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Long Road well worth the wait
on October 31, 2007
28 years after their last studio album, four remaining Eagles release a new album. Long Road out of Eden features 2 discs and 20 new tracks. Disc 1 is described as being a re-introduction to the band with the opening track a post nuclear vision of Seven Bridges Rd, followed by a song they forgot to record 35 years ago "How Long" by long time friend JD Souther. This stamps Eagles all over it and just gets better each time you hear it. Harmonies and all the little things which most bands would overlook, make this a classic already in the Take it Easy, Already Gone genre. Next up is Busy Being Fabulous which is an update of Those Shoes with a killer chorus and typically cynical Henley lyric. Has the Eagles sound. Next is a weepie with a countrified Frey vocal. Quite nice, Walsh steps up next with Guilyy of the Crime, whilst being pleasant is a little removed from the other material on this disc. Next up is the first of Tim Schmit's spots with a brilliant (single written all over it)I Don't want to Hear Anymore, is simply brilliant. Won't fit on contemporary radio but anyone reading this won't care anyway. Disc 1's highlight follows with Waiting in the Weeds. How to describe this song? It starts of as an acoustic, black, Henley vocal and shifts into an epic from 1st Chorus/Bridge on when Schmit/Frey's harmonies kick in. Its low fi, acoustic guitars and mandolin, but segues into something much more, the lyrics tell so many stories with multi dimensions and layers. By the end of the 7 minutes its a totally different beast, with an undeniable stamp of class. This track makes the 28 year wait all worth it.
After Weeds, all the other would seem insubstantial but in true Eagles tradition the material all stands up. No More Cloudy Days will have its fans, followed by Henley doing his best Bee Gee's impression on Fast Company. This has a killer chorus and will grow on you. Next up is a piece of Schmit brilliance with Do Something, more like his Poco work & Frey closes with another highlight You Are Not Alone.
If that wasn't enough we still have another whole disc, with the title track starting it off. This track will need some play to make it accessible but already the biting lyrics, killer Walsh guitar and atmospherics make it a dramatic, masterful tune. Long time collaborater, Jack Tempchin pitches in with a Frey lead vocal, Somebody which is a foot stomper. Henley next with Frail Grasp of the Big Picture, very Inside Job-like. Walsh with a JD Souther assist comes up with the Steely Dan like Last Good Time in Town. Frey with I like to watch a Woman Dance, is low-fi and voyeuristic, but pleasant, Three songs left, all good especially Centre of the Universe which is a modern update of the whole sound. I'm still trying to decide what the lyrics mean but I'm sure George W Bush won't download it. Business as Usual is another which could be a Henley single but has the superb Eagles harmony support. Slightly rocky, confrontational, another winner. Then the closer which if its the last song ever from the Eagles then its a fitting epitaph, lets hope its not, as this album has proved that the Eagles biggest fear is unfounded and that they are still important, vibrant, and quite simply America's greatest ever rock band.