Eagles / Hotel California (US, Asylum Records, 7E-1084) <December 8, 1976> その②-2


Eagles / Hotel California (US, Asylum Records, 7E-1084) <December 8, 1976> その②-2


Bernie Leadon, who was the principal country influence in the band, left the band after the release of the previous album One of These Nights. For Hotel California, the band made a conscious decision to move away from country rock, and wrote some songs that are more rock & roll, such as "Victim of Love" and "Life in the Fast Lane". Leadon was replaced by Joe Walsh who provided the opening guitar riff of "Life in the Fast Lane" that was then developed into the song. The title for "Life in the Fast Lane" was inspired by a conversation between Frey and his drug dealer during a high speed car ride.

The melody of the title track, "Hotel California", was written by Don Felder. Don Henley wrote most of the lyrics, with contributions from Glenn Frey. Henley noted that hotel had become a "literal and symbolic focal point of their lives at that time", and it became the theme of the song. Frey wanted the song to be "more cinematic", and to write it "just like it was a movie". Henley sought inspiration for the lyrics by driving out into the desert, as well as from films and theatre. Parts of the lyrics of "Hotel California" as well as the song "Wasted Time" were based on Henley's break up with his then girlfriend Loree Rodkin.

Frey, in the "Hotel California" episode of In the Studio with Redbeard, spoke about the writing of "The Last Resort". Frey said: "It was the first time that Don took it upon himself to write an epic story and we were already starting to worry about the environment… we're constantly screwing up paradise and that was the point of the song and that at some point there is going to be no more new frontiers. I mean we're putting junk, er, garbage into space now."


The album was recorded between March and October 1976 at Criteria Studios, Miami, FL and Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, CA, and produced by Bill Szymczyk. Although the band favored Los Angeles, the producer Szymczyk wanted to record in Miami as he had developed a fear of living on a fault line in Los Angeles after experiencing an earthquake, and a compromise was then struck to split the recording at both places. While the band were recording the album, Black Sabbath were recording Technical Ecstasy in an adjacent studio at Criteria Studios in Miami. The band was forced to stop recording on numerous occasions because Black Sabbath were too loud and the sound was coming through the wall. The last track of the album, "The Last Resort" had to be re-recorded a number of times due to noise from the next studio.

For the title track "Hotel California", after the arrangement and instrumentation had been refined, several takes were recorded. The best parts were then spliced together, in all 33 edits on the two‑inch master, to create the final version. In contrast, "Victim of Love" was recorded in a live session in studio apart from the lead vocal and the harmony on the choruses which were added later. Don Felder initially sang the lead vocals in the many early takes for the song, but the band felt that his efforts were not up to the required standard, and Henley then took over as the lead.

According to Henley in a 1982 interview, the Eagles "probably peaked on Hotel California." Henley said: "After that, we started growing apart as collaborators and as friends."

Well baby, there you stand
With your little head, down in your hand
Oh, my God, you can't believe
It's happening again
Your baby's gone and you're all alone
And it looks like the end

And you're back out on the street
And you're trying to remember
How do you start it over?
You don't know if you can
You don't care much for a stranger's touch
But you can't hold your man

You never thought you'd be alone
This far down the line
And I know what's been on your mind
You're afraid it's all been wasted time

The autumn leaves have got you thinking
About the first time that you fell
You didn't love the boy too much, no, no
You just loved the boy too well, farewell
So you live from day to day, and you dream
About tomorrow, oh

And the hours go by like minutes
And the shadows come to stay
So you take a little something
To make them go away
And I could have done so many things, baby
If I could only stop my mind from wondering what
I left behind and from worrying about this wasted time

Ooh, another love has come and gone
Ooh, and the years keep rushing on
I remember what you told me
Before you went out on your own
"Sometimes to keep it together
You got to leave it alone"

So you can get on with your search, baby
And I can get on with mine
And maybe someday we will find
That it wasn't really wasted time