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on December 26, 2004
If you were around in the late 70's and were within earshot of rock and pop radio, you heard the Eagles' 'Hotel California' and if you've listened to classic rock radio since then and till today, you are familiar with this album many times over, possibly even sick of it (as you might be with Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours', Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side of the Moon' and most of Led Zeppelin), as you might be sick of Eagles music in general. However, just this Christmas day, I was with family, and the household happened to have a superb DVD/Dolby surround setup and the man of the house received the DVD-A of 'Hotel California' as a gift. He put it on, and I was there to experience this already time-honored album in glorious multi-channel surround sound. If you thought you've heard enough of the Eagles' best album, you ought to give this a chance -- the classic title track alone makes it worth the purchase. You will hear cymbal swells, guitar parts separated and panned, vocals and all that is the musical brilliance of this album as you never have before. "Wasted Time" sounds so good it will make you weep (this was always one of my favorite Eagles album tracks, as is "The Last Resort", also benefitting from the DVD-A treatment) ... highly recommended for Eagles, classic rock, and music fans in general needing to hear how good either the DVD-A or SACD format can be.
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on August 30, 2011
My copy of the Japanese SACD arrived today. Owning two Oppo BDP-93s, I hooked both up to the same receiver and compared both editions. Confirming another review, the SACD is indeed presented a bit louder than the DVD-Audio. However after over an hour of listening, I can hear no discernable difference between the audio portions of these discs. Yes, both come from the exact same 5.1 master. In fact, even the disc labels on both are practically identical, one indicating SACD emblems and the other DVD-Audio. So no new sonic revelations over the 2001 DVD-Audio release. One advantage for the SACD is that it will play in all CD players as it is a hybrid. One advantage to the DVD-Audio is the on-screen presentation of the lyrics and many photos. The best news is that, even at Amazon's current price, the SACD is a steal compared to the prices being asked for the out of print DVD-Audio. My biggest hope is that these discs from Japan will bring about renewed interest in 5.1 sound music, so that we may be fortunate enough to see other timeless classic recordings released (not just rehashes of previous DVD-Audio releases) in multi-channel SACD....please, please, please!
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon January 8, 2001
Hotel California was the first Eagles album to feature Joe Walsh. By combining with Don Felder, they created a potent tandem and pushed the band to a harder sound. Like many other residents in the state, the band are not native Californians. Despite that fact, they have become synonymous with Southern California. On this album, they examine all the high and lows of the land of hopes and dreams. The word classic is thrown around a little too often, but the album's title track is one of only a handful of songs that are worthy of the title. From the opening guitar riff, to the cynical and vivid lyrics to the closing guitar coda, the song is a tour de force. Don Henley sings with a snarl in his voice and Mr. Walsh and Mr. Felder trade guitar licks in a can you top this fashion. The song is a masterpiece, became their third number single, won the 1977 Grammy for Record of the Year and one never tires of hearing it. "New Kid In Town" was the album's other number single and Glenn Frey sings with a smooth charm. The song perfectly captures that breezy Southern California sound the Eagles made famous. "Life In The Fast Lane" is the infamous rocker that details the hedonistic lifestyle of the late 70's that the band wholeheartedly embraced. "Wasted Time" is pretty ballad and the orchestral reprise of the song leads into a stinging rocker "Victim Of Love". Joe Walsh's Eagle lead vocal debut is the suprisingly sweet "Pretty Maids All In A Row". Randy Messiness' swan song with the band is the soaring "Try & Love Again". The album's closer, "The Last Resort", almost matches the title cut in power and brilliance. It tells of the pilgrimage from the east coast out to California and that it has to offer. Hotel California was the band's peak and one of the best albums of the 70's.
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on November 16, 2005
The people who gave this album "OMG WORST ALBUM EVAR!!!11" type reviews are just trolls. Ignore them. The others do a little better and criticize the music style, which is at least a legit complaint. To them I say that Hotel California is great not for the music in of itself, but for the lyrics and attitudes expressed in the music and the lyrics. I would liken in to comparing Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd; Zep tended to have the better tunes musically, but Floyd blew them away when it came to lyrics and albums on a whole. To those too simple minded to understand that a song does not have to just 'sound good' to be great, I am sorry.
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on July 2, 2001
She'd taped a cool new song off the radio, a friend told me a little less than 25 years ago; she'd play it for me when I'd come to her place after school.

The song was "Hotel California," and my perception of music changed then and there, once and for all. I didn't even really understand the lyrics - I had barely begun to learn English, and apart from everything else I sure as hell didn't know what "colitas" meant. But understanding all the song's words wasn't necessary. From the first chords played by Felder and Walsh, this song was different from anything I had ever heard before. The layers of electric guitar riffs alternating with and ornamenting Don Henley's vocals, soaring in the chorus and culminating in a moving and evocative duet, touched a spot deep inside me that required no further explanation. Nor, really, did the other songs on this album which I instantaneously knew I had to have. I got the message conveyed in the raw edges of "Life in the Fast Lane," Joe Walsh's riffs throughout the song, the two guitar solos and Don Henley's sneering vocals, as well as I could hear the sense of loss in "Wasted Time," "The Last Resort" and "New Kid in Town."

This is not to say, of course, that the lyrics didn't matter to me once I was able to fully understand them. Rather, that understanding deepened my appreciation for the album; and yet another level of insight was added when I came to California for the first time in 1991. By that time I was an ardent fan, and although the Eagles didn't even exist as a band back then, their music has become an inseparable part of my memory of those months - particularly the album which bears the state's name and is so often called the quintessential California rock album (not only of the 1970s) that this description in itself is bordering on cliché now, true as it may once have been.

Since the release of their 1976 studio album, the Eagles have published several other versions of "Hotel California," and I love them all. (I even - sometimes - like the ska version Don Henley and his incredible tour band performed during their recent "Inside Job" tour.) But ultimately, it all comes back down for me to the duet of those two electric guitars which forever redefined the way I listen to music.

Also recommended:
The Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
Selected Works: 1972-1999
Long Road Out of Eden Deluxe Edition
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on November 20, 2011
This is a review of the Japanese-import SACD version of the album.

In short, it's great. I previously owned the DVD-Audio version of this surround mix but decided to sell it after it went out of print and prices skyrocketed. Unfortunately, I missed having the album in 5.1; fortunately, the SACD version is just terrific.

In fact, it may even be better. The DVD-Audio was amazing, but I actually prefer the slightly softer feel of the SACD. The mix, as far as I know, is identical to the one that was done for DVD-A, but SACDs just seem to have a bit more warmth.

Of course, you don't get the visual extras, which included some nice photos and one of the most attractive DVD-A menus I've ever seen. If your focus is the music, that obviously won't matter to you.

And for those who don't remember or weren't around ... well, the Eagles were probably at the creative peak on this album. The title track, "New Kid in Town," "Life in the Fast Lane," Victim of Love," "Try and Love Again" and "The Last Resort" all became FM radio rock standards, and in fact were so overplayed in the 1970s and 1980s that some fans (myself included) needed a long break. But there's no denying the talent on display here. Drummer/singer Don Henley was at his swaggering best. Bassist Randy Meisner's songwriting contribution ("Try and Love Again") was the best of his career. Glenn Frey, Henley's most frequent writing partner, was often overshadowed in the band, both instrumentally and vocally, but his wistful vocal on "New Kid in Town" and wicked Clavinet on "Fast Lane" were superb. Finally, the dual leads of guitarists Joe Walsh and Don Felder just shredded everything in their path.

Felder would later be dismissed by Henley and Frey, with the result being a legal mess. Walsh returned to the fold after many years, but my understanding is that, financially, he's never been a full partner. Tim Schmidt took over bass duties for Meisner after this record, playing on "The Long Run."

The latter was a decent album, but it didn't stand up to its predecessor. There were a few great songs ("King of Hollywood," for example) but also a few too many few duds -- "Teenage Jail," the duh-hey "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks."

"Hotel California," by contrast, is the Eagles signature record. The 5.1 mix isolates the instruments beautifully; on every nearly every song, there is at least one moment that emerges as breathtaking:

1. The separation of the acoustic and electric guitars on the title track, plus Henley's ghostly percussion.

2. Walsh's first organ riff on "New Kid."

3. The opening-note onslaught of the electric guitars on "Fast Lane."

4. Henley's vocal on the final stanza of "Wasted Time"; he sounds both suitably exhausted and engaged.

5. The clarity of the orchestra at the end of "Wasted Time (Reprise)."

6. The ENTIRETY of "Victim of Love." On the runoff track of the original pressing of the album, the careful eye could find this message: "V.O.L. is five-piece live," meaning there were no studio overdubs. The performance of the song was spot-on and crackled with energy.

