Saturday, December 27, 2003

Virgin Records: Top 100 Albums

First posted 12/27/2003; updated 8/15/2020.

Virgin Records:

The Top 100 Albums

Through a variety of media outlets, including radio and publishing, Virgin Records has put out a variety of best-of album lists through the years. This exclusive DMDB list consolidates five Virgin lists (see sources at bottom of page) into one top 100.

Also, check out annual picks for album of the year.

1. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
2. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)
3. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972)
4. Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell (1977)
5. Queen A Night at the Opera (1975)
6. Eagles Hotel California (1976)
7. Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (1985)
8. The Beatles Revolver (1966)
9. The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
10. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)

11. R.E.M. Automatic for the People (1992)
12. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
13. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
14. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
15. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
16. David Bowie Hunky Dory (1971)
17. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)
18. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965)
19. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966)
20. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)

21. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
22. Paul Simon Graceland (1986)
23. The Doors The Doors (1967)
24. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
25. U2 Achtung Baby (1991)
26. Pearl Jam Ten (1991)
27. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)
28. The Who Who’s Next (1971)
29. Crowded House Woodface (1991)
30. Blondie Parallel Lines (1978)

31. Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
32. The Police Synchronicity (1983)
33. Elvis Costello My Aim Is True (1977)
34. Elvis Costello & The Attractions Imperial Bedroom (1982)
35. Derek and the Dominos Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
36. The Rolling Stones Aftermath (1966)
37. Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)
38. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968)
39. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
40. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

41. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead (1986)
42. Love Forever Changes (1967)
43. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
44. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
45. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland (1968)
46. The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969)
47. R.E.M. Out of Time (1991)
48. Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (1995)
49. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)
50. The Band The Band (1969)

51. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971)
52. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
53. Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975)
54. Blur Parklife (1994)
55. Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
56. Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984)
57. Lou Reed Transformer (1972)
58. Pink Floyd The Wall (1979)
59. Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
60. Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970)

61. U2 The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
62. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
63. Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956)
64. Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
65. Peter Gabriel So (1986)
66. Neil Young Harvest (1972)
67. Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go (1996)
68. John Lennon Imagine (1971)
69. The Verve Urban Hymns (1997)
70. Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

71. Van Morrison Moondance (1970)
72. Carole King Tapestry (1971)
73. David Bowie Low (1977)
74. Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells (1973)
75. The Byrds The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968)
76. Moby Grape Moby Grape (1967)
77. Metallica Master of Puppets (1986)
78. Elvis Costello & The Attractions This Year’s Model (1978)
79. T-Rex Electric Warrior (1971)
80. AC/DC Back in Black (1980)

81. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (1970)
82. Kate Bush Hounds of Love (1985)
83. Cream Disraeli Gears (1967)
84. The Jam All Mod Cons (1978)
85. The Beatles Help! (1965)
86. The Byrds Younger Than Yesterday (1967)
87. The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet (1968)
88. Neil Young Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
89. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
90. Michael Jackson Bad (1987)

91. Frank Zappa Hot Rats (1969)
92. Joni Mitchell Court and Spark (1974)
93. Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
94. R.E.M. Green (1988)
95. Michael Jackson Off the Wall (1979)
96. U2 War (1983)
97. Simply Red Stars (1991)
98. ABC Lexicon of Love (1982)
99. Steely Dan Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)
100. The Grateful Dead American Beauty (1970)

Resources and Related Links:

  • 1994: “Top 250 Rock and Pop Albums

    This is from the Colin Larkin book The All Time Top 1000 Albums, first published in 1994 by Guinness. It broke down albums into different genres; just the rock and pop list is included here. Subsequent books by Larkin were published by Virgin so this list is included here even.

  • 1998: The Virgin All-Time Top 1000 Albums

    This revised book from Colin Larkin is the result of more than 200,000 poll participants.

  • 2000: The Virgin All-Time Top 1000 Albums

    This is the third edition of Colin Larkin’s books, again produced by gathering more than 200,000 votes.

