When Hell Froze Over
Continuing on with my list of 10 albums that have inspired me, that I was challenged to, and as I often have an issue following instructions, I have chosen to explain why. I have already established my lengthy experience and love of music. But I especially still hold true to my classic rock roots.
In 1979, the Eagles, already a legendary influence on music, came out with their follow up to “Hotel California”, and album called “The Long Run.” It was celebrated because every song on the album, originally planned to be a double album, just did not have enough tracks, every song was awesome in its own styles. But the news that soon followed after its release, hits, and tour, the Eagles, suffering tension among band members, would break up. I was the generation after the Beatles, so to put it into perspective, I felt like many did after the Beatles breakup, devastated. I had just started attending concerts, and this was one band that I wanted to see.
The words were clear from Don Henley of any chance of a reunion, “when Hell freezes over.” Each member of the Eagles would pursue their own solo careers, some garnishing commercial success, others more of an underground appreciation back to the album oriented rock days.
And then fourteen years later, Hell did freeze over. The Eagles not only reunited, but recorded their album, with those famous words, “Hell Freezes Over,” AND… AND… it contained four new songs, and included a “greatest hits” selection of songs from their past.
Kicking off the 1994 release, was a song called “Get Over It,” the hardest of the four new songs, sung about the troubling times our country had been in. The other three, all ballads with that classic Eagles soft country sound and harmonies. One of those would hit the charts, “Love Will Keep Us Alive.” The other two, “The Girl From Yesterday” and “Learn To Be Still” were also very listenable. Combined with the classic greatest hits, I could not help but wonder, were these new songs any way some of those left off from the Long Run. I have not researched that yet. But it is on my list.
So, we had a new Eagles album. Great! Word would come out about a reunion tour and I was like “HELL YEAH!” until it was revealed that concert tickets had finally breached the three-figure range of ticket prices. Now for you kids out there, there was a time I paid less then $15 for a concert ticket, and even up to that point, I do not believe I had paid more than $50 for any concert. But this was a huge deal. And you know what they say about the law of supply and demand? The demand was there, that meant people would pay anything just to see what at one time was unthinkable, one more Eagles concert.
That $100+ concert ticket did spark outrage, and a song parody to the song “Hotel California,” called “Who The Hell Can Afford Ya?” Of course, those that had that kind of money, got to see the Eagles.
All was not lost. Back in the day, when music television channels played music, VH1, the “older” peoples alternative to MTV, broadcast a once in a lifetime event, a live performance of Hell Freezes Over by the Eagles, acoustically, or as they called it back then “unplugged.”
I can watch that concert over and over and over. And perhaps the most memorable of the songs performed during that concert, all members were lined up on the stage, each holding an acoustic guitar, and with a drum solo introduction, they began to play “Hotel California” under the best arrangement of that song ever heard.
The Eagles were back. Sadly, there was no more new studio music until 2007, when they released their first full length album since The Long Run, called “Long Road Out Of Eden.”
Tragedy would hit the band with the passing of Glenn Frey in 2014, again leaving any hopes of seeing the Eagles perform again in doubt. That concern ended when the Eagles enlisted the help of Vince Gill and Frey’s son, Deacon. And since, have enjoyed performing their hits to major stadium audiences, often combined with other guest artists and bands that complimented the concert ticket.