.  (There’s been a whole lot of friction between the Eagles and Meisner since then, but that’s another story.)  It’s such a sweet, melancholy good-bye to a relationship that has clearly run its course.  “Time passes, and you must move on.  Half the distance takes you twice as long.  So you keep on singing for the sake of the song, after the thrill is gone.”  Loosely translated, I think that means you shouldn’t beat a dead horse.  Randy Meisner had gone as far as he could with the Eagles, and his frenemies sent him off with love.  (“Frenemies” is really the only word that should be used to describe the relationships between anybody who’s ever been in the Eagles.)  The song is technically about a romance that’s over, but the sentiment applies to pretty much any relationship out there.

There’s a point at which people realize that whatever was there once is gone, and it’s time to cut their losses.  I think that’s what Tim Tebow needs to do now.  He’s not going to be the next Joe Montana (still my gold standard at QB).  He’s not even going to be a mediocre backup.  It’s hard to admit it’s time to let the dream go, but it’s time to move on.  (And I just now thought of a song that is so much better for this post, but I don’t want to start over again.  Listen here.)  He’s gotten so much farther on his dreams than most people do.  But life isn’t a fairy tale, and dreams don’t always come true.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.  Like the W.C. Fields quote I opened with, maybe he should just quit being a damn fool.

But I know it’s a hard thing to give up on a dream you’ve always wanted.  I remember when I realized I probably wasn’t going to have kids, even before my surgery.  I’ve still got some complicated emotions about that, but I’ve realized it’s pretty much for the best.  Not all dreams come true.  And not all of them should.  What are your wistful pipe dreams?

 

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