The Eagles' least commercially successful record still retains qualities that make it one of their best. Building on the harmony-heavy folk-rock sound of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the edgier country-rock of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles brought to the recipe a penchant for radio-friendly hooks and a lush production, bolstered by superb musicianship. These qualities can be heard here on some of the band's most memorable early hits. Their classic reading of Jackson Browne and Glen Frey's "Take It Easy," for example--with its picking, crying guitars, breezy tempo, and gorgeous, high-flown harmonies--is a case study in California country-rock with a pop twist.
Don Henley's slinky, eerie "Witchy Woman" is another highlight, as is the languid, lovely "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" (both tracks appeared on THEIR GREATEST HITS 1971-1975, along with "Take It Easy"). But there are other gems tucked away here too, like the Bernie Leadon/Gene Clark-penned "Train Leaves Here This Morning." EAGLES is a varied, smartly composed and totally pleasurable debut; it defined the sound of one of the 1970s' most popular bands.
Rolling Stone (6/22/72, p.54) - "...they'll stand proudly right next to the best recordings of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Burrito Brothers, and the other premier Los Angeles groups..."
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