Wednesday, December 8, 1976

The Eagles released Hotel California

First posted 12/8/2011; updated 9/15/2020.

Hotel California

Eagles


Released: December 8, 1976


Charted: December 25, 1976


Peak: 18 US, 2 UK, 14 CN, 112 AU


Sales (in millions): 26.0 US, 1.8 UK, 32.33 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Hotel California (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Don Felder) [6:30] (2/26/77, #1 US, #8 UK, #10 AC, sales: 0.5 m)
  2. New Kid in Town (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/J.D. Souther) [5:04] (12/18/76, #1 US, #20 UK, #2 AC, #43 CW, sales: 0.5 m)
  3. Life in the Fast Lane (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Joe Walsh) [4:46] (5/14/77, #11 US)
  4. Wasted Time (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:55]
  5. Wasted Time (Reprise) (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Jim Ed Norman) [1:22]
  6. Victim of Love (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Don Felder/J.D. Souther) [4:11]
  7. Pretty Maids All in a Row (Joe Walsh/Joe Vitale) [4:05]
  8. Try and Love Again (Randy Meisner) [5:10]
  9. The Last Resort (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [7:25]


Total Running Time: 43:28


The Players:

  • Don Henley (vocals, drums, percussion)
  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitars, keyboards)
  • Don Felder (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals)
  • Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals)

Rating:

4.344 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)


Quotable:Hotel California unveiled…a band…that made music worthy of the later tag of ‘classic rock’” – William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

Hotel California proved a major milestone for the already immensely popular Eagles. The band’s sound had previously been rooted in country rock. They didn’t abandon that sound, as evidenced by lead single and #1 hit New Kid in Town – but in the eighteen months between the release of their 1975 album One of These Nights and Hotel California in 1976, they made “a stylistic shift toward mainstream rock.” WR

The Eagles reportedly spent eight months in the studio recording. With “changes in producer and personnel, as well as a noticeable growth in creativity, Hotel California unveiled what seemed almost like a whole new band. It was a band that could be bombastic, but also one that made music worthy of the later tag of ‘classic rock,’ music appropriate for the arenas and stadiums the band was playing.” WR “Early on, the group couldn’t rock convincingly;” WR they “never seemed to get a sound big enough for their ambitions.” WR However, the departure of Benie Leadon, “who had given the band much of its country flavor,” WR and the pairing of new arrival Joe Walsh with guitarist Don Felder gave the band more “arena-rock heft.” WR

Nowhere is that stylistic shift more apparent than on Life in the Fast Lane, a song which “drew a line between the band’s country-tinged past and rock and roll future” TL as it “captured coke culture in a catchphrase.” BL

That song was one of six which Don Henley either wrote or co-wrote, signaling another main shift for the Eagles. He was now “the band’s dominant voice, both as a singer and a lyricist.” WR Though his songs, he “sketches a thematic statement that begins by using California as a metaphor for a dark, surreal world of dissipation; comments on the ephemeral nature of success and the attraction of excess; branches out into romantic disappointment; and finally sketches a broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism.” WR

Those themes are clearly on display on the title track, “a sprawling epic” TL that “framed Hollywood…in terms so impressively vague they seemed mythic.” BL The song had “Satanic undertones that might have been subconsciously cribbed from Jethro Tull’s ‘We Used to Know’ when the bands toured together. As for the warm smell of colitas, fans are split on whether the word is Spanish slang for cannabis buds or an easy lay. Given the band and the era, the safest guess is both.” TL

“Like much of their catalog, Hotel California seems a lot smarter when you listen to it than when you talk about it.” TL “The lyrics kick in some time after one has appreciated the album’s music.” WR In any event, “the result was the Eagles' biggest-selling regular album release, and one of the most successful rock albums ever.” WR


Notes:

A 40th anniversary edition of the album included a live disc recorded at the L.A. Forum between October 20-22, 1976.

Review Sources:

Saturday, November 27, 1976

Sex Pistols chart with “Anarchy in the U.K.”

First posted 4/9/2020.

Anarchy in the U.K.

