The Eagles, the music – I’ve loved it ever since I heard for the first time, years ago, the likes of Life In The Fast Lane, Long Run, Victim Of Love, Lyin Eyes and of course the excellent Hotel California.
THEN of course you have Joe Walsh and the addition of Rocky Mountain Way and so may others….
The Story, or History, of the Eagles is a fascinating look at life in the rock business with all its ups, downs and downright craziness! The pressures and strains that bear down on the band members as “the road” gets tougher and more demanding are well documented here – the number of other bands that have imploded just from the strain of life “on the road” must be, quite frankly, many and various.
The critcism of the two main stays of The Eagles, Don Henly and Glenn Fry, could have a point, but passions run high in the pressure cooker environment! SOMEbody has to take a stand as a person that can organise and “lead” the band out on the road. So there is bound to be a hierarchy of “them and us” to a certain extent.
The fact that this band has survived so long must testiment of strong leadership and management. Businesses do not survive unless there IS a helmsman…or men. The Eagles ARE a business and the fact that this band is still working after all this time has to show the truth of this fact.
The History of the Eagles shows as many of the ups, downs (and there were many!) as ever possible and the result has been a masterpiece of story telling and really – you couldn’t make this stuff UP!
There is one comment that stood out, although I cannot remember who said it, or the exact phrases (may even have been the great Joe Walsh): (Roughly remembered, so don’t quote ME!!) – “When you’re right in the middle of all the crap coming at you and all the rough times, when you get through it all and look back this whole story is like a well crafted novel that is as unbelievable as it is true.”
Now – that is NOT the right phrase, but the right one(!) rang out clear as a bell. As I said up there – you could NOT make this stuff up!
A great buy and exellent story that can be watched many times – if only for the way the music and the way that a phrase said, or a guitar rift played can develop into the beautifully crafted songs we have all come to know and love.
Reviews and other Detail from Amazon
Alison Ellwood directs this official documentary exploring the history of the iconic US rock band. Formed in Los Angeles in 1971, the band established themselves as one of the foremost music acts of the ’70s with seven number one singles, including arguably their best known song ‘Hotel California’. Featuring a blend of archive material, performance footage and even home movies recorded by the band members, the documentary aims to evoke the highs and lows of their long career.
This three-disc set includes History of the Eagles Part One and History of the Eagles Part Two, as well as Eagles Live At The Capital Centre – March 1977, featuring never-before-released performances from the Eagles’ two-night stand at Washington, D.C.’s Capital Center during the legendary Hotel California tour.
More accident than design I added Joe Walsh’s photo in here – what a player and what a life he’s led! This is one of his best and most recognisable songs – most superb! It’s also a great thing to see that he has come through a happy man it seems.
He’s here on Facebook with a new album: Analog Man. What an excellent title!
history of the eagles [3 disc dvd deluxe edition] rated: suitable for 18 years and over | format: dvd
Pros – Lots and lots of footage of performances, behind the scenes stuff, and personal recollection of what it was like to be in a world dominating rock band. The magic comes across well, and it’s easy to see what allowed the Eagles to have an album that outsold even Thriller. It’s interesting to see how the various members have worn. Bernie Leadon is virtually unrecognisable, Randy Meisner looks so much older, but Don Felder seems to be fitter than ever and could pass for David Soul’s younger brother. Don Henley, looks the dignified elder statesman of rock. But Glen Frey has the aspect of a retired boxer. Through it all the music shines, a magnificent shimmering thing, strongly evoking the endless Californian Summer that we all wish we’d lived.
Cons – Glen Frey. No one ever elected him leader, yet he assumes that position, and is on screen far too much, self aggrandising and basically claiming credit, whether it’s due or not. He comes across as bullying and having an ego the size of his bank balance. There’s also a distasteful glee concerning how much money was made, and an ironic comment from Frey to the effect that Don Felder – who was fired from the band – should not have been so concerned with how much money Frey was making. Apparently regardless as to whether it was money made from Feldler’s contribution. The sense of greed and desire to control all is palpable.
In summary, this is history airbrushed, but still a must for anyone who grew up listening to and loved the music of the Eagles. Most areas of the band’s long and at times tortuous story are touched upon, with some being explored in more depth than others. Everyone gets their say, including Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder, the members who either walked away or were fired.
I was looking forward to this, not knowing much about the Eagles’ history but liking most of their output over the years. I was disappointed to discover that Mr Frey comes across as an egotist, dictator and bully who appears to be rather too proud of himself by half and has no regrets whatsoever about how he treated former band members and seems to take personal credit for ALL the great moments in Eagles history. Furthermore, he maintains that he and Don(Henley) did all the writing and arranging and gives virtually no credit to other band members past and present for their instrumentation, harmonies and general crafting of the songs. Frey and Henley really are full of themselves.