  • 2003: “Great Albums You Really Should Own”

    List was compiled by DJ Daryl Denham for Virgin Radio from more than 3500 votes.

  • 12/27/03: “Top 25 Rock Albums All Time”

    Presented on Virgin Radio on Russ Williams’ Rebel Yell show.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

“Mad World” hit #1 in the UK

First posted 5/7/2020.

Mad World

Michael Andrews with Gary Jules

Writer(s): Roland Orzabal (see lyrics here)

Released: December 15, 2003

First Charted: December 21, 2003

Peak: 11 AA, 30 MR, 13 UK, 93 CN, 28 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.7 UK, 0.92 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 157.53 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

Tears for Fears broke through in the United States in 1985 with the #1 hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout” from their album Songs from the Big Chair. Their first album, The Hurting, had little impact on U.S. soil, but was a chart-topper in the UK, propelled by three top-five hits, including “Mad World.”

Roland Orzabal wrote the song “about a depressed young person who feels out of place in this world.” SF Orzabal wanted to write a new wave song like Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film.” It was inspired by Arthur Janov, who wrote The Primal Scream, and his theories. The line “the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had” comes from the notion that dreams of intense experiences are best at releasing tension. WK Bandmate Curt Smith ended up handling lead vocals because, as he said, “It worked better with my voice because it’s more melancholic, darker.” SF

The song was revived in 2001 for the soundtrack to the film Donnie Darko. The director, Richard Kelly, commissioned television and film composer Michael Andrews to develop the score. Because of the project’s low budget, Andrews recorded all the instruments himself, but wanted vocals on at least one song. He tapped Gary Jules, a childhood friend with whom he’d worked in the Origin and the Greyboy Allstars. WK Tears for Fears was one of their favorite bands so they opted to record a stripped-down version of “Mad World.” Jules said, “I think it’s a really beautiful example of a person struggling with the fact that life is mad.” WK

The “slower and more melodic” SF version was more fitting to the somber lyrics, although some considered the original “upbeat dance tune by Tears for Fears” SF to be deliberately ironic. Jules said, “Every so often a song with just vocals, piano, and cello creeps up on you and says something about who you are, where you’re going which stops you in your tracks.” WK

Donnie Darko was well received by critics, but didn’t do well commercially. However, after its DVD release, it gained a cult following and demand grew for a single release of “Mad World.” It was released in late 2003 and it topped the UK charts. Orzabal said the cover reaching #1 was the proudest moment of his career. SF

The song had yet another comeback in 2020 during the coronavirus epidemic when people found themselves quarantined worldwide. Many musicians turned to in-home, intimate performances to reach out to fans and offer some entertainment and comfort. Curt Smith and his daughter Diva performed “Mad World” in a style more like the Andrews/Jules version and it went viral.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, December 13, 2003

OutKast hit #1 with the Song of the Decade, “Hey Ya!”

Hey Ya!


Writer(s): André 3000 (see lyrics here)

Released: September 9, 2003

First Charted: September 19, 2003

Peak: 19 US, 17 RR, 13 A40, 9 RB, 16 MR, 3 UK, 15 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 1.2 UK, 4.46 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.7 radio, 473.6 video, 200.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Although obsolete, the Polaroid camera will maintain a place in pop music history, thanks to singer André 3000’s call to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” That catchphrase and others like the response to “What’s cooler than cool?” with “Ice cold,” made the song iconic. However, it is the song’s rallying call for every demographic to flood the dance floor that makes it, as quoted on Consequence of Sound, “the decade’s ‘Teen Spirit,’ man.” CS As said, “you could see yourself partying to in college just as easily as you could watch your parents sweat to it in spin class.” PE

Like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Hey Ya!” was the moment when a masterful artist “made a record that sounded like everything on the radio and nothing anyone had heard before.” PE “Married to the sound of some mid-’60s dance craze that never was, ‘Hey Ya’ exemplified something very few tunes of the time had; a sense of fun.” PE Its merge of genres suggested “the walls between rock and R&B and hip-hop were about to topple.” PE

The song “featured rap lines fed through a vocoder and re-recorded up to 30 times” NME and engineer Rabeka Tuinei was the lone voice behind the “ladies” cheering halfway through the song. RS500 On top of that, Dre told Rolling Stone that its guitar chords, the first he ever learned, were inspired by the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, the Smiths. RS500

There was also an “equally brilliant paradigm-smashing video” PE aping the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show Add a clever viral video with A Charlie Brown Christmas footage spliced to match the song, and you’ve got the decade’s signature hit.

