With five number one singles, six Grammys, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California, ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the U.S. according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and the band was ranked No. 75 on the magazine’s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
They have the best-selling album in the U.S. with Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975), which sold approximately 42 million copies worldwide. They have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, and 100 million in the U.S. alone. They are the fifth-highest-selling music act and highest-selling American band in U.S. history. No other American band sold more records than the Eagles during the 1970s.
The Eagles released their self-titled debut album in 1972 which spawned three Top 40 singles, “Take It Easy”, “Witchy Woman”, and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. They followed up the success of their debut album with Desperado in 1973. The album was less successful than the first, reaching only No. 41 on the charts and neither of its two singles reached the Top 40. However, the album contained two of the band’s most popular and beloved tracks, “Desperado” and “Tequila Sunrise”. They released On the Border in 1974 and added guitarist Don Felder midway through the recording of the album. The album released two Top 40 singles, “Already Gone” and their first chart topper, “Best of My Love”.
“Hotel California” is the title song from the Eagles’ album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. It is one of the best-known songs of the album-oriented rock era. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey. The Eagles’ original recording of the song features Henley singing the lead vocals and concludes with an extended section of electric guitar interplay between Felder and Joe Walsh. The song has been given several interpretations by fans and critics alike, but the Eagles have described it as their “interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles”.