Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eagles return with Long Road Out of Eden, first studio album in 28 years

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 9/16/2020.

Long Road Out of Eden


Released: October 30, 2007

Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 16 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US *, 0.6 UK, 8.2 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: heritage rock

* Actual sales were 3.5 million, but because it was a double album, it was certified for twice that.

Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. No More Walks in the Wood
  2. How Long (8/16/07, 10 AC, 23 CW, 76 CN)
  3. Busy Being Fabulous (2/9/08, 12 AC, 28 CW)
  4. What Do I Do with My Heart (2008, 13 AC)
  5. Guilty of the Crime
  6. I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore (2009, 23 AC)
  7. Waiting in the Weeds
  8. No More Cloudy Days (7/9/05, 3 AC)
  9. Fast Company
  10. Do Something
  11. You Are Not Alone

Tracks, Disc 2:

  • Long Road Out of Eden
  • I Dreamed There Was No War
  • Somebody
  • Frail Grasp on the Big Picture
  • Last Good Time in Town
  • I Love to Watch a Woman Dance
  • Business As Usual
  • Center of the Universe
  • It’s Your World Now

    Total Running Time: 90:53

    The Players:

    • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
    • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
    • Timothy B. Schmit (bass, vocals)
    • Joe Walsh (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
  • Rating:

    3.960 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)

    Quotable: “An album meticulously crafted to fit within the band’s legacy without tarnishing it” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

    About the Album:

    After 1979’s The Long Run and a live album the next year, the Eagles disappeared for 14 years. They were widely embraced when they returned 14 years later with 1994’s mostly live album Hell Freezes Over. They cashed in on that reunion, “driving up ticket prices into the stratosphere as they played gigs on a semi-regular basis well into the new millennium.” AMG They released a box set, which contained their 1999 Millenium Concert, a 2005 DVD of yet another tour outing, and a 2003 2-disc compilation.

    However, it wasn’t until 2007 that they released a full-fledged studio album. “It could be that they were running out some contractual clause somewhere, it could be that they were waiting for the money to be right, or the music to be right.” AMG

    When they finally did come out with Long Road Out of Eden, they did so with little fanfare, “indulging in few interviews and bypassing conventional retail outlets in favor of an exclusive release” AMG in which the album was only available in North America through their website or Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. AMG Billboard magazine controversially reversed a policy under which such exclusive releases were inelligible to chart, allowing the album to debut at #1.

    As for the actual material, it is “crafted to evoke the spirit and feel of the Eagles’ biggest hits…The J.D. Souther-written How Long recalls ‘Take It Easy,’ the stiff funk of Frail Grasp on the Big Picture echoes back to the clenched riffs of ‘Life in the Fast Lane,’ and while perhaps these aren’t exact replicas, there’s no denying it’s possible to hear echoes of everything from ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ and ‘Desperado’ to ‘Life in the Fast Lane,’ and Timothy B. Schmit turns Paul Carrack’s I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore into a soft rock gem to stand alongside his own ‘I Can’t Tell You Why.’” AMG

    “These tunes…but sonically… play as companions to Henley’s brooding end-of-the-‘80s hit The End of the Innocence, both in their heavy-handed sobriety and deliberate pace and their big-budget production.” AMG “The Eagles…sound utterly disconnected from modern times, no matter how hard Don Henley strives to say something, anything about the wretched state of the world on Long Road Out of Eden, ‘Frail Grasp on the Big Picture,’ and Business as Usual.” AMG However, “it’s all executed well and the doggedly out-of-fashion sonics only make the songs more reminiscent of the Eagles’ older records, especially if their solo work from the ‘80s is part of the equation.” AMG “It often manages to avoid sounding crass, as the songs are usually strong and the sound is right, capturing the group’s peaceful, easy harmonies and Joe Walsh’s guitar growl in equal measure.” AMG

    On the second disc, “Walsh spends seven minutes grooving on Last Good Time in Town as if he were a Southwestern Jimmy Buffett with a worldbeat penchant, Glenn Frey sings Jack Tempchin and John Brannen’s Somebody as if it were a sedated, cheerful ‘Smuggler’s Blues,’ and the whole thing feels polished with outdated synthesizers.” AMG

    If disc 2 “seem a bit like the Eagles’ lost album from the Reagan years, the first disc recalls their mellow country-rock records of the ‘70s – that is, if Joe Walsh had been around to sing Frankie Miller’s blues-rocker Guilty of the Crime to balance out Henley and Frey’s Busy Being Fabulous and What Do I Do with My Heart, a counterpoint that serves the band well.” AMG

    “That first disc is the stronger of the two, but the two discs do fit together well, as they wind up touching upon all of the band’s different eras…it’s an album meticulously crafted to fit within the band’s legacy without tarnishing it.” AMG

    Resources and Related Links:

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    50 years ago: Elvis Presley hit #1 with “Jailhouse Rock”

    Jailhouse Rock

    Elvis Presley

    Writer(s): Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller (see lyrics here)

    Released: September 24, 1957

    First Charted: September 30, 1957

    Peak: 17 US, 13 CB, 2 HR, 11 CW, 15 RB, 14 UK, 11 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

    Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.79 UK, 9.0 world (includes US + UK)

    Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 237.8 video, 238.74 streaming

    Awards: (Click on award for more details).

    About the Song:

    As bad as Elvis movies could be, the songs that soundtracked them were often worse. Still, Elvis had “his celluloid moments” and perhaps never better than in Jailhouse Rock. HL Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “the first important non-performing songwriters of the rock era,” TBpenned the prison songs for The King’s third movie. It was their first movie score, SF but the pair were known for their R&B hits, one of which was the jail-themed “Riot in Cell Block #9” by the Coasters. TC They’d also written a couple of Presley hits already – most notably “Hound Dog”, first recorded by Big Mama Thornton. RS500

    Leiber and Stoller’s score “was perfect” but nothing could match the energetic title song. HL Inspired by “Comeback” by Memphis Slim, KL “Jailhouse Rock” sported a tongue-in-cheek nature on par with the Coasters’ material. However, Elvis ignored the lyrical jokes, such as the gay-prisoner-themed line about one inmate telling another “You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see” and “sang it as straight rock & roll.” RS500

    As for the dance routine involving dancing convicts in their cells, it was choreographed by Elvis himself, BR making it his only full-fledged example of such work in one of his movies. HL It is often cited as an early influence on the development of music video. JA

    The song was a huge hit, topping the U.S. pop, R&B, and country charts. It was the first #1 debut in the UK charts. While common today, it was considered impossible at the time. HL It returned to the peak in January 2005 when released to commemorate Presley’s 70th birthday, making it the oldest single top ever top that chart and one of three to top that chart twice. The other two, also released posthumously, were Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” SF

    Resources and Related Links:

    • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Elvis Presley
    • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Jerry Leiber
    • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Mike Stoller
    • BR Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 29.
    • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Page 706.
    • HL Michael Heatley and Spencer Leigh (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. London, England: Blandford Books. Pages 88-9.
    • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 108.
    • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 147.
    • RS500 RollingStone.com (4/7/2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
    • SF Songfacts
    • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 31.
    • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc.

    Last updated 4/24/2021.