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by Justin Farrar

June 19, 2013

Eagles Flying Solo

by Justin Farrar  |  June 19, 2013

Eagles are one of the most potent commercial forces in the history of pop music, right up there with Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Elvis Presley. What's more, just about every musician to ever be called an Eagle has also experienced success as a solo artist. Certainly, this is the case with the group's big three: Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh. Even before joining the Eagles in 1975, guitarist Walsh was a top-tier rock star thanks to classic-rock anthem "Rocky Mountain Way" (as well as his work with his first band, the mighty James Gang). As for Frey and Henley, after the Eagles' original demise in 1980, they became two of the ensuing decade's more successful pop singers. In addition to scoring smash hits "Smuggler's Blues" and "Heat Is On" (the latter from the Eddie Murphy blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop), Frey flirted with acting, with appearances on the television shows Miami Vice and Wiseguy. The evermore somber Henley sent one brooding pop tune after another to the top of the charts. Of course, his calling card is (and probably forever will be) 1984's "The Boys of Summer," one of the '80s' most sublime singles.

The Eagles' supporting cast -- Randy Meisner, Don Felder, Timothy B. Schmit and Bernie Leadon -- were no slouches either. In the early '80s, the first three all saw chart action, particularly Schmit, whose pop hit "So Much In Love" can be heard in the teen-movie classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The always soft-spoken Leadon, meanwhile, returned to his folk and country roots upon leaving the Eagles in 1975. His 1977 album Natural Progressions has become a cult favorite among connoisseurs of California folk pop.

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