The Eagles Debut Album! “Take It Easy!” 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Winslow, Arizona! Glenn Frey Statue Now As Well!

First, the debut album…

“There it was, the sound. Extraordinary blend of voices, wonderful harmony sound, just stunning.”

March 1972 --- The rock band The Eagles rest in a desert valley.  The Eagles were the most popular band of the seventies and their reunion tour in the nineties was also very successful. --- Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

March 1972 — The rock band The Eagles rest in a desert valley. The Eagles were the most popular band of the seventies and their reunion tour in the nineties was also very successful. — Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

Yes, when listeners heard this band’s first album, with those gorgeous harmonies, a new sound in country rock music was created!

“Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy”

The image above is from the brilliant Photographer Henry Diltz, who captured The Eagles on the cusp of their terrific debut as a band in 1972 – the beginning of a musical ride that has seen the band achieve iconic status!

first-eagles-album

Meet The “Eagles!”

The Eagles released their debut album in 1972 – and considering it was one of the album’s credited with creating the “southern california sound”, it was actually recorded in London’s Olympic Studios with producer Glyn Johns.

don-henley-with linda ronstadtjpg

I posted a story of how the band got together, with Linda Ronstadt there at the beginning – you can read that here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/03/01/the-birth-of-the-eagles-linda-ronstadts-back-up-band-had-a-peaceful-easy-feeling/

The Eagles first album

The Birth Of The Band!

Here’s how the first album came about. In 1971, the band had just been formed and signed by David Geffen, who then sent them to Aspen, Colorado to rehearse and write material. For their first album, Glyn Johns was chosen as the producer by Glenn Frey.

Eagles Producer Glyn Johns

Johns had a great record of engineering and producing albums for groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin.

According to wikipedia, “Johns was invited by Geffen to see the band perform at a club in Colorado in December 1971.Johns, however, was not impressed by the band’s live performance, thinking that the band was confused and lacking in cohesion — Frey wanted it to be a rock & roll band while Bernie Leadon wanted a country feel — and Johns declined to produce the album.Johns was persuaded by Geffen to have a second listen in a rehearsal setting in Los Angeles, but Johns did not change his opinion of the band until all four started singing harmonies with acoustic guitar on a ballad written by Meisner, “Take The Devil”. Johns was impressed by their harmony singing, and later said:

“There it was, the sound. Extraordinary blend of voices, wonderful harmony sound, just stunning.”

Eagles debut album

Johns was right: the harmonies that came from Henley, Frey, Meisner and Leadon were truly extraordinary, and this first album combines Frey’s interest in rock with Leadon’s country vibe, plus Meisner’s poetic falsetto and of course, Henley’s instinctive feel for a classic hook.

Eagles first album trivia

This iconic debut album begins with what many consider to be the band’s signature song:

Take It Easy single

“Take It Easy”

“Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy”

“Take It Easy” was written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, and was the band’s first single. It peaked at No. 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and has since been selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”

winslow arizona

The Making Of A Legend!

According to wikipedia:

“Jackson Browne originally began writing “Take It Easy” in 1971 for his own debut album but was having difficulty finishing the song. His friend and then-neighbor Glenn Frey had heard an early version and later asked Browne about it. Browne then played the unfinished second verse that begins with “Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…”, and Frey finished the verse with “It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.” Browne was very happy with the result and suggested that they co-write the song.”

Glenn Frey songwriter

Now, back to Winslow, Arizona…

winslow arizona statue

“Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
Such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me
We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again
So open up I’m climbin’ in, so take it easy”

Jackson Browne Glenn Frey

The Legend Of Winslow!

Here are three things to know about the town of Winslow, Arizona:

1 – it’s 180 miles northeast of Phoenix. It has a population of roughly 9,500 people. It’s a small southwestern town sorta in the middle of nowhere.

2 – According to Glenn Frey, the second verse of “Take It Easy” refers to the time when Jackson Browne’s car broke down in Winslow, Arizona on one of his trips to Sedona, and he had to spend a long day in Winslow.

TakeItEasy_WinslowAZ

3 – In 1999, the city of Winslow created a fun “fan-friendly” photo op in the town – a life-size bronze statue and mural commemorating the song at the “Standin’ on the Corner” Park.

Winslow Arizona statue

And a bonus fact: in 2016, the town unveiled a statue in tribute to the late Glenn Frey as well:

I haven’t been to Winslow, but it would be worth the trip just to hang out for awhile and remember a classic song…

You can read about the rest of the debut Eagles album, with more videos, by clicking on my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/08/14/the-eagles-their-smash-hit-debut-album-the-iconic-winslow-arizona-statue/

Oh, and about that cover…

first-eagles-album

What An Iconic Album Cover!

Credits for the terrific album cover go to artist Gary Burden, with incredible photography by Henry Diltz!. In the documentary “History of the Eagles”, Glenn Frey revealed that the band were all on peyote when the pictures for the album cover were shot in Joshua Tree National Park!

eagleslpgatefold

The Album’s “Oops! Moment!

The album was initially designed as a gatefold album that would further open up into a poster, however Geffen thought it would be confusing, and glued it together so that it would not open, and the gatefold image of the band members at Joshua Tree then came out the wrong side up!

eagles_72

The Eagles Soar!

The Eagles’ debut album reached No. 22 on the charts and went platinum. More importantly, the album introduced a “southern california sound” that cemented the band’s place in music history. In 2012, the album was ranked number 368 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Let me know if you’ve been to Winslow!



Categories: 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Exotic Travel, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Music, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Uncategorized

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10 replies

  1. That last Winslow shot looks like an Edward Hopper painting. I find myself in the dubious position of liking The Eagles while also counting The Big Lebowski as one of my favorite movies.

  2. Some of the first ‘new-style’ American records I bought back then. ‘Take It Easy’, ‘Doctor My Eyes’, and ‘Reelin’ in The Years’. Happy memories of some great music.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Love, love the Eagles. We saw them live in Vancouver, BC in 2010 and they were amazing. Have been to many places in Arizona but not Winslow. It would be cool to visit especially now there is a statue for Glenn Frey.

    • I plan to go there in September, since I am working on a project just a couple hours drive away – I saw the “history” tour in 2013 and it was terrific – thanks for your comment as always!

  4. I “stood on the corner” in Winslow, Arizona in March 2017. A couple of my friends went with me. We bought a few souvenirs at the gift shop and had a good Mexican dinner at a local cafe. Did you know that the folks in Winslow are currently conducting a fund raiser to restore the mural at Standing own the Corner Park?

    • I didn’t know that – I plan to drive there in the next two months since I am working on a project in Phoenix…I will get an update – and a pic of course – thanks for the comment and update!

  5. I finally recently saw the Eagles in concert in Orlando, Florida. He was with Jimmy Buffett who is my all time favorite for concerts. Have you seen the Eagles recently? They now have Glenn Frey’s son and Vince Gill in the band. The concert was surreal. That is the best word I can come up with. It took me back.

    • I went to the “History” shows in 2013 before Glenn Frey died. I dint’ go to the last one but am a huge fan of Vince Gill and I like that Frey’s son is carrying on for his dad…thanks for the comment!

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  1. The Eagles! Their Smash Hit Debut Album! The Iconic “Winslow Arizona” Statue! – johnrieber

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