Happy 45th: Eagles, ON THE BORDER
45 years ago this week, The Eagles released their third studio album, an LP which provided them with their first – but certainly not their last - #1 hit single.
Produced by Glynn Johns (“You Never Cry Like a Lover” and “Best of My Love”) and Bill Szymczyk (everything else) during sessions at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles and Olympic Studios in London, ON THE BORDER was the first Eagles album to feature guitarist Don Felder in the lineup, but it might well have turned out to be a very different album if the boys in the band hadn’t grown weary of Johns’ efforts to play up the country in their rock.
Johns’ argument was that “The Who is a rock ‘n’ roll band, and you’re not that,” and you can imagine about how well that went down. After spending six increasingly long weeks working with Johns in London, The Eagles flew the coop and returned to L.A., where they joined forces with Szymczyk, and it was during those sessions that Felder was brought into the fold. Granted, he got there pretty late in the game, so he’s only on two tracks – “Good Day in Hell” and “Already Gone” – but it was enough for him to make his mark and earn formal membership in the band.
Ironically, that aforementioned #1 hit almost never got released as a single: the song in question, as you may have already suspected, was “Best of My Love,” and since it was a Glynn Johns production, there was some hesitation to play up that country-inspired side of their sound. Thankfully, alternate opinions prevailed, and the song soared to the top of the charts.
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