Hotel California is the fifth studio album by American rock band Eagles. Released on December 8, 1976, by Asylum Records, Hotel California was recorded by Bill Szymczyk at the Criteria and Record Plant studios between March and October 1976. It was the band's first album with guitarist Joe Walsh, who had replaced founding member Bernie Leadon, and is the last album to feature founding bassist Randy Meisner. The front cover is a photograph of the Beverly Hills Hotel by David Alexander. Hotel California topped the US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. At the 20th Grammy Awards, the Eagles won a Grammy Award for "Hotel California", which won Record of the Year, and for "New Kid in Town". The album was nominated for Album of the Year but lost to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. Three singles were released from the album, with two topping the Billboard Hot 100, "New Kid in Town" and "Hotel California", whilst "Life in the Fast Lane" reached No. 11. Hotel California is one of the best-selling albums of all time. It has been certified 26× Platinum in the US, and has sold over 32 million copies worldwide, making it the band's best-selling album after Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975). It has been ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2003 and 2012, it was ranked number 37 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". A 40th anniversary special edition of Hotel California was released in November 2017.Wikipedia
"I hate the fucking eagles, man."
Where California isn’t a setting, but rather an idea about feeling ugly and dark when everything around you is gorgeous and sunny. As we learned from another 1970’s song, it never rains in (southern) California. But man, it pours. We’re always going to fuck up a wet dream. Dreams of land, cocaine, the warm smell of colitas, relationships, cruising the freeway with a drug dealer named The Count, success. The album's theme is how inevitable it is that we’ll destroy everything that's beautiful. And it's the masterpiece from perhaps the most-hated, most-loved band of the past 50 years. This is the sound of a band clicking on all cylinders. A band that finally realized their strengths (their drummer being their best vocalist and songwriter, having now two rock guitar virtuosos in their lineup) and eliminated their weaknesses (Glenn Frey might have been the band’s “leader”, but his vocal skills were better suited to harmonize with Henley and Meisner). It’s Henley’s voice that dominates the album, but Frey, Joe Walsh, and Randy Meisner each get a lead vocal on standout songs. Don Felder, the lone band member who doesn’t get a lead vocal, makes his presence known on two killer songs in particular that he co-wrote: “Victim of Love”, a song he’ll go to his grave believing he was promised was his to sing lead on; and the title track, which wouldn’t be the classic rock staple it continues to be without his incredible guitar work. The guitar “duel” at the end between Felder and Walsh is so incendiary that the band insisted on keeping it unedited on the single, where it went all the way to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Each member’s contribution on that song alone is essential, from Henley’s seething vocals to Meisner’s bassline. Frey especially shines on “New Kid in Town”, the vocal arrangements of which are among my favorites of any song. It’s a pretty song, where the band admits they’re hot shit right now, but they know there’s a slew of rising artists bubbling up on the scene ready to take their place (The Eagles worrying about when all the fun will be over certainly seems like the most Eagles thing ever). Bob Dylan said that Joe Walsh’s “Pretty Maids All in a Row” could be “one of the best songs ever”. I’m not one to judge Dylan’s taste, but I’m all in favor of anything that makes Joe Walsh feel good. But again, the vocal harmonies are nothing short of sensational. When they harmonize like this, I’ll take the Eagles over any band. I’ve always thought of “Try to Love Again” as Meisner’s sequel to “Take It to The Limit”. In my mind, the Eagles aren't the Eagles without Randy Meisner, an exceptional bass player with a high falsetto so breathtaking it eventually became too much for him to perform on a nightly basis (which fits right in with this album's theme now that I think about it). But this is really when Glenn Frey realized it’s best to get out of the way and just let Henley cook. Henley handles the lead vocals on 5 of the albums 9 songs, including the band’s best-known track. Henley's voice is perfect for emphasizing how anything that feels so good comes with a price on “Life in The Fast Lane”, and the album’s closer, “The Last Resort”. And it's on the heart-wrenching, underrated ballad “Wasted Time” where Henley firmly steps out from the drum kit and is allowed to just stand alone and wail. His vocals brim with soul and emotion in his attempt to reach out to a former lover and convince her to accept that it was all worth it, underscored by the quick instrumental reprise that opens Side Two of the album. There’s a reason why Don Henley’s solo career left Glenn Frey’s in the dust. Henley was not only a better songwriter, but a more soulful and interesting vocalist (just listen to Henley’s background vocals on Linda Ronstadt’s cover of “Blue Bayou” for further proof). This is one of my Desert Island Albums. Frankly, any album that an artist can play in its entirety live in front of sold-out crowds is essential. I own this album on practically every format possible, save for 8-Track, because I’m not a monster. The Eagles even got me to buy a remastered 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition, which included a live set from the band at the peak of their powers (listen to that version of the album on your preferred platform). If I could only listen to 10 albums from this list for the rest of my life, this is clearly one of the ten I'd choose.
