Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975

Music review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 Music Poster Image
Album of country-rock classics is still a bestseller.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive messages

"Already Gone," one of the best breakup songs ever, is a veritable transfusion of self-esteem when you've been wronged in romance, packing such memorable lines as "So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains / And we never even know we have the key." While there's iffy behavior going on in some songs -- drinking, drugs, and cheating on your spouse -- nothing suggests that any good comes of it. Even the darkest songs offer hope for love and redemption. 

Positive role models & representations

The faithless wife of "Lyin' Eyes" and the sozzled narrator of "Tequila Sunrise" make it clear that it's not the way to go. In "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Best of My Love," the singers show an appreciation for the love of a good woman, even when things fall apart. In "Desperado" and "Lyin' Eyes," the narrator tries to lead a person on a bad path to better ways.

Violence
Sex

"Lyin' Eyes" is a classic country cheatin' song in which a beautiful young lady comes to regret her loveless marriage to a rich old man and sneaks off to meet another man, with whom she's not exactly honest, either. Nothing suggests that any of this turns out well for anybody, as she "draws the shade and hangs her head to cry." Elsewhere, a few lines, such as "she's been sleeping in the devil's bed" and "I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight with a billion stars all around," have a sexual subtext.

Language
Consumerism

"Take It Easy" refers to a girl in a flatbed Ford truck.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

"Tequila Sunrise" portrays the bar scene as anything but glamorous. There's a pervasive atmosphere of the druggy decadence that characterized early-'70s L.A. in many songs, but far from being fun or attractive, it forms the landscape in which the characters are trying to live their lives, and is often a key component in their sense of exhaustion.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that many songs on Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 deal with what one critic called "romantic uncertainties in an atmosphere soaked in intoxicants." The album embodies an epic period of both creativity and major substance abuse in Los Angeles. There's no cheerleading for the boozing, adultery, and other problematic behavior among the songs' characters, though. Their stories are overlaid with world-weariness bordering on despair, and a wistfulness for things to be better.

User Reviews

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Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviewannabe May 26, 2013

The Eagles are fine; never knew they were a mix of country music and rock and roll music.

The only Eagles songs I know are "Hotel California", "Get Over It", "Life in the Fast Lane", "One Of These Nights",...

What's the story?

The Eagles (Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon -- and Don Felder in a later version of the lineup) converged in Los Angeles at the beginning of the 1970s and came to define the sound of an era with their loping, country-tinged rock and engaging vocals. This collection, which includes their hit singles from the period, plus \"Desperado,\" which was big for Linda Ronstadt, lacks some of their excellent later material (e.g. \"Hotel California\" and \"The Long Run\") but showcases the Frey/Henley songwriting skill on \"One of These Nights,\" \"Witchy Woman,\" \"Take It to the Limit,\" and more. Also here are a couple of Jack Tempchin songs the Eagles made famous: \"Peaceful Easy Feeling\" and \"Already Gone.\"

Is it any good?

Still charting after all these years, with sales of over 25 million to date, EAGLES: THEIR GREATEST HITS is one of the bestselling albums in history and continues to find new audiences. As an introduction to the band's work, it's hard to beat, although it leaves plenty to explore in their later work. There's not a bad track on the album, from the country-rockers to the poignant ballads, and many of them have become classics.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why this album appeals to several generations of audiences -- the music? The stories?

  • Have you heard versions of these songs by other artists? What do you think?

  • The Eagles borrowed from country to create their sound. Can you think of some contemporary country artists who have borrowed from rock for theirs?

Music details

  • Artist: Eagles
  • Release date: February 17, 1976
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Asylum
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

For kids who love teen and '70s music

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