The Eagles Live!
We all know that the band has continued to perform live, with Glenn Frey’s son Deacon and Vince Gill joining Don, Joe and Timothy. However, another live album exists in Europe – a CD of classic live Eagles performances from the early 70’s!
I was lucky enough to see the band in the late 70’s, but never at these shows from the early to mid-70’s, when Don Henley and Glenn Frey were really defining the sound of the band.
Here is the news about this release from the website “That Nashville Sound”:
“Shortly before the worldwide release of ‘Desperado’ in April 1973 the Eagles, while touring Europe, performed at the Sporthal de Vliegermolen in Voorburg, Holland on 10th March. Recorded for a Dutch TV broadcast, the band played a rip-roaring set for 50+ minutes, including a storming 11 minute version of the classic, debut album cut ‘Witchy Woman’.”
An ELEVEN MINUTE JAM ON “WITCHY WOMAN?!?!?!?!?”
Here is more:
“The Eagles played at the California Jam festival in Ontario, California on 6th April 1974. Attracting more than 300,000 fans and billed as “the Woodstock of the West Coast”. Portions of the show were telecast on ABC television in the United States, exposing the Eagles to a much wider audience.”
Well, I bought the album from Amazon UK, and it was shipped to me within days.
Here is a look at this album, which will feature classic live performances of their greatest early hits…some have referred to this release as a “bootleg” – the unauthorized release of material from a band without their permission. However, I bought this off of Amazon UK and I have the physical release at home!
I’m honestly not sure of who had the rights to release these two live performances, but as a lifelong Eagles fan, it is a revelation! There are some songs I’ve never heard, and some songs performed differently live than they ended up on the albums!
Let’s take a look at the release track by track:
A short “Introduction” leads into “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies” – an obscure traditional folk song, then the band goes right into their classic song “Take It Easy” – here is the audio of this performance as part of my review:
As you heard, the band’s harmonies are gorgeous on “Come All Ye” – almost seems to me like a way for the band to warm up their harmonies before kicking into “Take It Easy” – and what about that very soft, country vibe to “Take It Easy”? More on this song later…
“This Is A Song About Tequila. Mexican Whiskey!”
That’s how Glenn Frey introduces the next song on the album, their new song “Tequila Sunrise”, which he says has a “latin beat” to it…and they do the song almost as an “a cappella” song – with just a single acoustic guitar.
Here is the audio of the song, shared as part of my review – and note at the end they have an extra stanza with lyrics not on the album!
“Wonderin’ If I’m Growin’ Wise, Or Telling’ Lies…”
Wow, a longer version of the song, with additional lyrics not on the album! I love the sad, almost world-weary nature of the singing here, especially as they are introducing these songs to the audience.
“Tequila Sunrise” is now a signature Eagles song, but wasn’t a big hit when released…in fact, the “Desperado” album was a flop when it came out – here is that story:
Back to the live release:
“Saturday Night” is next, also from their second album, followed by one of the band’s early classics:
“Peaceful Easy Feeling”
Here is a live version of the band performing the song on the BBC from 1973:
Look how young they are! then one of my favorite tracks, a live early version of:
The band’s longtime collaborate J.D. Souther wrote this country rocker – and this early live version is raucous and shows the band rocking out a bit!
Here is an audio version live from Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert show from 1972:
The band finally released it on the “Long Road Out Of Eden” album – you can click here to see the music video of their studio take on this classic song:
A trio of songs from “Desperado” are next:
“A Certain Kind of Fool”, “Outlaw Man” and “Out of Control” all contribute to the concept of the band as outlaws – and Glenn in particular tells stories about the “rock star/wild west outlaw” connection – the songs have a more vital sense of urgency when performed live…next up, the legendary take on their first smash hit:
Yes, this bootleg release has an eleven minute version of the song – the band is on fire! Here is the introduction to the song, a guitar solo that then clicks into the signature hook – gives you an idea of how they played with the opening before launching into the hook:
The entire eleven minutes are mesmerizing – the band is clearly trying to show their musicianship here – and it sounds great.
“Witchy Woman” was, of course, a huge hit single from their phenomenal debut album…here is more trivia about that album – and some fun stuff about Winslow, Arizona as well:
Speaking of the debut album, the next two songs on this collection are from the debut album: “Tryin'” and “Early Bird”, then one of my favorite rockers from “On The Border”:
“James Dean” really shows the band coming together – fast, rocking, and raucous as well…check out their early live performance here:
The instrumental “Blackberry Blossom” is next – letting the band showcase their guitar work, but other than that, nothing special, then Randy Meisner takes over on “Midnight Flyer” from “On The Border”, which is also an upbeat rocker that showcases the band’s great harmonies. Then comes the classic opening track from that album:
I love this song – so much fun, so much energy…check it out here:
I love the album “On The Border”, which saw Don Felder join the band – here is more trivia and some videos as well:
The live finale of the album is their first smash hit, that also opened this live CD – but this version rocks more, the band clearly making their sound more mainstream on this version, which was recorded 13 months after the first one:
They are clearly having a blast performing, and this has Jackson Browne on the it, so it’s a great collectable to have.
Here is a live performance the band did from Central Park in 1973:
So there it is – a collection of vintage live Eagles songs from early in their career – with some songs treated differently, the extra stanza on “Sunrise”, and the sound of the band early in their career – and absolutely terrific!
Thanks to “That Nashville Sound” website for the story on this release – let me know what you think!