Hell Freezes Over
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Indeed, there were many who thought that it would take an event as cataclysmic as the one described in the album title to get these seminal '70s soft-rockers back together. But here they are, revisiting some of their most beloved tunes as well as four new ones, on this mostly live, largely acoustic disc. Frey, Henley, Walsh, Schmit, and Felder tackle iconic Eagles standards like "Hotel California," "Tequila Sunrise," "Take It Easy," "Desperado," and "Life in the Fast Lane" and new tunes like "Get Over It" and "Love Will Keep Us Alive" with the smoothly cocky assurance that originally made them icons. --Scott Schinder
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"Get Over It" is a real rocker. "Love Will Keep Us Alive" and "The Girl From Yesterday" are very country-sounding, but still good tracks. "Learn To Be Still" is an excellent song. All four of these prove that the Eagles still have it.
The remainder of the album are live tracks. Wow, what a show! The intro to "Hotel California," as others have mentioned, is easily the stand out piece on the disc. It proves so well how much Don Felder is missed in more modern Eagles concerts. Other highlights include the rocking "Life in the Fast Lane," a beautiful "Desperado" as the finale, and a great version of "Take it Easy."
If you are interested in live Eagles, this is the one to start with (and rarely do I say that about reunion concerts). An excellent show indeed.
1994 was a memorable year for me as I graduated High School that year, turned 18, started college. Plus that year saw many classic rock bands make comebacks in a time of grunge and gangsta rap as Rush had their highest charting effort with Counterparts in late '93 and had a sold out arena tour, Pink Floyd returned with their classic #1 effort The Division Bell and embarked on what turned out to be its final huge sold out stadium tour, The Rolling Stones hit the road in support of their #2 charting Voodoo Lounge, half of Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant and Jimmy Page) reunited for UnLEDded(No Quarter) and The Who celebrated its 30 anniversary.
The Eagles, a band whom had not recorded nor toured since 1980, made their unexpected return in 1994 with the album and tour of Hell Freezes Over.
When I heard The Eagles were reuniting, I wanted to see them (unfortunately the shows sold out and fates turns out the last tour with guitarist Don Felder who got fired in 2001) but I did buy Hell Freezes Over within its first week and saw the MTV/VH1 special and they proved they could still rock at a time of whiner rock and violent rap and lame pop.
Most of Hell Freezes Over was the band's MTV special recorded and filmed in April of 1994.
However, the album kicks off with FOUR new STUDIO tracks. The rocking "Get Over It" was a biting Don Henley/Glenn Frey attack on reality TV which was becoming a problem (today it is even worse thanks to celebreality shows). The song kicks ass and Frey, Joe Walsh and Don Felder each get to do a guitar solo at the beginning (Frey at the intro and did one after first verse), middle (Walsh's slide guitar) and end (Felder's excellent solo) of song respectively. The song was a major rock radio hit hitting the Top 10 of Billboard's Rock radio chart. The hit ballad "Love Will Keep Us Alive" is next and bass player Timothy B Schmit sings this song and is a nice ballad. "The Girl From Yesterday" is a country song which would not have sounded out of place on either Desperado or One of These Nights. Lastly, the atmospheric "Learn to Be Still" is a great song with some excellent soloing from Felder.
The concert recordings actually started with "Hotel California" done in a Spanish unplugged way to give it a Mexican-reggae feel. "Tequila Sunrise" was next and was excellent. Also, "I Can't Tell You Why", "Take it Easy", "In the City" and "Life in the Fast Lane" are performed well. The tracks "Wasted Time", "Pretty Maids All in a Row", "The Last Resort" and the ending "Desperado" all were performed with an orchestra to give the tracks a fresh feel. Also, the band's version of Henley's solo track "New York Minute" was excellent as well with orchestra and so forth.
The band also did performances of the four aforementioned studio tracks, Joe Walsh's Help Me Through the Night and Don Henley's solo track The Heart of the Matter and Seven Bridges Road but they are on the DVD whilst Best of My Love and others were recorded but were unreleased.
Hell Freezes Over was a huge success and hit #1 on the Billboard 200 where it stayed for two weeks and sold a whooping 10 million copies in the US alone.