Real Rock News

Home » Real Rock News » Flashback: Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ hits Number One

Flashback: Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ hits Number One

Hotel California © Eagles, Asylum Records [Fair Use]
Hotel California © Eagles, Asylum Records [Fair Use]

It was 43 years ago today (January 15th, 1977), that Eagles’ album Hotel California hit Number One. The album, which was released on December 8th, 1976, was the group’s third chart-topper in a row, following 1975’s One Of These Nights and 1976’s compilation Eagles/Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975.

In October, the band wrapped a handful of “Hotel California” shows in Vegas. The 31-song concerts, which featured an accompanying orchestra and choir, kicked off with the classic album, with the band going on to play a further 23 tunes — including a few dips into both Don Henley and Joe Walsh’s solo catalogues. The band will take its new Hotel California-based show on the road starting next month.

Hotel California included two Number One hits featuring the group’s main songwriters and distinctive lead vocalists, with late guitarist Glenn Frey taking the lead on “New Kid In Town,” and drummer Don Henley singing the album’s famous title track. The album’s third single, “Life In The Fast Lane,” just missed the Top Ten, peaking at Number 11 in the spring of 1977.

Hotel California featured the addition of former James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh, who joined shortly after co-founder Bernie Leadon’s departure. It turned out to be the only Eagles album featuring the lineup of Henley, Frey, Walsh, guitarist Don Felder, and co-founder and bassist Randy Meisner.

The album’s themes reflected the state of America through the decaying Los Angeles rock scene, which by the mid-’70s had changed from an earnest singer-songwriter community into a far more decadent lifestyle fueled by celebrity, money, and drugs.

In their original review of the album, Rolling Stone commented on Hotel California’s music and its reflection of its creators by saying, “Hotel California showcases both the best and worst tendencies of Los Angeles-situation rock. . . Its lyrics present a convincing and unflattering portrait of the milieu itself.”

Hotel California went on to top the charts for eight nonconsecutive weeks, and is now the third best-selling album of all time, having been certified 26-times Platinum by the RIAA for sales and streams of more than 26 million copies.

Over the years, the Eagles have included most of the Hotel California album in their concert set lists, including such classic album tracks as “Wasted Time,” “Victim Of Love,” and “Pretty Maids All In A Row.”

In December 2017, the Eagles released the Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Collection. The new double-CD/Blu-ray Audio set includes remastered sound, 10 previously unreleased live recordings taped in October 1976 at the L.A. Forum, as well as hi-res stereo and 5.1 mixes.

The collection is housed in an 11-by-11 hardbound book, featuring “rare and unseen photos from the era, a replica tour book, and an 11-by-22 poster.” Both a two-CD expanded edition and single disc version are also available, along with digital download and streaming versions.

The Eagles tour dates (subject to change):

February 7, 8 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
February 11 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
February 14, 15 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
February 18 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
February 29 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
March 1 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
March 6, 7 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
March 17 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
March 26, 28 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
April 3, 4 – Saint Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
April 11, 12 – San Francisco, CA – Chase Center
April 17, 18 – Inglewood, CA – The Forum
April 21 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
April 24 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
April 26 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
May 24 – Los Cabos, Mexico – Cabo en Vivo
August 29, 20 – London, England – Wembley Stadium