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Eagles - Long Road Out Of Eden

by Steve Circeo and Keith Howerton

Eagles - Long Road Out Of Eden Steve Circeo: I know you're a fan of Eagles, and I am, too -- well, I was, back in the day, anyway. On The Border is one of my alltime favorite records, and, believe it or not, I really liked The Long Run, when it first came out. But this new one, Long Road Out Of Eden -- all I can say is that I wish they'd taken a shorter road, because there isn't even enough good material to fill one disc, let alone two.

Keith Howerton: OK, I know it is chic to bash The Eagles, but the reality is they were Americana before there was Americana. They were the first true Americana band that made music that captured a lifestyle. Long Road Out of Eden is an extension of that progression and is the best work yet. It is relavent, timely, nicely produced, and sincere, and unlike the 1994 project that was less than steller, Eden is a record that is new and different.

SC: Thanks for making my point for me. They were Americana.... Now they are nothing more than the same overproduced pop schmaltz mainstream radio tries to forcefeed us. The Eagles have degenerated into a band of aging musicians trying not to create songs that "capture a lifestyle," as you say, but, rather, to create cash to support their lifestyles. There are, I will admit, a few decent songs on the album, but the title track really bugs me, because it's trying to be a masterpiece and it falls so very far short with its bloated instrumentation and pompous lyrics. "Behold the bitten apple -- the power of the tools, but all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools." Puh-leeeeez!

KH: I detect a serious note of envy in your tone here. Are you saying that music is not good because it makes money? I agree that great music does not always make money and lots of bad music sometimes does. However, the money is not the point with Eden being a great record. The CD is a relevant statement on the state of our times like the Eagles have always made in one way or the other. They are the greatest Americana and American band ever and the only band in the history of the republic that approaches the English rock icons. I will concur that the record is extremely "over-produced" as you call it. However, that is that standard of perfection that the mainstream is built on and I would completely expect that. It is not a roots record like so many that you and I both love. It is an Eagles record and if they made it "rootsy" the mainstream media would crucify them for it. The bottom line is that the songs, melodies, and arrangements are where it is at and Eden has far exceeded the mark.

SC: While I would, indeed, love to have those guys' cash -- well, I'll let Joe Walsh keep his, because I'll bet he needs it -- my tone is not envy, but, rather, disappointment in the fact that these guys are talented, but are not making the music they are capable of making. On top of that, they are playing the public for suckers. Heck, who can't afford to lay out $12 for the new Eagles two-disk set? They got my money, and that pisses me off. If it had been properly priced at $20, I would not have bought it. Another example of "you get what you pay for." I heard your bottom line, here's mine: The Eagles have the wherewithal and the artistic standing to make the record they want to make, but they choose to pander to the mainstream. I defended Jack Ingram for doing that very thing with some of the songs from his last record, but only because Jack is still trying to make it. Henley, Frey, Schmit, and Walsh have already made it many times over, so they have no excuse. Wait a minute, a scary thought just occurred to me -- maybe they did make the record they wanted to make. If that's true, it makes me sad. Let me just finish by saying that if I'm going to listen to a new album by a band whose name starts with "E," it'll be Emory Quinn's The Road Company. Now that's a good record. Emory Quinn -- better than the Eagles!

KH: Well my friend, you will not get an argument from me that Emory Quinn is better than the Eagles, but it is like comparing an apple to something that is not an apple. Music isn't a sport where one guy wins and one loses. Each project must stand on its own, and we can make comparisons to others in terms of good and bad but never one better than the other, because they are all unique. Glenn, Don, Joe, and Timothy are making music well past their prime and that has to be respected. The Eagles have not really given us an original record since they broke up. That acoustic live thing they did in '94 was terrible, but Long Road Out Of Eden gives us something new and fresh and good. By the way, I agree that Joe likely needs the money, because he lives harder than the others. Hey ... maybe they did Eden to get Joe out of the poorhouse. Another reason to admire the Eagles.

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