The Tor Guides

Taking it easy

In Okategoriserade on 25 May, 2011 at 08:49

Well, I’m running down the road
tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on my mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she’s a friend of mine

To me country rock has always been this vague concept that I´ve never really been able to figure out. I am too young to have heard Byrds going country and was never that much into Gram Parsons or the Burritos when they happened. I did listen to Emmylou Harris early on but that was probably more due to the cover shots than the music, though I do – and did – love her versions of Love Hurts and You Never Can Tell.

However, when it comes to Eagles, I was there right from the very beginning! Their first album is one of the albums than I´ve listened the most to, of all the albums in my collection. Unfortunately they never reached the same heights again. Somehow people seems to be attracted to the idea of slagging Eagles for being too soft and commercial and although that may be true in some ways, there are qualities that cannot be overlooked.

I read an interview with Emmylou Harris the other day and she absolutely defied the idea of slagging Eagles, a fact that is interesting – in a way she seems to have gotten all the critical acclaim that Eagles haven´t.

Eagles came about after four of Linda Ronstadt´s session musicians – Glenn FreyDon Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon – wanted to have a go at an own career. Before taking off they all took part in the recording of Ronstad´s self-titled solo album from 1971.

After signing with David Geffens label Asylum Records, Eagles went to Olympic Studios in London (!) to record their first self titled album. The producer was almost-veteran Glyn Johns, who in 1971 produced Who´s classic Who´s Next and in 1972 co-produced Faces´ album A Nod’s As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse. Before that you all know that was asked to make something out of the Beatles endless Let it Be sessions, a commission that was later – unluckily – transferred to Phil Spector.

In hindsight it may seem strange that the prime movers of soft west coast rock went to London to record their first album with a rocker as a producer. But somehow it all worked out fine.

The album was eventually released in 1972 and all the way from Take It Easy, written by Jackson Browne, the first track on the A-side to Tryin´, the last track on the B-side the music is breathtaking.

Some of the later material may reach the same heights as the first album but no later album ever came close to this first.

Below you´ll see a clip from 1973, a bit rougher around the edges but still – a classic!

tp

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