Eagles (often referred to as "The Eagles") is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California during the early 1970s. The group chose the name Eagles as a nod to The Byrds (as founding member Bernie Leadon had been in Dillard & Clark with former Byrds singer Gene Clark and in The Flying Burrito Brothers with former Byrds Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke). Steve Martin records in his autobiography, Born Standing Up, that Frey was very particular that the name was Eagles and not The Eagles. The band played initially as Linda Ronstadt's backing group.With five number one singles, six Grammies, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California, ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the U.S. according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
The group's eponymous debut album was recorded in England in February 1972 with producer Glyn Johns and released on June 17, 1972. Eagles was a breakthrough success, yielding three Top 40 singles.Their second album Desperado (1973) was less successful, but artistically strong - a concept "rockers as outlaws" album that was ahead of its time. It was their third album On the Border (1974), however, that produced their first number one hit: Best of My Love. That song would start a trend of number ones over the next six years. It was also during the making of On the Border when the Eagles switched producers from Johns to Bill Szymczyk, who gave them more freedom in their approach and was open to making the albums more "rocking." A "late addition" to the album was guitarist Don Felder, who joined the group officially after the album was released.
In 1975, the Eagles are ready to release their fourth album One of These Nights. The title track "One of These Nights," a rhythm and blues song, is released early and the album is gold certified within a week of its release. By years end, Bernie Leadon departs from the band and is replaced by Joe Walsh. By 1976, the band's success is still growing. Asylum releases Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 and sells over a million copies upon its release, earning the first RIAA platinum award given in that category. This album is also the third in history to sell at the million-unit mark upon release. This same year, the band is awarded its first Grammy for the single "Lyin Eyes." At years end, the new incarnation of the group releases their next album Hotel California, receiving outstanding commercial and critical success and reaching 1 on the Billboard Charts and goes gold. At that point, Hotel California sells nine million units, which surpasses the seven million units of Eagles.
Unfortunately, the decadence of Hotel California was being enacted by the band in their every day lives. Their "third encore" parties after shows became infamous carnivals of sex, drugs, and booze. The substance abuse did not make the tensions in the studio and on the road go away; in some ways, it exacerbated them. Egos that had always been at odds were now on their way to a Battle Royal. Meisner left at the end of the tour, not wanting to deal with it anymore.
As a replacement, the Eagles brought in Timothy B. Schmit who, like Meisner, used to play bass for Poco. They began work on The Long Run (1979). The huge pressure on them to match and even outpace Hotel California made the already-clashing egos hyper-sensitive as well. The music-making process became an ordeal rather than a joy. Frey was especially miserable, and started to consider breaking up the band. He made the final decision to do so at a 1980 benefit show in Long Beach for Senator Alan Cranston. When Don Felder declared at a press conference prior to the show that he didn't care a thing about Cranston and had just showed up to play, Frey was embarrassed and infuriated. They exchanged threats during the show and then afterwards, got into a physical fight which ended with Felder swinging a guitar at Frey before running off at top speed.
After a 14-year "vacation" the Eagles returned for an MTV special. This live recording became the bands' 1994 release quintessentially titled Hell Freezes Over, which reaches #1 on the Billboard Charts. During the next two years, the band tours, breaking all kinds of sales and attendance records proving to be the most successful tours in music history. Hell Freezes Over went on to sell over 15 million copies. In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.
1999, the new millennium was arriving and the Eagles decided to play a New Year's Eve show opening the new Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Later that year a four CD box set Eagles Selected Works 1972-1999 is released which includes highlights from that New Year's Eve show as well as hit songs throughout the bands' career.
The band now consisting of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit, toured Europe in the summer of 2001. The Eagles, in their third decade of entertaining fans around the world have amazing longevity that has lasted the test of time.
In 2007, the Eagles consisted of Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit. On August 20, 2007, "How Long," written by J.D. Souther ? who had previously worked with the Eagles co-writing some of their biggest hits including "Best of My Love," "Victim of Love," "Heartache Tonight" and "New Kid in Town" ? was released as a single to radio with an accompanying online video at Yahoo! Music and debuted on television on CMT during the Top 20 Countdown on August 23, 2007. The band performed the song as part of their live sets in the early-to-mid '70s, but did not record it at the time due to J.D. Souther's desire to use it on his first solo album.
On October 30, 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their first album of all-new material since 1979. For the first year after the album's initial release, it was available in the U.S. exclusively via the band's website, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. It was commercially available through traditional retail outlets in other countries. The album debuted at #1 in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Norway. It became their third studio album, seventh release overall, to be certified at least seven times platinum. In an interview with CNN, Don Henley declared, "This is probably the last Eagles album that we'll ever make."
The Eagles made their awards show debut on November 7, 2007, when they performed "How Long" live at the Country Music Association Awards.On January 28, 2008, the second single off Long Road Out of Eden was released. "Busy Being Fabulous" peaked at #30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at #18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.The Eagles won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "How Long." It was the band's fifth Grammy Award.On March 20, 2008, the Eagles launched their world tour in support of Long Road Out of Eden at The O2 Arena in London, England. Long Road out of Eden Tour concluded their last currently scheduled American venue on May 9, 2009 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. It was the first concert ever held in the new soccer stadium. The group was touring in Europe, their last tour date scheduled on July 22, 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal.