Eagles cofounder Glenn Frey: Don’t call my new solo effort a ‘standards record’

A forthcoming solo project from the Eagles’ Glenn Frey will include tracks like “The Good Life” and “I Wanna Be Around,” both big hits for Tony Bennett, as well as the Beach Boys classic “Caroline No,” and the immortal “Route 66.” But don’t call it a “standards record.”

“This isn’t really a standards record,” Frey insists. “It’s more about these romantic songs. Except for ‘Route 66,’ they’re all love songs. And even the guy on ‘Route 66,’ he loves driving!”

After Hours, Frey’s first solo effort since 1992’s Strange Weather, will be released on May 8. Frey has also announced a series of early support dates, beginning on May 9. A list of stops is included below.

“I’m actually so happy that I didn’t make this record until now,” Frey said. “I think I’ve matured as a musician and my appreciation has matured. Y’know, it was the right time to do it. My sincere hope is that some people who haven’t heard this music will somehow come across this album and be reintroduced to some great, great songs.”

As with Paul McCartney’s recent standards project (or collection of love songs, or whatever), Frey will also be including an original song: The title track was co-written with Jack Tempchin, who contributed to some of Frye’s most memorable tunes — including “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Already Gone,” “Smuggler’s Blues,” “You Belong to the City” and “The One You Love.”

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Eagles. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

FRANK OCEAN ON POSSIBLE LAWSUIT BY EAGLES’ DON HENLEY: AIN’T THIS GUY RICH AS FUCK?: In the wake of a rumored threat from Don Henley to sue over sampling the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” R&B singer Frank Ocean took to the Internet to plead his case: “Shit’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy?” The Eagles have accused the Odd Future rapper of lifting “the whole master track” for Ocean’s new tune “American Wedding” from their original hit 1976 song. “This is not creative … it’s illegal,” an Eagles spokesman said in a statement. “American Wedding” was included on a free mixtape called Nostalgia. Ocean said that because he never sold the track, it could be seen as a way of paying tribute to the band: “I didn’t make a dime off that song,” Ocean said. “I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.”

GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE THE EAGLES, WELL, SUCKED: The Eagles have been rightly praised for their canny combining of Glenn Frey’s city-slicker R&B with Don Henley’s country-fried rockabilly. Fans responded by sending every one of their albums to platinum status, including the 16-times smash Hotel California in 1976 and its seven-times platinum follow ups The Long Run and Long Road Out of Eden, from 1979 and 2007 respectively. That said, some of their work simply can’t be received with the best of our love. Over time, the Eagles seemed to settle into imitating their past successes, even as they slowly erased much of their rootsier early sound — not to mention Bernie Leadon. Then there was Henley’s growing voice in the band, if only because he’s always had a tendency toward pedantic, blissfully unaware fingerpointing. Which compelled us to start a list of the five worst offenders.

ONE TRACK MIND: TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT, “FRIDAY NIGHT” (2011): It’s like we never left Laurel Canyon. “Friday Night,” a newly issued single from Timothy B. Schmit’s most recent solo release Expando, is deliriously retro, with a welcome warbly assist from special guest Garth Hudson of the Band and a mellow-gold lyric about lighting candles and snuggling up for the weekend. As much as it might feel like a cliche — as much as it very much is a cliche — there’s a sweet melancholy to Schmit’s voice that sells it right past your initial objections. He’s the mediator, the whoa-man in a maelstrom of trouble — a role he’s been playing for years amidst the ever-tumultuous Eagles. Free of all of that, Schmit finally settles into a comfy Americana vibe again.

J.D. SOUTHER – NATURAL HISTORY (2011): Natural History was just the the second J.D. Souther solo effort in 25 years — following 2008’s If The World Was You. That curious quietude from such a talented creative voice has only deepened Souther’s essential anonymity. It also makes the choice to revisit his most notable compositions all the more important for those unfamiliar with his work. Well, it turns out you know the work — even if you don’t know the name. By the end of Natural History, it becomes clear that Souther did more than sketch out the emotional landscape for the introspective West Coast country-rock sound of the 1970s. He set the template. In keeping, he lovingly reshapes songs he wrote or co-wrote that have become closely associated with more well-known artists — including, of course, the Eagles.

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Here are the newly announced Glenn Frey tour dates:
5/9 — New York, NY, The Town Hall
5/14 — Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre
5/17 — Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
5/18 — Bethlehem, PA, Sand Bethlehem Event Center
5/20 — Mashantucket, CT, MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino

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The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.