Bob Bestler

This rock group’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album unlike others that come off as cheap

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2014, file photo, Don Henley, left, and Glenn Frey of The Eagles perform on the “History of the Eagles” tour at the Forum in Los Angeles. The Eagles’ greatest hits album has surpassed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as the best-selling album of all-time. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2014, file photo, Don Henley, left, and Glenn Frey of The Eagles perform on the “History of the Eagles” tour at the Forum in Los Angeles. The Eagles’ greatest hits album has surpassed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as the best-selling album of all-time. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File) John Shearer/Invision/AP

I’ve always had an eclectic taste in music, a taste that has changed with the times.

There was Sinatra and Streisand, Elvis and The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart.

Through them all, one genre has remained constant because of one group, at least since the late ‘70s.

That would be the Eagles, whose “Greatest Hits” album recently became the highest selling album of all time with 38 million sold. Jackson’s “Thriller” album is second with 33 million in sales.

As a longtime owner of the Eagles album, I was not too surprised.

The Eagles had already won six Grammies and five American Music Awards. The group has sold 150 million albums, 100 million in the United States. And its “Greatest Hits” album was ranked 37th in Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

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Bob Bestler, a contributing columnist for The Sun News JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews

I’ve played my own “Greatest Hits” CD at least a hundred times despite a couple of nagging scratches accumulated by being manhandled over the years (Note to self: Call up Amazon Prime and order a new “Greatest Hits.”)

I’ve always felt there was something gauche about a “Greatest Hits” album — too cheap to buy the originals, maybe? — yet this one by the Eagles has 10 of the best songs I’ve ever heard, all in one place.

You start with “Take It Easy,” go down through “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Desperado,” “Tequila Sunrise” to No. 10, “Best of My Love.” I’ve heard them, as I said, at least a hundred times and plan to listen a hundred more times.

One notable song not on the album is “Hotel California,” which is ranked just behind “Thriller” in singles sold, with 26 million.

I’ve got that album, too, and another trove of great Eagles songs — “New Kid in Town,” “Wasted Time,” “Life in the Fast Lane.”

I wrote about “Hotel California” a dozen years ago after friends and I visited Hotel California in the Mexican town of Todos Santos. It is supposed to have been the setting for the song, a view that has been disputed by the Eagles.

So I’ve been an Eagles fan for a long time. The group formed in 1971 and a year later took the name Eagles — and therein lies a mystery lost in the fog of history.

Some say the name came in a tequila-induced night in the Mohave Desert when someone mentioned Hopi Indians’ reverence for eagles. Another said Glenn Frey saw eagles overhead and yelled “Eagles!” Still another notes that Don Henley’s high school and college mascots were eagles. Take your pick.

The group disbanded in 1980, but got back together in 1994. It is still touring the United States, then heading to Australia and New Zealand to start a World Tour in 2019.

These Eagles, obviously, are not quite ready to land.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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