YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #41 US, #39 UK
SINGLES: Tequila Sunrise (#64), Outlaw Man (#59)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Desperado
LINEUP: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: “Concept”-like album about outlaws mostly succeeds when it stays truer to a country-rock vision.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The title cut, one of the most played songs by the Eagles, was never a single. The album, known far and wide, was a slow seller and the deep cuts forgotten since they weren’t on the hits collections. Thus the ironies of groups defined by compilations.
The relative failures of the two singles meant that the band relied on FM radio and touring to build momentum, and it slowly but surely paid off. Perhaps the public wasn’t ready for a lot of country-rock stylings (as good as they were), and definitely Asylum Records misfired by selecting the rocking but kinda generic “Outlaw Man” as a single instead of “Desperado”.
Bernie Leadon’s contributions are pleasantly mellow country-rock, and Randy Meisner’s “Certain Kind of Fool” is a definite highlight. However, this does contain a Glenn Frey song that’s absolutely out of step with the record and probably shouldn’t have been released.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Director Sam Peckinpah did try to use the album as the basis of a film, but it didn’t come to pass.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: Most of the songs are good, not great, and there’s one big black mark on this album. Erase that track, and it’s on par with their debut.