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on August 17, 2001
The Eagles' third studio album, the 1974 release ON THE BORDER, was meant in many ways to rectify the unjustified commercial failure of DESPERADO, and give this band a harder edge than before. To this end, they ousted Glyn Johns as their producer after just two tracks were recorded, bought in Bill Szymczyk to replace him, and added Don Felder on lead guitar.
But ON THE BORDER is the best of both worlds--yes, the band gained a harder edge but it also retained some of the more country elements of before. "Midnight Flyer" is an impressive bluegrass-style breakdown with Bernie Leadon zipping away on banjo; and Leadon's "My Man", a tribute to the departed Gram Parsons, features his handy steel guitar work. A lot of great cuts are to be had here. Ironically, one of the two songs Glyn Johns produced, "The Best Of My Love", would become the group's first #1 hit in early 1975; and in yet another ironic twist, they would hit #1 with this single just two weeks after their former employer Linda Ronstadt got her #1 single "You're No Good."
I admit to being a very devout Eagles/Linda Ronstadt fan, being as I am from the Los Angeles area. But they remain the standard by which many rock and country acts are measured. And as long as there are faux "boy bands" like 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, there will always be a need for the Eagles.
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on July 23, 1999
I didn't realize until the other day that "Ol' 55" is a Tom Waits composition. Every song on here is different, and every song is great. "You Never Cry Like A Lover" - can't understand why this one isn't played more - tender and intense! "Good Day In Hell" flat out smokes. The harmonies are flawless (as usual) and the instrumentation is superb. Add this one to your collection for sure.
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on June 16, 2005
Alot of music fans out there (not heavily immersed in the full catalogue of The Eagles) immediately declare "Hotel California" as the best album done by the band .... perhaps there is some truth to that; after all, I name that particular 1976 classic as my favorite album of all-time! However .... "On The Border" has a deep place within my heart as well, but for a different reason. "Hotel California" is likeable for it's brilliant versatility .... going back and forth between soft and heavy tracks, being sung by other band members (but mainly Don Henley dominates). With "On The Border", there is that same diversity evident .... but further developed, in a realm reflecting the origins/influences of this band. Plus, each band member sings a song and has a chance to shine well .... making the listener wonder who is the best when up to the microphone .... much like the Byrds and the Beatles, The Eagles are a group that can not be narrowed done to one specific 'Frontman.'