Instructive listening for a Warren Zevon fan. I now understand how much of his 70's output was an Eagles piss-take. But that's just another instance of the anti-Eagles sentiment I've been surrounded by forever. From the Dude's antipathy in The Big Lebowski to Zevon's jokes to Elizabeth Nelson's article in The Ringer earlier this year (so good!), the message has been loud and frequent: This Is A Not Good Band. Yet always with the not-at-all-confusing rider: Except They Kind Of Are. Now I've taken the plunge, consider me still confused. I mean, they're exceptional players. Dependably harmonic and pretty much faultless in all things song construction. They rip through solos like a crisp lettuce leaf, even rhyme well every so often. And it all happens within a synthesised country-rock aesthetic so polished you could go blind looking at it. But you might also go dumb listening to it, because even though there's more than a little to enjoy (have you heard the title track, by the way--although what is that accent he's doing?!) the emotional girding is always big dick bathos. Whatever they have to say (mostly gripes about women and some laurel canyon mysticism mixed with LA grit) it's all couched in self-pity--none of it self-reflective or self-critical. Twas ever thus with dudes who love their instruments as extensions of their egos.
“Hotel California” by the Eagles (1976) “Hotel California” is a prime teaching example of what can make an “album” great. It delivers excellent performances of inspired songs by gifted artists, with state of the art production. All that is a given. But the temptation with this recording is to deal with it as a mere collection of songs, with ‘hits’ and ‘misses’, and to ignore the conceptual unity that holds it all together (even in the reprise of “Wasted Time” as you turn the LP over from side one to side two). Here’s a record with brilliantly brooding thematic cohesion. It powerfully declaims its main topic: the dark side of the American ‘paradise’—a darkness that nevertheless resolves into redemptive hope by the album’s end (but not without a well deserved prophetic dig at a misguided American version of pop Christianity). This is a sermon in sound. Lyrically, there are multiple levels of meaning in virtually every line. Don't let anyone tell you a given expression means ‘x’ or ‘y’ or ‘z’. It probably means all three and more (the song “Hotel California” is notorious for spawning countless hermeneutical ‘certainties’). These lyricists (primarily Henley, Frey, Walsh, and Meisner) were all intelligent enough to be aware of the referential overtones. Take, for example, the clause “She came from Providence", the opening line in the closing track “The Last Resort”. Songwriters Henley and Frey explicitly tell us in the next line “It’s the one in Rhode Island”, but it’s not just a meaningless reference to a random city. Do they really want us to ignore why Roger Williams (in 1636) named it “Providence“ in the first place? It was a testimony to the fact that God has mercifully provided what is good, true, and beautiful. Now this is a theological datum which, admittedly, got transmogrified in history into pseudo-pious sloganeering like “Manifest Destiny” and “Go west, young man!”. But in what other country could you get rich by calling that out? Despite America’s record of huge injustices and flaws, scores of millions have striven to get here, and still do, with no end in sight. Carly Simon was also right (in “Let the River Run”): “We, the great and small/Stand on a star/And blaze a trail of desire/Through the dark'ning dawn.” Contrast the flip side of this same coin as the Eagles deride the namers of ‘paradise’ who watch “the hazy sun, sinking in the sea.” The Eagles (Check the symbolism of the group’s name) are well aware of this tension, and have put it to good use in the pursuit of their music and their successful careers. And later in “The Last Resort” they ask “Who will provide the grand design?” We