7. Walsh's battered, nasal but somehow perfectly suitable voice on "Pretty Maids All in a Row."

8. Meisner's entirely unbattered, stratospheric singing on "Try and Love Again."

9. And finally, Frey's glorious but restrained piano on "The Last Resort"; on the 5.1 mix, you can actually hear the hammers striking the strings in one passage.

Great album, great mix, and a great look back at one of the landmarks of 1970s rock.
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on January 24, 2000
DCC deserves tremendous credit. Don Henley had expressed several years ago his dissatisfaction with the sound of the Eagles' catalog. Wisely, the two albums DCC chose to remaster is the Greatest Hits (now the biggest selling album) and this one!
What hits your ears immediately is the bass. The songs have a bottom to them that was lost when issued in the mid 80's. There is also tremendous clarity in the high end as well. The superior sound makes this CD worth the extra cost!
The CD duplicates the orginal album, complete with gatefold sleeve, fold out poster, and inner jacket.
Oh, and let me correct an error in describing an uncollected b-side that would make a contender for an expanded Eagles singles anthology when I reviewed the Eagles Greatest Hits gold disc. I had said that Get You In The Mood (the b-side of Take It Easy) was written by Henley-Frey. In fact, the song was only written by Frey. See, I told you my info on the song was sketchy!
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on August 27, 2011
Get off the fence and snatch this one up !!! This is the 2001 5.1 mix as originally issued in dvd-a format and it is stunning. Immerse yourself in this classic like you have never heard it before on sacd. The clarity, separation and lush sound will impress even the most skeptic of just how much we are missing without multi-channel mixes. I would buy this one simply for the 5.1 mix of "Try and Love Again", now my favorite track on this timeless album.
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on August 30, 2011
I just received this and I'm very impressed with the 5.1 multi-channel mix. It's totally immersive and very natural-sounding, with vocals in the front and instrumentals nicely distributed among all channels. According to another reviewer, it's the same mix that was used on the 2001 DVD-audio disc, which is currently going for over $200. I can confirm that the copyright date listed on this disc is 2001, which would indicate that Warner did in fact use the same mix.

The SACD is in a plastic jewel case and includes the original booklet in English, with photos, as well as a booklet with the lyrics in Japanese. This SACD is a must-have for anyone who loves the music, because unless you have the DVD-A disc, you've never heard it this good. Snag it before it goes out of print! Highly and warmly recommended.
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on November 10, 2006
She'd taped a cool new song off the radio, a friend told me a little less than 25 years ago; she'd play it for me when I'd come to her place after school.

The song was "Hotel California," and my perception of music changed then and there, once and for all. I didn't even really understand the lyrics -- I had barely begun to learn English, and apart from everything else I sure as hell didn't know what "colitas" meant. But understanding all the song's words wasn't necessary. From the first chords played by Felder and Walsh, this song was different from anything I had ever heard before. The layers of electric guitar riffs alternating with and ornamenting Don Henley's vocals, soaring in the chorus and culminating in a moving and evocative duet, touched a spot deep inside me that required no further explanation. Nor, really, did the other songs on this album which I instantaneously knew I had to have. I got the message conveyed in the raw edges of "Life in the Fast Lane," Joe Walsh's riffs throughout the song, the two guitar solos and Don Henley's sneering vocals, as well as I could hear the sense of loss in "Wasted Time," "The Last Resort" and "New Kid in Town."

This is not to say, of course, that the lyrics didn't matter to me once I was able to fully understand them. Rather, that understanding deepened my appreciation for the album; and yet another level of insight was added when I came to California for the first time in 1991. By that time I was an ardent fan, and although the Eagles didn't even exist as a band back then, their music has become an inseparable part of my memory of those months - particularly the album which bears the state's name and is so often called the quintessential California rock album (not only of the 1970s) that this description in itself is bordering on clich' now, true as it may once have been.

Since the release of their 1976 studio album, the Eagles have published several other versions of "Hotel California," and I love them all. (I even -- sometimes -- like the ska version Don Henley and his incredible tour band performed during their 2001 "Inside Job" tour.) But ultimately, it all comes back down for me to the duet of those two electric guitars which forever redefined the way I listen to music.

Also recommended:
The Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
Selected Works: 1972-1999
Long Road Out of Eden Deluxe Edition
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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