This past month marked the 39th anniversary of the release of The Eagles’ first hit single “Take It Easy.” Three weeks after its initial release, the single broke through the Billboard charts and peaked at #12. The Eagles would later perform this song on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on March 3rd, 1974, joined by Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt on stage. Considered one of the most influential rock songs ever written and recorded, it has since been named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
Formed in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner, The Eagles have gone on to become one of America’s most successful and accomplished acts achieving five number one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards and six number one albums. They were a major force in popularizing the Southern California country rock sound. By the year 2000, their albums Hotel California and Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) had been named two of the 20 best-selling records in the U.S. by the Recording Industry Association of America. Selling over 100 million records, they are the highest selling American band in U.S. history.
Along with playing “Take It Easy” on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, throughout the years The Eagles also performed “Peaceful Easy Living” (the third single off of their debut album which charted at #22), “Already Gone” (showcasing the band’s harder edge sound and charting at #32), “Good Day in Hell,” “Silver Threads and Golden Needles,” “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” “Midnight Flyer,” “Twenty-One,” “OL’ 55” (Tom Waits cover), “James Dean,” “Desperado” and “Doolin-Daltin” on the show. “Desperado” and “Doolin-Daltin,” both off of The Eagles sophomore effort, dealt heavily with the theme of Old West outlaws and drew many comparisons between them and the lifestyles of many modern rock stars.
After an eight-year run, The Eagles officially disbanded in 1980. Each ex-member subsequently attempted to start a solo career. The band then reunited 14 years later in April of 1994 and continues to tour around the world today.