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The Eagles still soaring high
by Clint Wayne
2007-11-03 09:31:25
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Long Road Out Of Eden
The Eagles
Polydor, 2007

When I first heard that my favourite band The Eagles was to release their first studio album for 28 years I was slightly apprehensive. Would it live up to expectations? Would Long Road Out Of Eden be able to sit proudly alongside all their other masterpieces that dominate my music collection? I am pleased to report that The Eagles are still soaring high and their reputation as one of the great rock bands remains solidly undiminished.

As with other aging rock musicians, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit and the inimitable Joe Walsh certainly have something to say about their government and the world around them.

The title track is a ten minute centrepiece similar in feel to Henley’s other epic ‘The Last Resort’ featured thirty years ago on Hotel California. This time, however, it is not the downfall of the Californian dream that takes the theme but George W. Bush and the debacle that is Iraq. Henley paints a clear portrait of homesick soldiers lost in the desert with “dusty rifle in his trembling hands, somebody trying just to stay alive, he got promises to keep” set against the spirit of America

“In the good ol’ USA, having lunch at the Petroleum Club, smokin’ fine cigars and swapping lies” and finally shoots the American administration right between the eyes with the final “but all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools”. It is also beautifully rounded off with a unique short guitar instrumental called ‘I Dreamed There Was No War’. Point made!

But don’t despair, this album isn’t a depressing deluge of protest songs but a sleek, harmonious vehicle that every Eagles' fan will love from the free-flowing ‘How Long’ a classic through back to those early halcyon days of the early seventies to the touching sentimental ‘It’s Your World Now’ finale where the talented Frey passes the ‘baton of life’ on to the next generation.

My own favourites include Joe Walsh’s catchy ‘The Last Good Time In Town’ an hilarious ode to growing old, Don Henley’s cynical dig at the ignorance of Middle America with ‘Frail Grasp On The Big Picture’ and Timothy B Schmit’s love ballad ‘I Love to Watch A Woman Dance’. Other typical Eagles' classics include ‘No More Cloudy Days’ and tales of lost love in ‘Waiting In The Weeds’ and ‘Center Of The Universe’.

But as a departing message from a loving parent to their children ‘It’s Your World Now’ is a fitting epitaph and final wish. My final wish to The Eagles is please don’t leave it another 28 years before the next one.

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