Tuesday, April 17, 1973

Eagles’ Desperado released

First posted 7/19/2010; updated 10/17/2020.



Released: April 17, 1973

Peak: 41 US, 39 UK, 35 CN, 31 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.06 UK, 4.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country rock

Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Doolin-Dalton (20 CL)
  2. Twenty-One
  3. Out of Control
  4. Tequila Sunrise (6/23/73, 64 US, 5 CL, 26 AC, 68 CN)
  5. Desperado (3 CL)
  6. Certain Kind of Fool
  7. Doolin-Dalton (instrumental)
  8. Outlaw Man (9/15/73, 59 US, 13 CL)
  9. Saturday Night (47 CL)
  10. Bitter Creek
  11. Doolin-Dalton/Desperado (Reprise)

Total Running Time: 35:40

The Players:

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
  • Bernie Leadon (guitar, vocals, banjo, mandolin, dobro)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals)


3.809 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)


About the Album:

“These southern California boys…built a steady rolling FM hit factory on basic tenets of Gram Parsons’ invention of country-rock.” AZ While their first album, the eponymously-titled “Eagles seemed deliberately to balance the band’s many musical styles and the talents of the band’s members,” AMG this one largely became the work of Don Henley. If he “was the sole member of the Eagles underrepresented on their debut…, with only two lead vocals and one co-songwriting credit, he made up for it on their follow-up, the ‘concept’ album Desperado.” AMG “He had co-writing credits on eight of the 11 selections and sang such key tracks as Doolin-Dalton and the title song. What would become recognizable as Henley’s lyrical touch was apparent on those songs, which bore a serious, world-weary tone.” AMG

“On Eagles, the group had already begun to marry itself to a Southwest sound and lyrical references, from the Indian-style introduction of ‘Witchy Woman’ to the Winslow, AZ, address in ‘Take It Easy.’” AMG The sophomore outing for the Eagles was a concept album “based on the Dalton gang and the Old West,” WK which was “a natural for those born unto rock and roll soil,” AZ “It may be that Henley, who hailed from Northeast Texas, had the greatest affinity for the subject matter,” AMG “but it had no specific narrative.” AMG and “despite its overarching theme, often seemed a collection of disparate tracks – Out of Control was a raucous rocker, while ‘Desperado’ was a painfully slow ballad backed by strings – with other bandmembers’ contributions tacked on rather than integrated.” AMG

“Randy Meisner was down to two co-writing credits and one lead vocal (Certain Kind of Fool), while Bernie Leadon’s two songs, Twenty-One and Bitter Creek, seemed to come from a different record entirely. The result was an album that was simultaneously more ambitious and serious-minded than its predecessor and also slighter and less consistent.” AMG

One of the album’s greatest assets, however, is that “Henley had begun co-writing with Glenn Frey, and they contributed the album’s strongest material, which included the first single, Tequila Sunrise, and Desperado,” AMG which “feature the flawless harmonies and strong vocals of Glenn Frey and Don Henley.” AZ While the “the title track is one of the Eagles' signature songs, it was never released as a single.” WK

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