The Sex Pistols

Writer(s): Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock (see lyrics here)


Released: November 26, 1976


First Charted: November 27, 1976


Peak: 33 UK, 1 CL, 1 CO (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 27.04 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

During the mid-‘70s, a stagnant economy, labor strikes, and the “perpetually drizzly weather that has always afflicted the country” TB contributed to general dissatisfaction amongst British youth and “things seemed to assume a permanent greyness.” TB The Sex Pistols “contempt for their dreary culture and moribund music scene” TB put them at the forefront of the British punk scene.

Then band had generated buzz with their live shows and “the groundswell that was clearly building..for snotty, amateurish rock bands.” CR EMI signed the band and their first single, “Anarchy in the U.K.,” as released in late 1976. It is “what the beginning of a revolution sounds like.” RS500 Its “wit and anger make it the great political protest song of our times.” MC It certainly generated controversy – British radio banned it and EMI “pulled the single and dropped the band, which just made them more notorious. ‘I don’t understand it,’ Rotten said in 1977. ‘All we’re trying to do is destroy everything.’” RS500

The Sex Pistols “were not only sincere in their desire to make rock that smashed rock, but…they were absolutely equal to the task.” MA They “essentially…reinforced what the garage bands of the ‘60s had demonstrated – you don’t need technique to make rock & roll.” CR

Actually, though, while “Anarchy” certainly displayed combative lyrics by opening with “I am an anti-Christ” and ending with “Destroy!” it was otherwise “comparatively familiar, highly competent hard-rock.” TB Steve “Jones made his guitar sound like a pub brawl, while [Johnny] Rotten snarled, spat, [and] snickered” RS500 with an “evil cackle.” RS500 This is a band, which despite its reputation for not being able to play, “understood perfectly how to make rock and roll effects in the recording studio.” MA


Resources and Related Links:

  • Sex Pistols’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • CR Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Page 735.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Pages 72-3.
  • MC Neil McCormack (3/13/09). Telegraph.co.uk “100 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (4/7/2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 165.
  • WK Wikipedia
  • WI Paul Williams (1993). Rock and Roll: The Best 100 Singles. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. Page 168.

Friday, November 19, 1976

Nov. 19, 1976: studio album of Evita released

First posted November 14, 2010. Last updated September 4, 2018.

Evita (studio/cast/soundtrack)

Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice (composers)

Studio Album Released: Nov. 19, 1976

First Stage Production: June 21, 1978

Soundtrack Released: Nov. 12, 1996


Sales (in millions):
US: 1.0 C, 5.0 S
UK: 0.3 SR, 0.6 S
IFPI: 2.0 S
World (estimated): 1.3 C, 18.0 S


Peak:
US: 105 C, 2 S
UK: 4 SR, 11-S
Canada: --
Australia: --

SR Studio Album
C Cast Album
S Soundtrack

Quotable: --


Genre: show tunes


Album Tracks – Studio/Cast Album:

  1. Cinema in Buenos Aires, 26 July 1952
  2. Requiem for Evita / Oh What a Circus
  3. On This Night of a Thousand Stars / Eva and Magaldi / Eva Beware of the City
  4. Buenos Aires
  5. Goodnight and Thank You
  6. The Lady's Got Potential **
  7. Charity Concert / I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You
  8. Another Suitcase in Another Hall
  9. Dangerous Jade *
  10. A New Argentina
  11. On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada / Don’t Cry for Me Argentina
  12. High Flying, Adored
  13. Rainbow High
  14. Rainbow Tour
  15. The Actress Hasn’t Learned the Lines (You’d Like to Hear)
  16. And the Money Kept Rolling (In and Out)
  17. Santa Evita
  18. Waltz for Eva and Che
  19. She Is a Diamond
  20. Dice Are Rolling * / Eva’s Sonnet *
  21. Eva’s Final Broadcast
  22. Montage *
  23. Lament
* Unique to cast album
** Unique to studio album

Album Tracks – Soundtrack:

Disc 1:

  1. Cinema in Buenos Aires, 26 July 1952
  2. Requiem for Evita
  3. Oh What a Circus (ANTONIO BANDERAS / MADONNA)
  4. On This Night of a Thousand Stars (JIMMY NAIL)
  5. Eva and Magaldi / Eva Beware of the City (MADONNA / JIMMY NAIL / ANTONIO BANDERAS)
  6. Buenos Aires (MADONNA)
  7. Another Suitcase in Another Hall (MADONNA)
  8. Goodnight and Thank You (MADONNA / ANTONIO BANDERAS)
  9. The Lady's Got Potential (ANTONIO BANDERAS)
  10. Charity Concert / The Art of the Possible (MADONNA / JIMMY NAIL / ANTONIO BANDERAS) **
  11. I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You (MADONNA / JONATHAN PRYCE)
  12. Hello and Goodbye (MADONNA / JONATHAN PRYCE / ANDREA CORR) **
  13. Peron’s Latest Flame (MADONNA / ANTONIO BANDERAS) **
  14. A New Argentina (MADONNA / ANTONIO BANDERAS / JONATHAN PRYCE)
Disc 2:
  1. On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada 1 (JONATHAN PRYCE)
  2. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (MADONNA)
  3. On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada 2 (MADONNA) **
  4. High Flying, Adored (ANTONIO BANDERAS / MADONNA)
  5. Rainbow High (MADONNA)
  6. Rainbow Tour (ANTONIO BANDERAS / GARY BROOKER / MADONNA)
  7. The Actress Hasn’t Learned the Lines (You’d Like to Hear) (MADONNA / ANTONIO BANDERAS)
  8. And the Money Kept Rolling (In and Out) (ANTONIO BANDERAS)
  9. Partido Feminista (MADONNA) **
  10. She Is a Diamond (JONATHAN PRYCE)
  11. Santa Evita
  12. Waltz for Eva and Che (MADONNA / ANTONIO BANDERAS)
  13. Your Little Body Is Slowly Breaking Down (MADONNA / JONATHAN PRYCE) **
  14. You Must Love Me (MADONNA) **
  15. Eva’s Final Broadcast (MADONNA)
  16. Latin Chant **
  17. Lament (MADONNA / ANTONIO BANDERAS)
** Unique to soundtrack.

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (JULIE COVINGTON) c (11/12/76) #1 UK
  • Another Suitcase in Another Hall (BARBARA DICKSON) c (2/7/77) #18 UK
  • Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (SHADOWS) c (12/78) #5 UK
  • You Must Love Me s (11/2/96) #18 US, #10 UK, #15 AC, gold single
  • Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (MADONNA) s (12/28/96) #8 US, #3 UK, #21 AC
  • Another Suitcase in Another Hall (MADONNA) s (3/29/97) #7 UK

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

Like they had with Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber presented Evita first as a studio album and then developed it into a stage production. It wasn’t a monstrous hit in the U.S. like the studio version of Superstar had been, but in the UK, it spawned a #1 hit with Don’t Cry for Me Argentina and a top 20 hit with Another Suitcase in Another Hall. R-C

For the opera based on the real-life Eva Peron, Webber “naturally drew upon Latin themes, at least of an ersatz sort (On This Night of a Thousand Stars aped Pérez Prado’s 1955 hit ‘Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White’), to add to his taste in pop/rock and affection for Puccini.” R-C For his part, Rice “had a big, rich story to tell about a social-climbing peasant who achieves the highest rungs of power, only to succumb to early death.” R-C He used “the fictional Che (based on Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara), to challenge Evita’s ruthlessness. The subject matter attracted the criticism that it glamorized a fascist, but Rice’s very point was to present a cautionary tale about the deceptive appeal of such a person.” R-C

“The choice of Julie Covington, who could negotiate the musical range of the title role and sing without warmth, was perfect; no stage successor matched her willingness to make Evita unsympathetic C.T. (Colm) Wilkinson's Che was her match, and the rest of the cast sang effectively.” R-C

Twenty years later, Madonna took the lead in the film version. She gambled on it establishing her “as a proper movie star and respected actress.” R-S She “gives a startlingly accomplished and nuanced performance,” R-S but it “is impossible to listen to her without getting the impression that she is trying really hard to be credible.” R-S

As such, the soundtrack “remains curiously unengaging,” R-S although it is “an exquisitely produced and expertly rendered” R-S “audio document of the entire film, since there is no dialogue in the movie.” R-S “Even with the faults, Evita has its merits, including the written-for-film ballad You Must Love Me, and is worth investigating. It just isn't the definitive work that it wishes to be.” R-S


Review Sources:

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):