First of all, they are still the highest selling band in U.S. history. Their greatest hits album from 1971 – 1975, became the number one selling album in the 20th century. They constantly put out hit songs like: Desperado, Evil Woman, Heartache Tonight, Hotel California, I Can’t Tell You Why, Lying Eyes, New Kid in Town, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Witchy Woman, Tequila Sunrise, etc. They performed many tours where they had large venues with sold-out crowds.
The Eagles were blessed with some of the greatest musicians, singers, and songwriters of all time including Don Henley, Glenn Frye, and Joe Walsh, all of which have made it into various Halls of Fame. Henley and Frye were members of Linda Ronstadt’s band before leaving on their own to start a group. Instead of her being bitter, she respected them enough to where she helped them get started.
What I find so interesting about the success of the group is that when they were trying to break into the business they had a major challenge with record producers because although they loved the band’s sound they didn’t have a clue whether there was an audience for their new style of music which was soft rock. At the time classic rock groups were hot like Aerosmith, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, etc.
Asylum Records was a new company at the same time the Eagles came together (1971), and they took a chance and signed them which ended up being a phenomenal move on their part. Bob Dylan and Linda Ronstadt also joined Asylum Records around the same time and their record sales went through the roof with all of these great artists. It was the best record label launch in the history of the business.
There are several stories about where the band’s name came from but the most common is that some of the band members (they didn’t have a name yet), went to the desert and got high on Peyote. A large Eagle swept down towards them and one of the guys yelled: Eagle! The name stuck.
Don Henley is the only original member of the Eagles who is still alive all the other men died at early ages from various illnesses. They were such an awesome band with a sound like no other. I think it’s fantastic that after 40 years of them producing their music that I still listen to the group all the time on my IPod. I guess their legacy speaks for itself.