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Hotel California

May, 19 2017 | City Winery

Welcome to the Hotel California. Released on December 8th, 1976, this is the Eagles’ sixth album (fifth studio) and the follow up to Their Greatest Hits (which was the best-selling album of all times until Michael Jackson died and Thriller sales spiked, thus beating it out). The band was already huge by this point, though they had their share of critics, who mostly panned them for being to safe, soft and sterile. They tried to answer that by opening up the rock arrangements as much as possible. The band was living the stereotypical rockstar life, reeling from the effects of “life in the fast lane,” and this album is a loose concept album about the emptiness of this existence and the American Dream more generally. California is the symbol of opportunity and hope, and these songs are about the morning after, in a sense. The hotel becomes the epicenter of it all. As Don Henley put it, it symbolizes “all that L.A. had come to mean for us. In a sentence, I’d sum it up as the end of the innocence, round one.” This could be considered the hangover, where you realize much you were striving for was material, empty and shallow. Despite the darkness in theme, the album took home the Grammy for Album of the Year and continues to be one of the best selling albums of all time, and the guitar part continues to be butchered at Guitar Centers across the country.

Side 1:

1. Hotel California
2. New Kid In Town
3. Life In The Fast Lane
4. Wasted Time

Side 2:

5. Wasted Time (reprise)
6. Victim Of Love
7. Pretty Maids All In A Row
8. Try & Love Again
9. The Last Resort