Joe Walsh returns with a suitable cranky old-man track — after all, the longtime Eagles guitarist turns 65 this year. Co-produced by Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra fame, “Analog Man” is available for streaming here.
“What’s wrong with vinyl,?” Walsh sings, “I think it sounds great! That’s just the way I am. I’m an analog man.” Elsewhere he bitches about cable and commercials, the Internet, violence in the media, Mp3s, email spam and — elsewhere, we’re sure — kids on his front lawn, all over a greasy guitar signature that recalls rock-radio favorites like “Rocky Mountain Way,” from 1973’s The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get.
Analog Man, due June 5, is Walsh’s first solo album since 1992’s Songs for a Dying Planet. The project also features brother-in-law Ringo Starr, just a few months after the two collaborated on the former Beatle drummer’s Ringo 2012. A link to preorder Analog Man is also included below.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Eagles, Ringo Starr and ELO. 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: RINGO STARR SINGING SONGS BY THE OTHER BEATLES: As with the decades-old hit solo album for which it’s named, Starr’s Ringo 2012 includes an array of name guest stars. Unfortunately, unlike 1973’s Ringo, none of those friendly assists come from his fellow ex-Beatles. Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd are fine, and all. But the truth is, the combination of Starr and material written by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison has provided Ringo with many (some might say most) of his career highlights. Here’s our take on the Top 5 — with five more honorable mentions.
GUILTY PLEASURES: JEFF LYNNE AND THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA: It’s true, as Randy Newman once impishly sang, they were six fine English boys who knew each other in Birmingham. After that, things got tricky for the Electric Light Orchestra. Despite an impressive string of 1970s hits, they became an easy target. People knocked the strings. The Beatlemania. Jeff Lynne’s spaceman fro. We won’t even get into ELO Part II. Newman, in this dead-on parody of their orchestral bombast called “The Story of a Rock and Roll Band” from 1979’s Born Again, winked his way through a few of the group’s more memorable earworms: “I love their ‘Mr. Blue Sky.’ Almost my favorite is ‘Turn to Stone,'” Newman adds, “and how ’bout ‘Telephone Line?’ I love that ELO.” Once we stopped laughing, though, there was something to admit. Thing is, we do too. No, really!
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.