Why do people hate the Eagles so much? I’m not being sarcastic. Best exemplified in the classic “Don Henley Must Die” by Mojo Nixon, a lot of people seem to demonize this band as a bunch of coked-up, California Gram Parsons wannabes. I think part of the problem is that classic rock radio plays “Hotel California” almost as much as “Stairway to Heaven.” Another problem, which is not exclusive to The Eagles is how the same radio reduces the output of the band to a mere handful of songs, playing them over and over and over and pretty much forcing the average listener to either actively start hating the band or passively letting the music fade into the background, reducing it to a form of audio wallpaper never to be actively enjoyed again. To the Limit : The Untold Story of the Eagles is an interesting book in as much as it pretty much confirms the hedonistic lifestyle of the band while at the same time pointing out in considerable detail that, for the most part the band actually cared enough about their music to produce some of the best country-tinged rock and roll since Buffalo Springfield while pretty much inheriting the baton for vocal harmonizing from the even more fractious Crosby, Stills, Nash and (sometimes) Young. The Eagles were a damn good band. I say were because I’m not so convinced that they still are but over all their body of work has as high a degree of quality as anybody out there while still producing a distinctly “Eagles” sound. I especially enjoy their earlier stuff like “Take it Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and I still love “Already Gone” and “Take It to the Limit.” Perhaps, due to their wealth and California lifestyle, the Eagles are an easy band to hate. Perhaps that’s what makes liking them so much fun. That and the fact that Glenn Frey didn’t see a hockey sweater he didn’t want to wear onstage. “To the Limit” is pretty much what you would expect. Lot’s of juicy sex, drugs and rock and roll hijinx mixed in with some analysis of what the band and its cohorts were trying to accomplish. A great read on a summer afternoon by the pool. Life in the fast lane? Maybe not but fun nonetheless.
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