From the aggressive beginning with 'Already Gone' to the melancholy reflection of 'The Best Of My Love', "On The Border" delivers a great jam one after another. I like that an R&B reference (with the awesome title track that features fun-filled "face-offs" between all band members) and Bluegrass moment (with the fast-paced 'Midnight Flyer' delivered nicely by the high-ranged Randy Meisner). While alot of the album's theme was heavy rock (more so than the previous release, "Desperado"), there is a definite soft-rock, mellow feel .... one in which will put you in a relaxed mood and state of mind. If your a fan of any individual band members, or rather the band itself, I would highly recommend adding this album to the collection (if you don't already know about its worth and have it sitting there already).
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on February 4, 1999
Besides Hotel California, this is the Eagles best album. This is an album rich in both rock and country. From the hard rocking On the Border and James Dean, to the countryish sounds of the Bernie Leadon sung My Man and Ol' 55, this is one terrific album. Only Good Day in Hell is a throwaway. Another standout song is the Randy Meisner sung Is it True.
This album was made during the Leadon-Meisner years of the band. Frey, Henley, and Walsh get all the notoriety in the Eagles, but Meisner was the nerve center of the band with his bass and quality vocals, both as a lead and as a harmonizer (listen to his harmonies on Ol' 55). The Eagles are a better band with Meisner as opposed to Tim Schmitt, as On the Border will proves.
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on November 7, 2007
In March of 1974, The Eagles released their third album On the Border.
From the opening rocker Already Gone, you could tell that the band had become a rock band. Not a country rock band but a plain good ol' rock and roll band.
The addition of third guitarist Don Felder in late 1973 gave the band a bigger, more raw, more urgent sound, particularly on the hardest rock tracks, the opening "Already Gone" which had great Felder solos and was the world's real intro to Felder, the rocking "Good Day In Hell" which had killer slide work from Felder (in fact, this very track was the first song Felder recorded with The Eagles) and "James Dean".
Like its predecessor Desperado, On The Border sounds like songs from different albums but the Eagles manages to pull it off.
Unlike its predecessors, the album was mainly produced by Bill Szymczyk (whom worked with The James Gang and J. Geils Band among others) taking over for Glyn Johns whom the band canned after recording the ballads "You Never Cry Like a Lover" and the closing "Best of My Love".
The album may have gone more rocking but there were a few more country numbers like the modern bluegrass sounds of 'Midnight Flyer" and the traditional country rock ballad "My Man" (Bernie's ode to Gram Parsons and his best song for the band) on the same album as the hard rock of the opening Already Gone, the funky title cut and the power chords of James Dean and Good Day in Hell.
This album gave the Eagles their first Gold album the year of release and the band's first #1 single Best Of My Love, a country-tinged ballad. A little bit ironic considering how much Glenn Frey and Don Henley wanted the Eagles to be a rock band rather than a country band, but it is really a beautiful song with a great lead vocal by Henley and pedal steel work by Leadon.
The two rock singles which are now staples of classic rock radio James Dean and Already Gone didn't fare nearly as well, the latter made it to #32, but the former stalled at #77. They're great songs, though, as is the Eagles' cover of then Asylum labelmate Tom Waits' "Ol' 55" which they made their own and because of this album's sales gave Tom Waits a little extra royalty money and the heavy Good Day In Hell. "Is It True" is a much more conventional, very pleasant mid-tempo love rocker with some fine slide guitar from guitarist/keyboard player Glenn Frey but the band wanted a good slide player for this album, and they found that in Don Felder who rocks on Good Day In Hell. Glenn and drummer Don Henley had taken firm control of the band on this album. Frey does two solo lead vocals, Henley three and shares center stage on Ol' 55 and Good Day In Hell. Faithful down-to-Earth bass player Randy Meisner sings on Midnight Flyer and on his own solo composition, the lovely Is It True and guitarist Bernie Leadon does a solid job on My Man, which is dedicated to the late Gram Parsons (Bernie's bandmate in The Flying Burrito Brothers).
I first got this album on cassette two days after my ninth birthday and is still a classic today, especially with the remastering on this album.
Highly recommended!
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on January 30, 2003
Have you ever locked onto a band during their first album, only to be let down by the second and later discs? I remember the early evolution of the Eagles oh so clearly. The first LP caught my ear and the concept of the second moved the band to a new dimension. But this, the third album, was the big buzz for me. Sure, one album later the band was selling much bigger, but this disc was it - the crystalline moment, for the Eagles. Radio jumped on Best of My Love and James Dean while I was in the groove on Already Gone, Midnite Flyer, Good Day In Hell and Ol' 55. The addition of Don Felder catalyzed the band towards a more hard edged, harder rock sound. The Eagles never made it to the land of hard rock, but it sure looked like this album was going to take them there. Next time your boss or your woman or man pisses you off, crank up the volume and play Already Gone. It's pure auralgasmic bliss and reality be damned!
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on October 20, 2012
With the release of their third record, "On The Border", the Eagles smashed the charts with a number one song in "Best Of My Love". This album also has more than enough rugged rockers to pump you up as well though, and every aspect of the record is amazing.

After their previous two offerings, it's hard to imagine how the Eagles could release another amazing record in such a short amount of time. They did though, and this record stands up just as well as anything else from the time. While solid the entire way through, my favorite songs are "Good Day In Hell", "Already Gone", "James Dean", "On The Border" and "You Never Cry Like A Lover", but as you can tell, they're all terrific.

This record was already an amazing album by itself, the remastered version makes this record complete. I love the Eagles personally, so I may be a little biased, but I can't see anyone not digging this album also.
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on December 24, 2012
Forget Hotel California - this is the Eagles best album in my opinion. Every track on this album deserved to be a hit and every track is worthy of being heard over, over, over and over again. If you're an Eagles fan, this album should be on the top of your stack.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon January 8, 2001
Don Felder joined the band for On The Border. His addition marked the starting of a shift from a country rock band towards more main stream rock. In fact most of the album is made up of harder rocking songs. The album opens up with the brisk "Already Gone", "James Dean" is a tribute to the culture icon, "Good Day In Hell" is a stinger and the title track gets into a favorite Eagles subject, paranoia. Bernie Leadon still left his bluegrass footprints on the album with the scorching banjo workout, "Midnight Flyer" and "My Man" is a tribute to country-rock god, Gram Parsons. "Ol' 55" is a gorgeous cover of a Tom Waits tune with classic Eagles harmonies. Despite the harder edge, it was the supple ballad, "Best Of My Love" that became the album's big hit and the band's first number one single.
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on November 28, 2004
Although not quite as popular as their other more 'well-known' records, On The Border offers some outstanding cuts, including the more obscure and not as widely known ditty, James Dean. Don Henley remains one of the best male vocalists--ever. The Eagles still stand as one of the greatest bands ever in rock. And if you haven't had the opportunity to check them out in concert, I highly recommend you do so. They're a tough act to follow live, and continue to be one of the most enduring groups of the twentieth and twenty-first century. This record rocks to the hilt, and is definitely worth checking out.
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