In 1971 Don Henley (drums/guitar/vocals)and Glenn Frey (guitar/keyboards/vocals) met as members of singer Linda Ronstadt's band. Soon after they would form their own band when Bernie Leadon (guitar/mandolin/banjo) and Randy Meisner (bass) joined along with Ronstadt's manager, John Boylan. This first incarnation of what would become The Eagles, was intended to be a backup band.
In 1972 their status as "backup band" would be destroyed when they were signed by 'Asylum Records', for their first album. They travel to London to record with producer Glyn Johns. Their self titled debut would subsequently be released later that same year, thefirst single of which, Take It Easy, earning them instant national recognition. Another single, Witchy Woman, hits #9 on the charts and the newly formed Eagles would tour through the end of the year.
While recording their follow-up album the next year, they decided they wanted a more rock-oriented sound and move recordings to California with producer Bill Szymczyk. The resulting album, Desperado (1973), is released and evolves into what becomes the group's hallmark of storyteller writing.
While recording their next album, On The Border (1974), Don Felder is hired in for guitar work. When the album is subsequently released Felder is made a permanent member of the band. The spun off single Best of My Love hits #1 on the adult contemporary charts, placing them as a favorite among listeners. For its part, the album as a whole also gives the Eagles' their first gold single record as well as multiple Grammy nominations.
In 1975, the Eagles release their fourth album, One of These Nights. The title track One of These Nights, a rhythm and blues song, is released as a single early and helped to give the album gold certification within a week of its release. By year's end, Bernie Leadon departs from the band and is replaced by Joe Walsh.
By 1976, the band's succe ss is still growing. 'Asylum' releases Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, the best of... compilation sells over a million units upon its release (7 million by year's end), earning the first RIAA platinum award given in that category. This album is also the third in history to sell at the million-unit mark upon release. This same year, the band is also awarded its first Grammy for the single Lyin Eyes.
At years end, the adjusted membership band are back in the studio to subsequently release their next album, Hotel California. This was probably their most famous work, receiving outstanding commercial and critical success and reaching #1 on the BillboardCharts; quickly earning Gold status to sell some nine million units. At that point, Hotel California sells nine million units. A European & North American tour follows. In August, Randy Meisner leaves the band and is replaced by Timothy B. Schmit.
1978 proves to be another successful year for the band. The Eagles receive two Grammy awards: Best Vocal Arrangement for New Kid In Town and Record of the Year for Hotel California. The band spends that year recording The Long Run. During recording breaks for this album, the Eagles release Please Come Home for Christmas and Funky New Year. The single becam e the first Christmas record to break into the top 20 on national music charts in over 20 years.
But it wasn't long before the band was falling apart. Over the next couple of years they spent their time honoring commitments, including the long awaited Japanese tour with a stop in Hawaii. Their next album, The Long Run, is completed to reach #1. The album was followed by a tour of the USA.
In 1981 the Eagle's separation was a strongly held secret until after the release of Eagles Live (1981), an album that hit #6 on the charts. Shortly after the release of which the members decide to go their own ways declaring that they will not get back together untilhell froze over.
14 years later, hell must have frozen over for the Eagles returned for an MTV special. This live recording became the bands' 1994 release quintessentially titled Hell Freezes Over, which reaches #1 on the Billboard Charts. During the next two years, the band tours, breaking sales and attendance records to provide on for the most successful tours in music history. Hell Freezes Over went on to sell over 15 million copies. In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.
1999, the new millennium was arriving and the Eagles decided to play a New Year's Eve show opening the new Staples Center in Lo s Angeles, California. Later that year a four CD box set Eagles Selected Works 1972-1999 is released including highlights from that New Year's Eve show as well as hit songs throughout the bands' career.
But all was still not well within the band, however, and Felder was expelled from the lineup in February 2001. A protracted legal battle ensued as the Eagles soldiered on as a quartet consisting of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmitto tour Europe in the summer and thenreleasing The Very Best of the Eagles (2003) to achieve minor success with the single Hole in the World. Felder's case was settled o ut of court in 2007; that same year, the Eagles returned with the band's seventh studio album, Long Road Out of Eden.