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Friday, October 30, 2020

Eagles: The Studio Albums 1972-1979 High-Resolution Music Download Review

Eagles-The-Studio-Albums-1972-1979-download-cover

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The Collection

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Eagles began life as a four-man group in 1971 with original members, Glen Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meissner, and Bernie Leadon. For the remainder of the 1970s, and with two member changes, Joe Walsh for Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit for Randy Meissner, and the addition of Don Felder, the Eagles cranked out one monster hit after another.  The six albums included in this high resolution collection represent not only the high-water mark for this band, but some of the absolute best rock ‘n roll music ever minted. The eponymous debut album Eagles went platinum and was judged by Rolling Stone to be the best debut record of 1972. The follow-up releases, Desperado, On The Border, One of These Nights, Hotel California, and The Long Run all achieved multi-platinum status. Listening to great song after great song only reaffirms the public’s enthusiastic reception of what became one of the super-groups of its era. This Rhino/Warner Brothers reissue is now available on www.HDtracks.com as either a 96kHz/24bit or 192kHz/24bit (the version used for this review) download.

Track Listing:

Eagles           

  • Take It Easy
  • Witchy Woman
  • Chug All Night
  • Most of Us Are Sad
  • Nightingale
  • Train Leaves Here This Morning
  • Take The Devil
  • Earlybird
  • Peaceful Easy Feeling
  • Tryin’

Desperado

  • Doolin-Dalton
  • Twenty-One
  • Out of Control
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Desperado
  • Certain Kind of Fool
  • Doolin-Dalton (instrumental version)
  • Outlaw Man
  • Saturday Night
  • Blue Creek

On The Border

  • Already Gone
  • You Never Cry Like A Lover
  • Midnight Flyer
  • My Man
  • On The Border
  • James Dean
  • Ol’ 55
  • Is It True?
  • Good Day in Hell
  • The Best of My Love

One Of These Nights

  • One Of These Nights
  • Too Many Hands
  • Hollywood Waltz
  • Journey Of The Sorcerer
  • Lyin’ Eyes
  • Take It To The Limit
  • Visions
  • After The Thrill is Gone
  • I Wish You Peace

Hotel California

  • Hotel California
  • New Kid In Town
  • Life In The Fast Lane
  • Wasted Time
  • Wasted Time (Reprise)
  • Victim of Love
  • Pretty Maids All In A Row
  • Try And Love Again
  • The Last Resort

The Long Run

  • The Long Run
  • I Can’t Tell You Why
  • In The City
  • The Disco Strangler
  • King of Hollywood
  • Heartache Tonight
  • Those Shoes
  • Teenage Jail
  • The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks
  • The Sad Cafe

During a recording period that covers seven years in the studio, we get to observe the maturation of musicians who were not only terrific instrumental players but also very talented singers.  Tight harmonies, infectious rhythms, and songs with meaningful (and catchy) lyrics were the hallmark of the Eagles and accounted for their very successful run.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

take-it-easy-192-24-flac

hotel-california-192-24-flac

Working from the original analog master tapes, the Bernie Grundman Mastering studio, run by the master audio engineer himself, used the JCF Audio Latte A/D converter to bring these albums into the high-resolution domain. Given the relatively short interval between the first and last albums in this series, all originally recorded for Asylum Records, there is relative consistency in their sound that, on their respective LPs, was always quite good for its era.  Here, I am happy to report, these reissues sound at least as good as I remembered the originals to be, at least in the 192kHz/24-bit format that I heard. There is punch and swagger in the instrumentals, tighter bass lines, and considerable bloom to the vocals of each song. Listening to one of my personal favorite singles, “Desperado,” this remastered track got the synthesizer right and placement of the background voices in the right perspective behind Don Henley’s distinctive solo.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

Only relatively nondescript cover art, no liner notes.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Eagles have attained legendary status in the pantheon of pop music. Revisiting the group’s golden age recordings, this accomplishment is easy to understand. Seventeen of the fifty-eight numbers included in this set cracked the Billboard Top 40 list, an outstanding batting average. In hearing these six albums in succession, and in such good sonic shape, I was struck by the variety of music created by these artists, morphing from a California country band (“Take It Easy”) into one that became much edgier and more R&B-like (“Those Shoes”) by the end of their studio run.

The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, four years after their reunion tour, appropriately titled “Hell Freezes Over,” based on a quote attributed to leader Glenn Frey when asked how soon the band would regroup. To further quote Frey, “For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation.” Thanks to Rhino/WB and HDtracks, our vacation from these great albums, now reissued in super sound, is finally over.

Purchase on HDtracks

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I wish someone out there who was important was listening. Stop with the loudness war on these “audiophile” tracks that people pay good money for. I’d rather spend the time and money looking for original non-remaster CD pressings than spend money on these clipped messes. You have 24 bits to freakin’ work with. There should be NO clipping.

    • Hi Tim,

      While I share your concerns, I’m not sure why you chose this Eagles review to post such a comment on. These downloads, while they do have some dynamic range compression, are not peak limited in anyway, as the waveform images I’ve added to the review can show. If you’re hearing clipping, It’s not coming from these remasters.

      • Where else should I comment? HDTracks doesn’t have reviews, and I’m not going to buy flawed music just to delete it. I download a track or two from “illegal” sources first to find out if they’re worth buying. You obviously haven’t really looked at the waveforms. The first one I opened I did a peak scan on, went to that peak, and saw that there were surrounding peaks that were just chopped off. I want the non-remaster stuff with no DRC. Even the DVD-Audio of Hotel California that was recorded straight from the stereo master tape in 192/24 was clipped all to hell.

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