Resources and Related Links:

Last updated 4/1/2021.

Saturday, November 1, 2003

Johnny Cash charted posthumously with “Hurt”

First posted 11/18/2019; updated 2/2/2021.


Nine Inch Nails

Writer(s): Trent Reznor (see lyrics here)

Released: April 17, 1995

First Charted: April 22, 1995

Peak: 54a US, 8 MR (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 147.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).


Johnny Cash

Released: March 2003

First Charted: November 1, 2003

Peak: 56 CW, 33 MR, 39 UK, 66 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.75 US, 0.6 UK, 3.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 66.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

In 1995, Nine Inch Nails released the song “Hurt” from their second album, The Downward Spiral. The top 10 modern rock hit references self-harm and heroin addiction, but the overall meaning of the song has been disputed. Some have said it is a suicide note written by the protagonist and others see it as a more uplifting song about finding a reason to live in spite of depression and pain. WK It has also been characterized as “about realizing consequences and regret.” SF Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor has said it is the most personal song he’s ever written. SF Little did he know it would become the quintessential eulogy for one of country music’s greatest legends.

Reznor was friends with Rick Rubin who, in the last decade, had served as “the svengali of [Johnny] Cash’s reinvention.” NME Rubin suggested the song to Cash, knowing its vulnerability and expression of pain would match his failing voice. The song didn’t catch Cash’s ear initially, but he eventually called it “the best anti-drug song I ever heard.” SF

“The stark, desolate sorrow of the original was translated into harrowing, minimal balladry by the Man In Black.” NME By whittling the song down “to little more than an acoustic guitar and the trembling voice of a dying man,” RS Cash was effectively “writing his own grim eulogy.” PD “His authoritative baritone has all but disappeared, and even his legendary dark humor has deserted him, replaced by painful honesty about life, death, and regret…It’s the crowning achievement of one of the great musical lives of our era; it’s the necessary reminder of age and mortality in the middle of youth and promise.” DS

“It’s hard to imagine anyone but Johnny Cash making it sound like a standard.” PD His take on the song captures “the fear and regret we rarely like to acknowledge until faced with our own mortality.” PD Kudos to “Rubin for recognizing that Cash’s genius would transform a ‘90s goth-rock dirge into a classic on par with his ‘50s murder ballads.” AM

Reznor was originally angry about the cover, saying it felt invasive, SF but after seeing the video he said, “That song isn’t mine anymore…It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote…about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. [Somehow] that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning – different, but every bit as pure.” WK

The video was directed by Mark Romanek, who had previously collaborated with Nine Inch Nails WK and shot videos for U2, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. SF The video mixed archival footage of Cash with current shots of “one of America’s most iconic figures suddenly looking so vulnerable, so human, so utterly spent.” PD By showcasing “the stark and seemingly cruel reality of the present,” WK the video served as an obituary for Cash, who died seven months later on September 12, four months after his wife, June Carter Cash, who is also featured in the video. Cash’s management wasn’t sure it should be released because it was so intimate, but his daughter Rosanne convinced him. SF

It won Grammy and Country Music Assocation Awards for Video of the Year. In July 2011, New Musical Express magazine named it the best video of all time, as did Country Music Television (CMT) in 2004. WK The Country Music Association also awarded it Single of the Year in 2003. In a 2007 BBC poll, Cash’s take on the song was voted the best-ever cover of another artist’s song. SF

Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Eagles Release Yet Another Greatest Hits - But It's the Best One Yet

First posted 2/11/2011; last updated 10/17/2020.

