1994: One Resumption, on the rocks, please.
Everybody knows people in hell want ice cubes. In 1994, they finally got 'em.
Hell Froze Over on April 25, 1994 as a select crowd of ticket winners in the MTV Studios
looked on, kicking off a two-and-a-half year concert tour, and spawning a number one album and
corresponding video, four new songs, and a flurry of questions and rumors.
The question remains among Eagles fans as to whether they will record together again as the
Eagles, whether they will release a full studio album, and what the future will hold. May I
propose the following outlook on the entire situation:
NONE OF THEM ARE DEAD. SO RELAX.
These guys have given us so much, and continue to do so. During the "Fourteen Year
Vacation" they took from each other, they branched off in artistic and personal directions so
widely (and wildly) divergent that should there be a continuing collaboration, it would
have to be defined in entirely new terms. They simply can no longer be the Eagles of the
Seventies and it's likely they would choose to be anything but. Each a talented artist in his own right, they
may continue to work together in some way, but it would be unfair of the fans to insist that the
members of the Eagles cease to think of themselves as separate entities. Solo careers bring a
sense of autonomy that makes a team mentality (always a strength yet a never-ending source of
friction for the Eagles!) that much more difficult.
Granted, there is an alchemy present between the members of the group which has produced
some of the most memorable music of our time. True, when you listen to their solo works,
that magic is broken down into it's individual components, and is no longer in the exact same
form in which we all first came to know their sound. It is easy to say that their solo careers cannot
match their work together as the Eagles, but to do so is to deny each man his own unique voice.
For a musician, music is a refuge and a solace. When songwriters compose a song, they aren't
doing it for the critics, for the record company executives, nor the radio programmers, the fans, or even for
themselves. A songwriter writes because he has no choice. Sound like a funny thing to say?
It isn't, really. Music is their lifeline in a great many ways. Alone in a dark room or in front of a packed
stadium, it's all the same. In either setting, it's intensely personal. You pick up their private journal
when you buy the CD, and you page through at will. Be compassionate and enter this world softly, because the songwriter has been
generous enough to allow you a glimpse inside the most private of rooms. This room has a battered old guitar
leaning against the wall, half a jug of cheap wine sitting on the floor, a few burnt candlestubs, and the shadows of every person since vanished,
every whisper believed, every lost dream's mirror image. This is the room where they go alone to work on
their songs: the room of the heart.
Separately, the members of the Eagles are still doing what they always did when they go into the studio, only now they
are not competing for precious album space. When five musicians of this caliber are splitting up ten album
tracks, only the very, very best get onto the album. It is like cherrypicking the strongest songs off
of five separate releases. Every Eagles album was a greatest hits collection. No wonder it is so
hard to match the album sales the Eagles titles still enjoy, and it perhaps explains why their solo
albums are held up unfavorably to their work as a band. It's because the Eagles spoiled even the casual listener.
Hey, we still have all seven of them. What would it take to kill these guys? Considering the wild lives they led back in the
day, kryptonite could, at most, provide a pleasant yet disappointingly mild buzz. Like their music, Glenn and the others were apparently
built to last, and as long as these seven guys are still breathing, there will still be music. Maybe not
together, and perhaps somewhat sporadically if they do record together again as the Eagles, but
any time any one of them enters a recording studio, they give us yet another gift. There are eight albums
representing the absolute best they could give, and a plethora of solo albums to discover and collect.
Their music will always be their gift to us, to turn to and enjoy listening to again and
They do need to release a boxset, however.
Oh, yeah, and a full-length concert video from the Hell Freezes Over World Tour.
And, for that matter, why not live videos from the '70s tours?
How about you guys release some archive material?
We, the listeners, await breathlessly.
In fact, we are turning blue . . . guys.