know intuitively. Patience and Providence are both rightly attributed to God who loves. The Eagles employ a variety of compositional styles, from the unique flamenco rock of the title track, to their signature country rock (“New Kid in Town”), to jazz rock (“Wasted Time”, beautifully symphonized in the reprise), power riff rock (“Life in the Fast Lane”), stadium rock (“Victim of Love”), with elements of blues rock, folk rock, and protest rock. But it all rocks. And it’s all harnessed in service of expressing the sadness, disappointment, fear, and disillusionment in the main theme. Vocally, this gang would be a choir director’s delight—and also his nightmare. With widely different timbres and projection styles, these five tenors pound their voices into a unified blend that is magical (“Try and Love Again”). Vocal solos consistently demonstrate the fruitful labors of singers who potently evoke within their limitations. Are they better than CSNY? On this album, yes. Listen to “Pretty Maids All in a Row” and tell me how one could put a more perfect choral texture behind the voice of Joe Walsh—Joe Walsh, folks! Instrumentally, the Eagles show stunning virtuosity, from innovative percussion arrangements (Henley) and bass lines (Meisner) to the splendid guitar work by three masters (Felder, Frey, and Walsh). And the guys in the control booth did their part, with skill application of effects. This is a near perfect collaborative product. If you haven’t yet heard this album when it comes time to die, you should apply for an extension. 5/5
Classic. Many consider it overrated but in my opinion that's just because of how ubiquitous it is. Every song hits, and even though they're nothing groundbreaking or spectacular, you still feel them all the same.
I fucking love the eagles, man.
Aside from a few half decent songs I’d always discounted the Eagles as boring, middle of the road, country-rock. On the evidence of this album I was probably right to do so. Title track drags the album up to 2 stars.
NOW That's What I Call Dad Rock
Mellow rock started here. The warm smell of colitas, rising through the air. The Eagles have the highest selling ‘best of’ album because of their steady even flow of songs. They can also rock out, as evidenced by Victim of Love. Glenn Frye has a smooth voice and Joe Walsh can slam the guitar. In a world of British rock, the American Eagles stand out.
Fantastic album. One of my favourites
Obviously HC is a classic, and so are some other songs I didn’t know were Eagles’ songs.
Love it, have always loved it, will always love it.
Such a great album. So many good songs. Been listening to this one since it came out (high school).
Yes, love The Eagles. Although that's long past, they used to be my favorite band for a while and I even had a t-shirt with this album art. The guitar-work on this album is fantastic throughout and I consider the title-track nothing short of a masterpiece. My criticism would be that the album is a bit too ballad-heavy and that those ballads can tend to the kitschy side. I'd prefer less "Wasted Time" and more "Life in the Fast Lane". Or if their calmer songs would all be like "The Last Resort" (my second favorite track of the album) there would be absolutely nothing to complain about.
If the rest of album was as good as “Life In The Fast Lane” and “Hotel California” we’d have a 5 here but sadly the rest of it is just okay to me. Solid 3.
The song Hotel California always felt a bit too earnest and pompous for me. Pretty boring.
Fucking hate the Eagles
You know that feeling you get when your mother has stuffed cake after cake down your fat gob and although you love the taste of the chocolate frosting and the sponge and the jam and the cream, you've just over indulged so much that you're violently sick all over your grandmother and her new pristine white air max trainers? Well, this album perfectly encapsulates everything about that feeling. Except the cake tastes like rotting fish guts.
