Hotel California: Rolling Stones #118 of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Hotel California 
Album: Eagles 
Released: December 8, 1976 
Genre: Rock

The Eagles' album Hotel California hit Number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and produced three singles. The title track and "New Kid in Town" topped Billboard's Hot 100 hits, while "Life in the Fast Lane" reached number 11. 

At the 20th Grammy Awards, the single "Hotel California" won Record of the Year, and "New Kid in Town" won Best Arrangement for Voices. The record was nominated for Album of the Year but lost to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. It ranks 118 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time." 

In the 1994 public survey for All Time Top 1000 Albums, the disc was voted number 109. It rose to number 67 in the 2000 opinion poll. In 2001, TV network VH1 placed Hotel California at 38 on their 100 Greatest Albums of All Time list. British television's Channel 4 listed the record as number 95 in a 2005 survey of the 100 greatest albums ever.  

The artwork for the "Hotel California" album comprises pictures of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Known as the Pink Palace, it's frequented by Hollywood stars. 

Eagles Hotel California Vinyl Rear Cover Art
This is a concept album, 
there's no way to hide it.
Don Henley 
Bernie Leadon was the country influence on The Eagle's previous album, One of These Nights. He left the band after its release and was replaced by Joe Walsh. For Hotel California, the band moved from country rock to rock & roll, with songs like "Victim of Love" and "Life in the Fast Lane."  

Don Henley told the Dutch magazine ZigZag, "This is a concept album. There's no way to hide it, but it's not set in the old West, the cowboy thing, you know. It's more urban this time." He told writer Marc Eliot, "Beverly Hills was still a mythical place to us. In that sense, it became a symbol, and the 'Hotel,' the locus of LA, had come to mean for us. I'd sum it up in a sentence as the end of the innocence, round one."

New Kid in Town
Single: Eagles
Album: Hotel California
B-side: Victim of Love
Released: December 7, 1976
Genre: Yacht rock
Songwriters: Don Henley, Glenn FJD, JD Souther

"New Kid in Town" was the first single released from Hotel California. It reached number one in the US and number 20 in the UK. Glenn Frey provides the lead vocals, and Don Henley sings harmony. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices.
"We were writing about our replacements."
J.D. Souther to Songfacts 
The "Hotel California" concept informed other songs on the record, like the lead single. Eagles guitarist Don Felder said in a Songfacts interview: 

"Once you arrive in LA and you have your first couple of hits, you become the "New Kid in Town," and then with greater success, you live "Life In The Fast Lane," and you start wondering if all that time you've spent in the bars was just "Wasted Time." So all of these other song ideas kind of came out of that concept once the foundation was laid for 'Hotel California.'"


Life in the Fast Lane 
Single: Eagles
Album: Hotel California
B-side: The Last Resort
Released: May 3, 1977
Genre: Rock
Songwriters: Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Don Henley

The title of "Life In the Fast Lane" came while Glen Frey was speeding down an LA highway with a drug dealer. He recalled in The History of the Eagles documentary:

"I was riding shotgun in a Corvette with a drug dealer on the way to a poker game," he mentioned in 'The History of the Eagles documentary. "The next thing I know, we're doing 90. Holding! Big Time! I say, 'Hey, man!' He grins and goes, 'Life in the fast lane!' I thought, 'Now there's a song title.'"

Don Henley recalled the "song actually sprang from the opening guitar riff. One day, at rehearsal, Joe [Walsh] just busted out that crazy riff, and I said, 'What the hell is that? We've got to figure out to make a song out of that." Henley and Frey wrote the lyrics.


Hotel California
Single: Eagles
Album: Hotel California
B-side: Pretty Maids All in a Row 
Released: February 22, 1977
Genre: Rock
Songwriters: Don Felder, Don Henley, Glenn Frey

"Hotel California" is the title track from the Eagles' album and was the band's fourth song to reach number 1 on the US Hot 100. It peaked at number 10 on the Easy Listening chart, and Billboard ranked the track 19 on its 1977 Pop Singles year-end chart. The single won the Eagles the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year at the 20th Grammy Awards in 1978

The song was number 49 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004. It maintained the ranking in 2010 and was re-ranked at number 311 in 2021. According to a reader-submitted poll for Guitar World magazine, the guitar solo for "Hotel California" is ranked number 5 out of 50 best.

Don Felder recorded an instrumental demo. He gave Don Henley and Glenn Frey each a copy. In 2008, Felder described the writing of the lyrics:

"Don Henley and Glenn wrote most of the words. All of us drove into LA at night. Nobody was from California, and if you drive into LA at night ... you can just see this glow on the horizon of lights, and the images that start running through your head of Hollywood and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of about that ... what we started writing the song about. Henley decided on the theme of Hotel California, noting how The Beverly Hills Hotel had become a literal and symbolic focal point of their lives at that time."

Glenn Frey offered this take: 

"That record explores the underbelly of success, the darker side of Paradise. That was what we were experiencing in Los Angeles at that time. So that became a metaphor for the whole world and everything you know. And we just decided to make it Hotel California. So with a microcosm of everything else going on around us." 

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