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Eagles, American rock group. Formed in Los Angeles in 1971, they were the most important and successful country-rock group of the 1970s. Don Henley (b Gilmer, TX, 22 July 1947; drums and vocals) and Glenn Frey (b Detroit, 6 Nov 1948; guitar and vocals) left Linda Ronstadt’s back-up band to form the Eagles with Bernie Leadon (b Minneapolis, 19 July 1947; guitar and vocals) and Randy Meisner (b Scottsbluff, NE, 8 March 1947; bass and vocals). Influenced by other southern California bands like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles blended strong songwriting, lush harmony vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar and distorted lead guitar to extend the country-rock style more toward hard rock than other groups had done. The group’s debut album, Eagles (Asylum 1972), contains three hit singles including Take it easy and Witchy Woman, which are representative of the group’s early approach. The albums Desperado (Asylum 1973), On the Border (Asylum 1974), and One of These Nights (Asylum 1975) continue in much the same style; Don Felder (guitar and vocals) joined the band in 1974. Leadon was replaced in 1976 by Joe Walsh (guitar and vocals), and the quintet’s 1976 album, Hotel California (Asylum), marked an even stronger turn toward hard rock and rhythm and blues. The album spent eight weeks at number one in America and featured two number one hit singles, New Kid in Town and Hotel California. The next album, The Long Run (Asylum 1979), was equally successful, marking the band’s fourth consecutive number one album, as well as their last studio project. Frey, Henley and Walsh pursued successful solo careers during the 1980s; the band regrouped briefly to record Hell Freezes Over (Geffen 1994) and tour.
Eagles were one of the most successful American rock bands of the 1970's. The group recorded a number of hit songs throughout the 1970's that featured a distinctive country sound and catchy melodies and lyrics.
Eagles were formed in 1971 by guitarist Glenn Frey, drummer Don Henley, guitarist Bernie Leadon, and bass player Randy Meisner. The band added guitarist Don Felder in 1974. Joe Walsh replaced Leaden in 1975, and Timothy B. Schmit replaced Meisner in 1977.
Henley and Frey wrote most of the band's songs. Eagles' album Hotel California (1976) sold more than 16 million copies. The band's hit singles included "Take It Easy" (1972), "Witchy Woman" (1972), "Best of My Love" (1974), "One of These Nights" (1975), "Lyin' Eyes" (1975), "Take It to the Limit" (1975), "New Kid in Town" (1976), "Life in the Fast Lane" (1976), "Hotel California" (1976), "Heartache Tonight" (1979), and "Seven Bridges Road" (1980).
Eagles unofficially broke up in 1981. The members of the group all pursued individual careers in music, with Henley becoming the most successful. The band reunited to tour at times from the middle 1990's through the early 2000's. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden in 2007, their first studio album in 28 years.
The American band's precursors included the Soul Survivors, North Serrano Blues Band, Teen King And The Emergencies and The Poor. Some accounts say guitarist-singer Glenn Frey found the name. Many recent articles, though, have credited fellow guitarist and founder Bernie Leadon, who left the band in 1975.
Both wanted a simple, enduring and all-American word. "Eagles" fitted the bill. The bird is the symbol of the United States and its currency. It also has American Indian and astrological tie-ins. "In the Hopi mythology, the eagle is considered most sacred," Leadon said. "It symbolised the highest spirituality and morals. I would hope that the music would soar that high. Frey wanted a name that could have been a Detroit street gang and everybody wanted a name that was just tough ... Hey we're the fuckin' Eaglesman!"
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