The legendary tune, written by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, was a chart-topping smash, spending 19 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100, after peaking at No. 1. Since 1976, Hotel California has sold over 26 million copies, making it the third-biggest-selling album in American history, beating everything but Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 – which is also by the Eagles! In 1978, it won the band a Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hotel California is one of the songs that "shaped rock and roll" ... pretty hard to argue with that!
Enjoy the Eagles in fine form, performing the seminal smash hit, live at Washington's Capital Centre in 1977.
Eagles | 'Hotel California' [Live, 1977]
So, what exactly is this classic rock mainstay all about? The song’s cryptic lyrics have only added to its legendary status over the decades, inspiring endless debates hypothesising hidden meanings weaved into the words. The wilder interpretations assert a host of theories, covering everything from the whole song being a metaphor for a drug trip to a masked homage to the Church of Satan.
According to the song’s creators, the truth simply lies in a universal theme that almost everyone on the planet can relate to, described by singer-songwriter-drummer, Don Henley, as being “about a journey from innocence to experience" and the “jaded, blasé, hedonistic lifestyle that characterizes California.”
In 2018, the late Glenn Frey’s told BBC, "We decided to create something strange, just to see if we could do it."
In the process, they created one of rock’s great unsolvable mysteries, sure to captivate listeners for decades to come!
With their sublimely blended creamy harmonies and irresistible catchy hits, the Eagles are easily one of the best live bands on the planet. Check out their latest release, Live At The Los Angeles Forum ‘76 which was recorded during the band’s three-night run at the Los Angeles Forum in October 1976. The show took place as the group was putting the finishing touches on the Hotel California LP, which was released that December. The concert recording captures some of the very first live performances of Hotel California and New Kid In Town. Get it, here.
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