Hotel California by The Eagles. This is some archetypical dad rock and I am unapologetically loving it. Similarly to a few of the albums that we have experienced so far, we kick off with a banger. The title track and an absolute classic, Hotel California slowly guides you into the LP with a gentle rock ballad including a soaring chorus punctuated with lovely little guitar licks and a classic rock guitar solo. I was expecting the second tune to be a big rocky blast but surprisingly out came the soft and easy listening 'New Kid in Town' which I actually really liked. As the 2nd tune came to a close, I started to wonder if this album really was going to be one for fathers to listen to whilst dropped their kids to school. It turns out that it was; even down to the name 'Life in the Fast Lane'. The Eagles 3rd track gives us a big guitar riff to kick us off and nod our heads to. However, it doesn't last long as 'Wasted Time' brings us back down with a very slow but lovely tune mostly orchestrated with piano, including an orchestral 'part 2' lasting a minute afterwards. 'Victim of Love' almost made me wet myself laughing as we blast straight back into some solid guitar riffs from the get-go and provides us with a power ballad feel. 'Pretty Maids...' and 'Try and Love...' were both less full-on rock with gentle but quality tunes to enjoy and smooth us into the end of the album. 'The Last Resort' (we see what you do did there) is a 7-minute creeper that slowly builds and builds as we enjoy the soft piano at first that builds up, drops again and then fills our ears with a loud orchestral finish. I was maybe expecting a couple more loud rocky numbers but I'm not disappointed with that. Thoroughly enjoyed throughout.
Almost everyone knows of this band and the same would go for at least two of the tracks on this album. I honestly find it hard to believe anyone could actually dislike these songs. They might be a little too familiar and yes you’ve probably heard the hits way too much...but it’s surprising how much you can still enjoy them once you decide to sit and listen again. They are comforting & homely and no doubt raise various emotions for just about every person. Ultimately though, you know what you’re getting and it’s absolute in it’s promise...but isn’t that really what we all long for every now and then? 4 Stars!
Hotel California, Eagles:7/10 The title track is a certified classic for good reason. Iconic guitar riffs and solos, singalongable lyrics, plus danceable drums and fantastic production all make this song infinitely replay-able. “New Kid in Town” is very catchy with vocal harmonies that are like candy to the ears. “Life in the Fast Lane” starts out with one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time, and doesn’t get any less good throughout the entire song. “Wasted Time” is a surprisingly sentimental soft rock balled that’s quite good, if not a little dramatic. “Wasted Time (2.0) is a beautiful stringed instrumental that serves as a nice interlude before the next half of the album. “Victim of Love” is a solid track, but maybe lacks a bit of the emotion or energy of some of the previous tracks. “Pretty Maids All in a Row” is a pleasant sounding piano balled where the Eagles once again show off their talent for harmonies. “Try and Love Again” isn’t anything too special, but still a solid song, albeit it might stretch a little longer then it needs too. “The Last Resort” is a fitting ending to the album, combining aspects of what I thought were the best parts about the album as a whole. Conclusion: Classic album, an absolute powerhouse for the entire first half, but maybe loses its momentum in the second section.
Solid shit. Spanish hotel California slaps tho lol
The Eagles will always be a standby for a few good jams and the rest of the album being listenable but bland
2/5. I get it, it's capital G great and is the provenance of most rock ballads. But it just sounds like all other rock ballads after it which makes for an uninteresting listen.
I don't think I've ever been more disappointed when seeing a new album pop up. How can a 43 minute album feel this long? 2/5
Meh... it hasn't aged well for me. So middle-of-the-road, so massaged, I found the second half to drag to the point that I was treating it like supermarket music... which, when I think about it, is where I mostly hear Eagles these days. Highlights are the title track and Life in the Fast Lane.
I think a quote from the Dude best sums this up - "I had a rough night and I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man!"