A Retrospective: 1971-2003


A Brief History:

The Eagles formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1971. Don Henley and Glenn Frey from Michigan had come to Los Angeles in 1970 and were recruited by Linda Ronstadt for her band. That troupe also consisted of Randy Meisner, who’d worked with Ricky Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, and Bernie Leadon, who’d formerly been with the Flying Burrito Brothers.

The four joined efforts to form the Eagles, releasing their self-titled debut in 1972. Initially a rock band with a country-tinged sound, they evolved into a more guitar-driven, classic-rock format by decade’s end in which only Henley and Frey were constants. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have sold more than 150 million records, with two of those – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 and Hotel California – ranked in the top 3 in the United States when it comes to official certifcations.

The group broke up in 1980, swearing they wouldn’t reunite unless hell froze over. In 1994, they came back together with a mostly live album called, appropriately enough, Hell Freezes Over. After that, they embarked on a series of tours, but didn’t record again until 2003 when they added a new song to their Very Best of compilation.

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar: 1971-80, 1994)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums: 1971-80, 1994)
  • Bernie Leadon (guitar, vocals: 1971-75)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals: 1971-77)
  • Don Felder (guitar, vocals: 1974-80, 1994)
  • Joe Walsh (guitar, vocals: 1975-80, 1994)
  • Timothy B. Schmit (bass, vocals: 1977-80, 1994)
This page covers the six studio albums released in the 1970s, their 1980 live album, and 1994’s mostly live Hell Freezes Over. Each has its own devoted DMDB page, but have brief snapshots here on this page.

The Studio Albums:

Under each album snapshot, songs featured on the anthologies below are noted. If the song charted, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.

The Compilations:

Eagles (1972):

The Eagles’ debut sported three top-40 hits, including the top-10 hit “Witchy Woman.” “Take It Easy” became somewhat of the group’s signature song, probably only behind 1976’s “Hotel California” in popularity.

  • Take It Easy (Glenn Frey/Jackson Browne) [3:29] (5/20/72, 12 US, 9 CB, 12 AC, 12 UK, 8 CN, 49 AU) G1,94,03
  • Witchy Woman (Don Henley/Bernie Leadon) [4:10] (8/26/72, 9 US, 11 CB, 8 CN, 81 AU) G1,94,03
  • Peaceful, Easy Feeling (Jack Tempchin) [4:16] (12/23/72, 22 US, 20 CB, 20 AC, 35 CN) G1,94,03

Desperado (1973):

With a theme centered around Old West outlaws, the Eagles’ sophomore outing saw the development of Don Henley and Glenn Frey as a writing force. They wrote eight of the album’s eleven songs, including the title cut which was never a single, but became one of the group’s most popular songs.

  • Tequila Sunrise (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [2:52] (6/9/73, 64 US, 40 CB, 26 AC, 68 CN) G1,94,03
  • Desperado (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [3:33] G1,94,03
  • Doolin-Dalton (Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey/Don Henley/J.D. Souther) [3:30] 94,03

On the Border (1974):

Henley and Frey continued their dominance of the Eagles with the third album. Interested in developing a harder edge, they recruited Don Helder as a guitarist. They also went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Best of My Love,” a feat they’d achieve four more times in their career.

  • Already Gone (Robb Strandland/Jack Temphcin) [4:13] (5/4/74, 32 US, 17 CB, 12 CN) G1,03
  • James Dean (Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey/Don Henley/J.D. Souther) [3:40] (9/7/74, 77 US, 49 CB, 56 CN) 94,03
  • Best of My Love (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/J.D. Souther) [4:35] (11/30/74, 11 US, 4 CB, 11 AC, 11 CN) G1,94,03
  • Ol’ ‘55 (Tom Waits) [4:22] 03
  • Midnight Flyer (Paul Craft) [3:58] 03
  • On the Border (Don Henley/Bernie Leadon/Glenn Frey) [4:28] 03

One of These Nights (1975):

The group’s fifth album saw them take an even bigger leap forward commercially, landing their first #1 album on the strength of three top-ten hits. “Take It to the Limit” featured Randy Meisner’s only lead vocal on an Eagles’ single and the title song, which Frey has said is his favorite Eagles’ tune, became their second chart-topper. One of These Nights marked Bernie Leadon’s departure from the group as he preferred their earlier, country-rock sound.

