Don Felder, best known for writing the music for “Hotel California” and his hit title track for the 1981 film “Heavy Metal,” hasn’t exactly been prolific away from the Eagles. In fact, the forthcoming Road to Forever is just his second solo release ever.
So, interest is likely high among Eagles fans when it comes to this new 12-song cycle of original songs, led by “Fall from the Grace of Love” — which you can sample below. An easy-going, throw-back country rocker, it recalls his greatest triumphs with the Eagles.
Felder, who recorded five projects with the country-rock pioneers between 1974-94 (including On the Border, One of These Nights, Hotel California, The Long Run and Hell Freezes Over), last issued a solo album in 1983, Airborne. But this time, the songs came bursting forth: Felder wrote or co-wrote the entire album, while playing guitar and singing lead vocals as well.
An impressive list of guest stars stopped by too, including each of the members of Crosby Still and Nash, Steve Lukather, David Paich and Steve Porcaro of Toto; Tommy Shaw of Styx, and Randy Jackson, a former sideman with Journey and American Idol judge. Road to Forever, produced by Felder along with Robin DiMaggio (Paul Simon, Steve Vai), is set for release on October 9, 2012, by Rocket Science Ventures. A tour will follow.
The new album was written during a lengthy period of introspection that also included his New York Times best-selling tell-all book about life in the Eagles and his ouster after nearly 30 years, called “Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001).” Finding he had still more to say, Felder then turned to songwriting: “After I collected myself, I found I needed to go out and play music again, and that’s how I began recording the album. In the process, I found out who I really am: I had to find out what happened when I almost lost it all.”
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.”
JOE WALSH – ANALOG MAN (2012): Cleaned up and focused, Walsh can still deftly recall his hell-raising days of youth — tearing into a series of nasty-ass riffs on tracks like “India” and “Funk No. 50,” the last a scalding update of a key moment from his pre-Eagles stint with the James Gang. You’re reminded, all of a sudden, that Joe didn’t just play guitar with a chainsaw menace; he actually carried a chainsaw around. But there’s more to Joe Walsh, and more to this album, than that. Full of raw emotion, frank admissions, fun pop asides and memorable guitar gumption, Analog Man illustrates once more just how complicated this guy always was.
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.