"i hate the fucking eagles"
I had to listen on YouTube because I refuse to stream this and let it fuck up my algorithm. Fucking dreadful album and band.
having to listen to the whole album almost made me quit my 1001 albums project altogether
Clássico. Sempre revisitado. Destaques para a faixa título, life in the fast lane e wasted time
Excellent, a classic
Classic album full of hits. Excellent
Classics that led into more amazing classics. Timeless!
Неожиданно хорошо :)
Nostalgic, listened to growing up
Absolute stone cold classic, nary a duff track on the whole album of classics.
Never afraid to take it slow
Fav song: Hotel California and Try and Love Again Classic album, no misses.
Always a good one!
Great social commentary.
It's one of the greatest albums of all time. Hit after hit.
Tenho que dar 5 estrelas pq se não fosse por Hotel California mãe não teria deixado eu fazer aula de guitarra
This album is a childhood favourite. Reminds me of long car journeys with my Dad. Great to hear it again and sing along to every track
The imprescindible album.
Such an incredible album. Really great musicianship and incredibly well written material. A classic. Favorite tracks: “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” and “Wasted Time”
One song carries the album, but it is a great album nonetheless
Nada que no se haya dicho antes
No weak track on this album. Powerful and at times uncompromising rock album
claro que merece su mega 5 este hermoso álbum
Absolutely, positively perfect in every way.
Clássico!! Surpresa maravilhosa lembrar dos violinos de Wasted Time
Loved this classic
One of the best albums ever!
Lol i love this album
Welcome Joe Walsh. Obviously a classic.
-Hotel California is basically a bad help review and a 2 minute guitar solo -New Kid in Town has a hint of country with the twangy guitar -Why are there two Wasted Time's? -"Victim of Love" was a nice jam
Great album. So a good variety of Eagles sounds.
Love this album, musical masterpiece
Tip 10 imho
De lo mejorcito que he escuchado hasta ahora de la lista. Un imprescindible sin dudarlo.
Top 10 albums of all time
Loved it from Welcome to finish. Hotel California, Life in Fast Lane & Victim of Love. Great strumming on the guitar 🎸. Truly has held up over all these years. “Such Lovey Place”
Great album!!! Brings back high school memories
It is so chill. I love it so much
September 15, 2021 Another one of my favourites. Soooo good.
One of my all time favorites. The addition of Joe Walsh was a real turning point for the Eagles. So many fantastic one-line lyrics and fantastic guitar riffs. An amazing study of American mythology
Classic rock is classic.
Wow! Shockingly good. Had no idea. Good orchestral sounds.
One of the easiest 5/5 I can give. Love this album. Heard it at least a thousand times over the years.
Outstanding! Best of the Eagles!
But you can never leave...
Listened Before? Y My first entry for an album I've listened to all the way through in the past! Pros: Hey, it's the Eagles! It's the Eagles best known album, and it's a widely acclaimed masterpiece! Also, Hotel California, and The Last Resort are a couple of my favorite songs of all time. Amazing album. Stellar songwriting. Stellar instrumentation. Cons: The only con I have for this album (and actually the band as a whole), is that in MY opinion, Don Henley has such an amazing voice that nobody else should sing. Ever. I don't understand the rotating singers thing and it actually annoys me a lot. Added to Library - Y Songs Added to Playlist - Hotel California, The Last Resort
Guter Rock, ein Klassiker.
Oh lord do I love this album! Solid 5, in my top favorite albums.