  • One of These Nights (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:51] (5/30/75, 11 US, 11 CB, 20 AC, 23 UK, 13 CN, 33 AU) G1,94,03
  • Lyin’ Eyes (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [6:21] (9/13/75, 2 US, 3 CB, 3 AC, 8 CW, 23 UK, 19 CN, 34 AU) G1,94,03
  • Take It to the Limit (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Randy Meisner) [4:48] (12/20/75, 4 US, 5 CB, 4 AC, 12 UK, 16 CN, 30 AU) G1,94,03
  • After the Thrill Is Gone (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [3:56] G2,03

Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975



4.467 out of 5.00
(average of 19 ratings)

Released: February 17, 1976

Recorded: 1971-1975

Peak: 15 US, 2 UK, 12 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 38.0 US, 0.3 UK, 42.9 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: California country rock

Tracks: (1) Take It Easy (2) Witchy Woman (3) Lyin’ Eyes (4) Already Gone (5) Desperado (6) One of These Nights (7) Tequila Sunrise (8) Take It to the Limit (9) Peaceful Easy Feeling (10) Best of My Love

Total Running Time: 43:08


About the Album:

This album wasn’t just the “first album ever certified platinum;” WR1 it was the best-selling album in the U.S. in the 20th century. WK1 It lost the title to Michael Jackson’s Thriller after the artist’s death in 2009, but regained it in August 2018. WK1 “There may be no explaining that, really, except to note that this was the pervasive music of the first half of the 1970s, and somehow it never went away.” WR1

“On their first four albums, the Eagles were at pains to demonstrate that they were a group of at least near-equals, each getting a share of the songwriting credits and lead vocals. But this compilation…demonstrates that this evenhandedness did not extend to singles – as far as those go, the Eagles belong to Glenn Frey and Don Henley.” WR1 They wrote or co-wrote eight of the collection’s songs and one or the other sang lead on every song but Take It to the Limit.

Of the ten songs that comprise this collection, nine were released as singles (Desperado is the sole exception). Eight were top 40 hits on the Billboard pop chart (only Tequila Sunrise missed the top 40), five went top ten, and two of them (One of These Nights and Best of My Love) topped the charts.

The band, however, didn’t have any say in putting together the album and complained it was “nothing more than a ploy by the record company to sell product without having to pay additional production costs.” WK1 Don Henley didn’t like that songs like “Tequila Sunrise” and “Desperado” were taken out of the context of their original albums. WK1 The album did, however, buy the band time while they worked on what would become their best-selling studio album, 1977’s Hotel California.

Despite Henley’s frustration that songs were taken out of context, “these songs make up a collection consistent in mood and identity” WK “unlike the albums from which they come.” WK1 Thre result is that this compilation “works so much better than the band’s previous discs [that it] practically makes them redundant.” WR1

“The tunes are melodic, and the arrangements – full of strummed acoustic guitars over a rock rhythm section often playing a shuffle beat, topped by tenor-dominated harmonies – are immediately engaging. There is also a lyrical consistency to the songs, which often concern romantic uncertainties in an atmosphere soaked in intoxicants. The narrators of the songs usually seem exhausted, if not satiated, and the loping rhythms are appropriate to these impressions.” WR1

In addition to phenomenal sales, this was the rare compilation that topped the Billboard album charts. It debuted at #4 in its first week and then went to #1 the next week, where it stayed for five non-consecutive weeks. Over the years, the album has logged the equivalent of five years on the album chart.

