“We figured it was time for another concept album. Not a ‘cowboy’ concept album,” Glenn Frey tells me in this classic rock interview about the December 1976 Eagles masterpiece Hotel California, ranked #37 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 All Time list. Frey was alluding to the fact that the Eagles had released the brilliant but criminally under-rated Desperado 1973 concept album after their 1972 debut had spawned three Top 20 hits, and seemingly everybody but the band were unprepared for Desperado‘s epic musical Western.
By the time 1976 was almost over, a similar set of expectations would greet any new creation by the Eagles, only even more so : their 1975 One of These Nights album produced three Top 10 hits this time, was a #1-seller, & got the Grammy nod. So any album follow-up would be measured against those apparently impossible- to- eclipse standards. Frey, co-writer/singer/drummer Don Henley, and newly-hired guitar star Joe Walsh check us into the 16 million–seller Hotel California . – Redbeard