// Album Recommendation

The Eagles

One Of These Nights

(1975)

“You got your demons
You got desires
Well, I got a few of my own”

One Of These Nights by the Eagles

By the time The Eagles commenced the recording process for 1975’s One Of These Nights album, session guitarist Don Felder – who played on the previous LP On The Border – had become an official member of the band. During the recording of that album he had brought a harder rock edge to two tracks, Already Gone and Good Day In Hell, and with Felder as a full-time member, main songwriters Don Henley and Glenn Frey hoped to disprove the detractors of The Eagles, primarily rock journalists criticizing the sound of the band for being too slick and polished. The Eagles’ first three albums succeeded each other by less than a year, but the group didn’t present their fourth album One Of These Nights to the record-buying public until 14 months after its predecessor, and the meticulous writing and recording process paid off. Although The Eagles, Desperado and On The Border were very well-crafted albums in their own right, One Of These Nights raised the bar considerably. More than ever The Eagles impressed with their exquisite musicianship, superb arrangements and note-perfect harmonies, and they were rewarded with their first no. 1 album, as well as all of three U.S. top 10 singles. One Of These Nights was also the beginning of the second installment of their 70’s heyday in which they (in particular drummer/lyricist Don Henley) excelled at writing observations on the lure and pitfalls of L.A. culture (see also Hotel California and The Long Run). The jaded pessimism of these lyrics were often smartly offset by catchy choruses and gorgeous harmonies. A prime example of this was the album’s first single, the Eagles' second No. 1 single (the first one being The Best Of My Love off On The Border), the rhytmically-charged, Bee Gees-esque One Of These Nights. After a haunting intro consisting of Randy Meisner’s single-note bass and Don Felder’s glissando guitar creating a riveting sound and timbre, it breaks into a mid-tempo drumbeat and Don Henley’s and Randy Meisner’s lovely falsetto vocals. The lyrics deal with the pursuit of love and sexual gratification in a hedonistic and restless city like L.A. (“You got your demons / You got desires / Well, I got a few of my own”) and finds the narrator wanting a girlfriend, who’s a lady in public and sexually aggressive in the bedroom (“I've been searching for the daughter of the devil himself / I've been searching for an angel in white / I've been waiting for a woman who's a little of both / And I can feel her, but she's nowhere in sight”). Don Felder delivers a scorchingly intense and exhilarating guitar solo.

Primarily featuring acoustic guitars, percussion and a bass motif with a thick, full sound, Lyin' Eyes is a highly commercial Country-flavored song, which displays The Eagles at their melodic best – some of their most breathtaking harmonies and a killer chorus that's to die for ("You can't hide your lyin' eyes / And your smile wears a thin disguise"). Mostly written by Glenn Frey (the verses were co-written by Don Henley), it reached no. 2 on the Billboard singles chart and became an instant classic. The lush ballad Take It To The Limit is bassist/vocalist Randy Meisner's shining moment, a great showcase for his soaring, distinctive and easily recognizable singing voice; nobody ever sounded quite like Randy Meisner. Only his 7th lead vocal on an Eagles track (his 8th and last being Try And Love Again on 1977's Hotel California), it was the first and only Eagles single (despite 6 no. 1 singles in total) to sell a million copies, achieving gold single status and thus securing Meisner's place in music history.

Next to the previously mentioned three hit singles, the wistful After The Thrill Is Gone is by far the strongest composition on the album, a somewhat overlooked and underrated song in the Eagles' body of work – though it did get some recognition, when it was included on 1981's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (even if it wasn't an actual hit single), and 2006's double-disc compilation The Very Best Of The Eagles. Co-written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, it's a remarkably mature (for such young men) rumination on the flighty nature of love, passion, joy. The arrangement and musicianship is something quite special. Frey's electric guitar is atmospheric and captivating - a delicate intro and a melancholic solo - and Henley's immaculate lead vocal is soulful and affecting (listen to him, as he sings the lines "Any kind of love without passion / Well, that ain't no kind of lovin' at all" - it's pure class). Hollywood Waltz has a waltz-like time signature; a musical style The Eagles also partially employed for the songs Saturday Night (from 1973’s Desperado) and It’s Your World Now (off 2007’s Long Road Out Of Eden). This song is more than a mere waltz, though. An accomplished and unpretentious musician, Bernie Leadon's fine steel guitar, mandolin and harmonium work add a distinct Country feel. Too Many Hands is a mid-tempo track with a tougher, edgier sound than the majority of most Eagles recordings – both in terms of the instrumental arrangement and the subject matter, which is about a woman, who’s being sexually exploited, whether she’s a prostitute or just a single woman dating men, who aren’t interested in a serious relationship (“And there's too many hands / Being laid on her / Too many eyes will never see / That it's dragging her down”). Bernie Leadon's unique Journey Of The Sorcerer is undisputedly The Eagles' most adventurous and atypical composition. Set against a backdrop of strings, electric and steel guitars, banjo and fiddles (by David Bromberg), this 6:30 minute extravaganza plays like a cosmic-cowboy/spaghetti western instrumental with Bluegrass flourishes; possibly Leadon’s finest songwriting achievement along with My Man (from On The Border).

One Of These Nights was the last Eagles album to feature founding member Bernie Leadon, who would leave the group during the "One Of These Nights Tour" (he didn’t like that the band's music was evolving from Country-flavored to a more Rock-oriented sound). The remaining members of The Eagles continued undeterred without Leadon (replacing him with Rock guitarist Joe Walsh, ex-James Gang and Barnstorm). Their next two albums, 1977’s Hotel California and 1979’s The Long Run, propelled The Eagles to superstardom, and they became (and remain) the unrivaled exponents of Southern California Rock music.

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