Hotel California (1976):

After the overwhelming success of their first compilation, the Eagles returned with their most successful studio album. The album sported two #1 hits, the more country-oriented “New Kid in Town” and the title track, which became an album rock staple and the group’s signature song. It also won a Grammy for Record of the Year. The album marked the introduction of Joe Walsh, who came with an already established career with the James Gang and as a solo artist.

  • New Kid in Town (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/J.D. Souther) [5:04] (12/11/76, 11 US, 2 CB, 2 AC, 43 CW, 20 UK, 11 CN, 16 AU) G2,94,03
  • Hotel California (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Don Felder) [6:29] (2/22/77, 11 US, 11 CB, 10 AC, 8 UK, 12 CN, 60 AU) G2,94,03
  • Life in the Fast Lane (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Joe Walsh) [4:45] (5/13/77, 11 US, 11 CB, 12 CN, 96 AU) G2,94,03
  • Victim of Love (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Don Felder/J.D. Souther) [4:10] G2,03
  • Wasted Time (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:55] 03
  • The Last Resort (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [7:25] 03

Christmas single (1978):

  • Please Come Home for Christmas (Charlie Brown/Gene Redd) [2:58] (12/9/78, 18 US, 29 CB, 15 AC, 30 UK, 63 CN, 46 AU) 03

The Long Run (1979):

As the ‘70s came to a close, so did the Eagles. They wouldn’t record another studio album for 28 years. Randy Meisner had left the group after their 1977 tour and was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit, who also replaced Meisner after his departure from Poco. Schmit sings lead on top-10 single “I Can’t Tell You Why.” The album, another #1 for the Eagles, also sported top-ten hits with the title cut and the #1 “Heartache Tonight.”

  • Heartache Tonight (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Bob Seger/J.D. Southern) [4:25] (9/28/79, 11 US, 11 CB, 38 AC, 40 UK, 12 CN, 13 AU) G2,94,03
  • The Long Run (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [3:42] (11/30/79, 8 US, 10 CB, 34 AC, 66 UK, 9 CN) G2,94,03
  • I Can’t Tell You Why (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Timothy B. Schmit) [4:54] (2/3/80, 8 US, 9 CB, 3 AC, 5 CN) G2,94,03
  • The Sad Café (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Joe Walsh/J.D. Souther) [5:32] G2,03
  • In the City (Joe Walsh/Barrry DeVorzon) [3:46] 03
  • Those Shoes (Don Felder/Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:56] 03

Eagles Live (1980):

Infighting between the band while on tour supporting The Long Run would signal the end. They were contractually obligated to release a live album, which came in 1980. “Seven Bridges Road,” written by Steve Young, had been a concert staple and was featured on the album and became its only single.

  • Seven Bridges Road (live) (Steve Young) [2:58] (12/2/80, 21 US, 27 CB, 17 AC, 55 CW) G2,03

Greatest Hits Volume 2



3.890 out of 5.00
(average of 18 ratings)

Charted: October 22, 1982

Recorded: 1975-1980

Peak: 52 US, 63 CN, 5 AU

Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (1) Hotel California (2) Heartache Tonight (3) Seven Bridges Road (live) (4) Victim of Love (5) The Sad Café (6) Life in the Fast Lane (7) I Can’t Tell You Why (8) New Kid in Town (9) The Long Run (10) After the Thrill Is Gone

Total Running Time: 46:40


About the Album:

Considering the monstrous success of Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, it was a no-brainer to release a second collection. The band officially disbanded in May 1982 and this set, collecting seven Top 40 hits as well as three album cuts, followed that fall. While not as huge as its predecessor (what could be?), this album still achieved multi-platinum status and outsold all the band’s studio albums except Hotel California.