One of the best. Beautiful album start to finish
I had a rough night and I hate the Eagles man. I can't hear an Eagles tune anymore without thinking of the Big Lebowski. I admit the genius of the title track but I also admit I'm so sick of it. Still, 30+ million people who bought this album can't be wrong, right? Kudos for the different stylings from song to song - e.g., Hotel California (complex, operatic), New Kid in Town (Country & Mexican), Life in the Fast Lane (LA Rock - with a Joe Walsh twist?), Wasted Time (minimal, piano-driven plus an instrumental reprise), Victim of Love (more rock, but more chords and less plucking), The Last Resort (sweeping, piano-driven). Also, the lyrics are really smart, full of analogy and innuendo - it makes it fun trying to figure out the meaning (or double meaning). I thought I was tired of the album after the first few tracks but Wasted Time and Victim of Love reminded me how good these guys are at both soft and hard rock. The latter in particular made me re-appreciate all the guitar and bass work on this album. And though there's a lot of good Hendley lead singing, Try and Love Again reminded me there's also good lead singing from Meisner (and Frey...Walsh kinda sucked on Pretty Maids All in a Row). The Last Resort is probably equal to Desperado in terms of my favorite Eagles track ever (the lyrical commentary, the beautiful arrangements). Yeah, 30+ million people ain't wrong.
Saw the Eagles on tour at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands NJ summer of 1980. My first stadium concert. Sold out. The opening acts were Little River Band and Heart. Hotel California had been released more than 3 years before and The Long Run was out in 1979, yet this was still a Hotel California tour. I remember the cover art on the stage background and the roar of the crowd when Joe Walsh started playing those famous opening notes. Crazy to thing they had already released a greatest hits album before HC was released. Yet when Walsh joined the band it took them to a new plateau without losing their roots, unlike some groups that shifted so much with a new member (ex. the Doobies). This album offers so much beyond the title track—Life in the Fast Lane’s driving beat, the emotion of Wasted Time, New Kid in Town, Victim of Love. Just an amazing album from an amazing band.
Música que nossos pais escutavam
This is what I'm fricken talking about.
This is an excellent if not epic album. 43 minutes of very emotive and powerful instrumentals and lyrics. I believe this to be the epitome of the eagles. Each song has a specific message that it conveys perfectly. I especially enjoy ‘life in the fast lane’ as it perfectly encapsulates the album's message of a rockstars life in the 70's. Every lyric of every song seems to have more than one face-value meaning. It is a masterpiece with excellent guitar, drums, vocals and piano. I also really like the album cover with its contrast between light and dark.
There is not one bad song on this album for me. There’s some better than others but what the Eagles do musically with their harmonies and simple instrumentation will always impress me.
This album just starts out with greatness. Hotel California, New Kid in Town, and Life in the Fast Lane are some of my favorite Eagles songs. After that, you get a nice mix of classic Eagles sounds. Great album.
Absolutely, positively perfect in every way.
HOTEL CALIFORNIA is packed with incredible songs. The title track is one of the most incredible rock songs ever written. After that it’s packed with hits like “New Kid In Town,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” “Victim Of Love,” “Try And Love Again.” The quality of the remaining songs are every bit as compelling despite the tendency to overlook them. My favorite is one of those other songs. Over the years "Last Resort" has continued to expose new facets and has become my anthem of loss as I have come to perceive the world as a much more harsh and less magical place. Humanity is failing to stop - or even alone acknowledge - the wheels of our own destruction. Listening to it at the closing of HOTEL CALIFORNIA is a powerful statement. HOTEL CALIFORNIA is an incredible work whose indictment of American exceptionalism grows more urgent with each year that passes.
Great guitar hooks and memorable lyrics. Splendid!
A classic, no doubt.
What can I say? This is a deservèd classic.
One of the all time great albums. Easy rating here!
I call this album a masterpiece. This was my first time listening to this album from start to end and i'm really impressed with the high quality. My top 5 songs: Hotel California, New Kid in Town, Victim of Love, Try and Love Again and The Last Resort.
