a long road indeed

I’m listening to the Eagles new CD Long Road Out Of Eden, again. In the several years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve never felt so compelled to write about a CD like I do now. You must add this to your collection.

Their first studio album in 28 years, it was released 11 days ago and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. From a strictly fiscal perspective, the compilation is the best value you’ll see anywhere. It’s a two-CD set, 20 new songs in all, available only at Wal-Mart and Sams Club and on the Eagles web site. Though mine was a gift for my 45th birthday, I know the price at Wal-Mart is $11.88. The CD also includes an insert with lyrics for every song.

From the first track, “No More Walks In The Wood”, I was hooked. This ballad, which reminds us of what happens when you don’t take care of the earth, proves yet again why the Eagles produce the best harmonies of any rock band, ever. In any band, anyone can sing harmony. But Glen Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh have voices that are so right for each other, that to not join them in song would be a sin against God.

Moving into the second track, “How Long”, your blood starts flowing, your feet start tapping, and you recall a day when listening to “Take It Easy” (the Eagles first single, 35 years ago) would make you smile.

The title track, a 10-minute submission written by Henley, Frey and Schmit, seems a narrative of priviledged rock stars who have been there and back. They’ve seen what success will do. They’ve seen what success can do. They’ve lived all the glory. They’ve owned all the perks. Now, they’re coming back to a simpler time, a long trip that is indeed worth the journey.

Especially touching is the instrumental, “I Dreamed There Was No War”, written by Glenn Frey. As I listened to this minute and a half tune, tears welled up; I was forced to make my own song, my own lyrics, thinking about what a world at peace would be like. I dreamed my own dream, ending the song with hope.

Every track is worthy of praise. Henley and Frey had a hand in writing most of them. The CD even includes the requisite writing of Joe Walsh in “Last Good Time In Town”, where his distinct lead vocal brings back memories of Walsh’s solo efforts.

After 14 years apart, the Eagles reunited in 1994 and released Hell Freezes Over (if you’re an Eagles fan, you understand that title.) Since then, they’ve toured a bit, mostly sharing all of their old great hits with their audiences. But now, in 2007, they’ve scored again, adding 20 new songs to their repertoire.

In all, Long Road Out Of Eden took me back. Back to the early sound of the Eagles…back to a simpler time, when all seemed good.