While that album should be a staple of anyone’s catalog, this collection spared casual listeners from buying “mediocre albums like The Long Run and Eagles Live just to have copies of the best-known songs from those releases.” WR2 This set “was perfect for listeners who knew the band through number one radio hits like New Kid in Town, Hotel California, and Heartache Tonight.” WR2

The Very Best of (1994)



4.667 out of 5.00
(average of 3 ratings)

Released: July 11, 1994

Recorded: 1971-1979

Peak: 4 UK, 28 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 1.87 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (1) Take It Easy (2) Witchy Woman (3) Peaceful Easy Feeling (4) Doolin-Dalton (5) Desperado (6) Tequila Sunrise (7) Best of My Love (8) James Dean (9) I Can’t Tell You Why (10) Lyin’ Eyes (11) Take It to the Limit (12) One of These Nights (13) Hotel California (14) New Kid in Town (15) Life in the Fast Lane (16) Heartache Tonight (17) The Long Run

Total Running Time: 75:40

About the Album:

1982’s Greatest Hits Volume II was seemingly the last anyone would hear of the Eagles, but they surprised the world in 1994 with their Hell Freezes Over reunion tour. That same year, a single-disc retrospective of the band’s seventies’ output was released in Europe, Australia, and New England. The collection included 9 of the 10 songs from Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, inexplicably opting to substitute the album cut Doolin’ Dalton instead of the hit single Already Gone, and also adding the minor hit James Dean from that era.

The other six cuts from the Eagles’ latter two albums were all hit singles featured on Greatest Hits Volume 2. This collection jettisons the three album cuts that rounded out that collection, but unfortunately also omits Seven Bridges Road, a top 25 hit from the band’s 1980 live album.

Hell Freezes Over (1994):

After a 15-year layoff, the Eagles reunited for a tour and this albums, which was primarily comprised of live cuts but also included four new studio cuts.

  • Get Over It (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [3:29] (10/21/94, 31 US, 35 CB, 21 AC, 4 AR, 4 CN, 74 AU) 03
  • Love Will Keep Us Alive (Pete Vale/Jim Capaldi/Paul Carrack) [4:00] (11/20/94, 22 US, 13 AC, 52 UK, 10 CN) 03

The Very Best of (aka “The Complete Greatest Hits”) (2003)



4.314 out of 5.00
(average of 12 ratings)

Released: October 21, 2003

Recorded: 1971-2003

Peak: 3 US, 9 UK, 43 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.6 UK, 10.8 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Take It Easy (2) Witchy Woman (3) Peaceful Easy Feeling (4) Desperado (5) Tequila Sunrise (6) Doolin-Dalton (7) Already Gone (8) Best of My Love (9) James Dean (10) Ol’ ’55 (11) Midnight Flyer (12) On the Order (13) Lyin’ Eyes (14) One of These Nights (15) Take It to the Limit (16) After the Thrill Is Gone (17) Hotel California

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Life in the Fast Lane (2) Wasted Time (3) Victim of Love (4) The Last Resort (5) New Kid in Town (6) Please Come Home for Christmas (7) Heartache Tonight (8) The Sad Café (9) I Can’t Tell You Why (10) The Long Run (11) In the City (12) Those Shoes (13) Seven Bridges Road (live) (14) Love Will Keep Us Alive (15) Get Over It (16) Hole in the World

Total Running Time: 140:33


About the Album:

In 2003, the Eagles were anthologized yet again – this time with a double-disc collection. This seemed especially unnecessary, given that roughly two-thirds of their entire studio catalog of six albums would fit on two CDs. However, this set completely replicated Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Greatest Hits Volume 2, and the 1994 Very Best of sets, rendering all three of them unnecessary. This compilation added Get Over It and Love Will Keep Us Alive, studio cuts from Hell Freezes Over, and a new song, Hole in the World. In addition, the 1978 Christmas single Please Come Home for Christmas finally earned a spot on an Eagles’ greatest-hits package.

The collection does start feeling bloated when another seven album cuts are slapped on. Songs like Midnight Flyer really don’t belong here, but other cuts, like The Last Resort and Ol’ ‘55, seem just as worthy as some of the better-known material.

This set also does something none of its three predecessors did – presents the material in chronological order. This allows for a nice progression from the country rock of the band’s early days through the more guitar-driven album rock of the latter half of the ‘70s.

  • Hole in the World (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:19] (69 US, 5 AC, 69 UK, 11 CN) 03

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