‘Variety is the only aphrodisiac’: The Eagles’ Glenn Frey on mixing rock, acting and crooning

Glenn Frey has been mixing up appearances with the Eagles with continuing dates in support of his new standards record After Hours, providing a wide variety of musical contexts. Frey says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

His career with the Eagles started out with gently swaying country-rock songs, then — after the addition of Don Felder and Joe Walsh — took a turn toward more straight-ahead rock songs. Later, Frey established his solo career with pop hits and even took up acting, appearing for instance on TV’s “Miami Vice.”

Maybe reinterpreting tracks associated with Tony Bennett like “I Wanna Be Around” and “The Good Life” wasn’t exactly expected. But it certainly fits in with his ever-evolving personal narrative.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Recalling some of the Eagles' worst misfires, from the dippy "I Wish You Peace," to the retro-trash of "Disco Strangler" and snippy "Frail Grasp of the Big Picture."]

“Variety is the only aphrodisiac,” Frey tells FiveAA. “For me to be able to play ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ one moment, then play ‘Take it to the Limit’ with an orchestra the next moment, then turn around and play ‘Smuggler’s Blues’ and ‘The Heat Is On,’ the variety is fun for me.”

After Hours, Frey’s initial solo album Strange Weather in 1992, also includes “Caroline No,” from the Beach Boys songbook, and the timeless “Route 66,” among others. In some ways, Frey says he had to step up his game to tackle the material.

“The songs that I started to sing on After Hours require a certain amount of ability; it’s not guitar singing, it’s more like piano singing,” Frey says. “It’s a little more nuanced. You have to have some chops.”

Eagles fans will also recognize Frey’s collaborator on the original title track. Jack Tempchin also co-wrote “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Already Gone,” “Smuggler’s Blues,” “You Belong to the City” and “The One You Love.”

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