Nevertheless, if you can take a more balanced view and ignore Mr Frey’s glorified posturing and Henley’s massive ego, you will find much to enjoy here; the old haircuts, the greatest hits, the classic footage, the arguments etc. it’s all entertaining stuff. Enjoy!!!
It would be wrong to not include one of the most iconic tracks by the band….Yup – Hotel California. The History of the Eagles has some interesting things to say about the reaction of a lot of people to this song!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but depressing…. 27 April 2013
By V. Morgan
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
Well… Rusty Young of Poco was right about Henley and Frey…Sigh
This is VERY VERY good viewing. Great interviews and great music. Simply outstanding and a must have for an Eagles fan. I got the DVD version for the 77 concert footage but was disapointed by the fact there are only 9 songs on it… but GREAT songs nonetheless.
On the downside its back to Rusty Young…. Henley is tiresomely pompous at times and boasts a bloated ego that would make Bono cringe – but dear lord he can write great songs and his singing is peerless.
Frey is a nasty bullying piece of work whose behaviour leaves a bad taste in the mouth and makes you wonder why Schmidt and Walsh – 2 very nice guys – put up with him. Sadly the books on the band – and Rusty Young – have
been proved correct… the band that epitomised the laid back California dream had two deeply flawed people at its heart.
I’d always admired Felder but after watching Frey at work my appreciation of him grew immensely.
GREAT music, great archive footage, great songs and a great history of the band.
But be prepared to be depressed by Henley and Frey…. they’re not the type of men you were hoping they’d be.
62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Band Apart 29 April 2013
By G. Wetherall
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
One might think that should there ever be a Mount Rushmore of country rock, they may well etch the faces of the Eagles into the cliff side. However, they might need some time, for there have been quite a few comings and goings and line-up changes in camp Eagles over the years. This documentary ventures into the first chapter of the band’s existence and provides evidence of the rifts, drifts, differences and fallouts that have occurred. It is probably fair to say that the Eagles are one of the most notoriously disharmonious of bands, who inexplicably and ironically orchestrate some of the most harmonious musical harmonies of any group since CSN. It is still a struggle today to meet a band that matches up vocally.
Although they may not straddle the earth with an omnipresence that marked their original inception and 1970s heyday, the reformed country rockers are still synonymous with classic radio and the rock album format.
Running at 2 hours, there is a lot of ground to cover. For a casual viewer, there is a mercifully breezy skip through respective childhoods and the pace is pushed with momentum towards the inspiring and prolific late-60s underground music scene of LA that homed residencies of Poco, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt et al. There is acknowledgment as to the creatively incestuous backdrop of the times, of the area and of the era. The sort that enabled artists to shift, move and collaborate seemingly at will. As the late 60s moved into the early 70s and success increased for the bulk of the aforementioned artists, it is clear that all look back with giddy rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. The creativity was clearly as intoxicating as the drugs that they were recreationally self-medicating.
The Eagles were always a band that stood apart from their peers. They did so for a few reasons. One, is that they were massively successful in a way that the others could only dream of, another is that they had a steely core that made them efficiently consummate and business-like. Both of these aspects are highlighted by the documentary. The band reflect openly upon their motivations and inclinations, with a mix of new interviews and footage that dates back to the period. To see how much and how little they’ve changed is part of the joy of the feature. Around the mid-point, Joe Walsh arrives into the frame and is spotlighted in both the past and the present as an impassioned guitarist who is part-talent, part-court jester. His phrasing exudes a humorous hybrid of Keith Richards and Stephen Stills along with a healthy dose of his own breezy personality. For a music film, the tone is more or less consistently serious throughout, so his appearance offers some light hearted respite.
On the downside, there is not as much insight into the studio processes as a fan may want, but the band members are all given a fair hearing from both time periods and talk candidly about being in the epicentre of the Eagles whirlwind.
Understandably, Part One ends on a decisively sour note; their downfall and break-up. Although the pressures of topping the totemic Hotel California engulfed them all to a certain extent, it is clear that decisive fractures of the intragroup relationships had crippled the band. It is also evident that the distractions around the process was a demon that gobbled them up. Power may corrupt and absolute power may corrupt absolutely, but I am sure there is a pithy equivalent for success. Life in the fast lane had brought this group crashing into a ditch.
This is a tale that has enough acrimony to give Pink Floyd a run for their money. They may have been back together since 1994, as they will happily testify, but in case you’re wondering, they only speak to Don Felder through lawyers. Some things don’t change and won’t be taken easy.