The high school football coach pulled his middle linebacker out of the game, grabbed him by the facemask and growled, ‘You need to git your head into the game, son, and now. What is it with you tonight anyway? Are you ignorant or just apathetic?’ To which the kid replied, ‘I don’t know, coach, and I don’t care.’ What is it with lyricists Don Henley and Glen Frey, do they not know or just don’t care? 'Hotel California' was IT, in 1976, my senior year of high school. With the possible exception of 'Frampton Comes Alive,' 'Boston,' and both 'Fleetwood Mac' and 'Rumours' (essentially, the same fantastic LPs), there was nothing bigger than Eagles, and this particular album. Musically, the interplay between guitarists Don Felder and Joe Walsh throughout shine like the southern California sun. Everyone else is great, too: Henley, Frey, Meisner, and even Walsh’s vocals are simply sublime. You might not be the biggest fan of their country rock genre (this album purposefully leaning more towards the rock), but you can’t deny how stunning these harmonies are arranged and performed. Speaking of arrangements, Jim Ed Norman’s score and conducting of the ‘Wasted Time’ reprise is practically worth the cost of the entire LP, a bargain $6 in the mid-70s as I recall. Yes, I’ve got no beef with the music, although its not really my bag much these days. But I played the shit out of it in 1976, on my mighty AMC Gremlin 8 track player (google it, kids), with a matchbook cover jammed in the bottom to insure a tight fit to prevent another song from faintly bleeding on to the one actually playing (again, google it.) It’s the lyrics that concern me; or, more accurately, the lyricists’ intentions. Despite the artful writing, the major problem I have with 'Hotel California' is it’s core ideology. No, that’s not it exactly. It’s Henley and Frey’s (and not Walsh’s; not enough intel on Meisner to make a call) ignorance and/or apathy about their own selves as participants in the very things they are criticizing. Virtually every song beginning with ‘Life in the Fast Line,’ the tale of a couple 'rushin' down the freeway, messed around and got lost, THEY didn't care, they were just dyin' to get off,‘ to the end, ‘The Last Resort,’ ‘THEY call it paradise, I don’t know why. Somebody laid the mountains low, while the town got high,’ are attitudes and behaviors the lyricists themselves are equally guilty of. If this whole concept were a subtle commentary on their own transgressions, then I would call it an outstanding work of art. But given their subsequent interviews, most especially Henley’s continued arrogant insistence that there’s no good music being made anymore, I can’t find any clues on Hotel California that indicate he and his bandmate are turning the mirror on themselves as well as the rest of us materialistic, mass consuming, environmental ravaging, racist, genocidal, drug abusing Americans. Hypocrites! Don Felder, chime in here anytime you want. And then, of course, the famous opening and title track, with its claim on the one hand that ‘We are all just prisoners here of our own device.’ Ok, I’m hip to that. But then to turn around and make another claim that the hotel management is ‘programed to receive. (And) You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave’? Those two takes on hell (or the American culture of the 1970s, or rock star fame and fortune, or whatever else the Hotel California symbolizes) seem very different to me, the latter option being the worse, not to mention just bad theology. Methinks the lyricists are spiritually confused. Too much cocaine will do that to you. And too much adoration without the necessary restraint of the ego. And too much money, or at least the love of it. Thank God for sweet, good-hearted Joe Walsh. Sure, he could drink and snort more substances in his day than the rest of the band combined. But he also had more humility, and self-awareness that eventually got him straightened out and flying right. His song, ‘Pretty Maids All in a Row,’ contains these lyrics: ‘Seems like we’ve come a long way. My, but we learn so slow,’ and ‘all you wishing well fools with your fortunes, someone should send you a rose.’ Contrast that with Henley’s statement on the song immediately before, ‘Victim of Love’: ‘I could be wrong, but I’m not.’ This is one of the best albums that I wouldn’t regret never listening to again. And that’s a real shame, because I love to sing, and I love to harmonize, and 'Hotel California' offers that gift in spades. It deserves 5 stars, so I’m going to honor that. But I’m also considering American writer of Christian literature, Warren W. Wiersbe’s advice that ‘What I am is God’s gift to me. What I do with it is my gift to God.’