Best Eagles Songs: Top 5 Tracks Most Recommended By Fans

Known for their harmonies and timeless hits that are still played regularly on the radio today, the Eagles are not only a band that defined a decade but also inspired generations. Formed in 1971, the LA-based rock group took the 1970s by storm with their hit albums such as “Eagles” and “One of These Nights.” In 1976, the band would even release “Their Greatest Hits,” which became the best-selling album in the United States, with “Hotel California,” which was released that same year, coming in at number three on the list. As a whole, the band itself has sold more than 200 million records and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, with a discography that makes up not only the best Eagles songs of all time but the best songs, period. Their signature sound and guitar solos have become synonymous with the decade. Their ability to blend elements of rock, country, and folk music together created a unique sound that has stood the test of time. From their early beginnings in the 1970s to their reunion tour in the 1990s, the best Eagles songs have solidified their place in music history as tunes from one of the greatest bands of all time.

The Eagles are so popular that an entire new generation of young people are discovering their music for the first time! The oldies but goodies are getting new life thanks to social media, as almost half of music fans in the U.S. have recently discovered a song that was released over a decade ago thanks to apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. A recent survey of 2,000 US adults shows that about one in four attribute the discovery of a classic hit to a viral trend on social media. These unearthed hits include “Purple Rain” by Prince and, yes, you guessed it, The Eagles’ very own “Hotel California.” With the rise of streaming platforms and social media, it has become easier than ever to stumble upon these hidden gems and share them with others, leading to a resurgence of interest in timeless classics like, for instance, The Eagles!

It’s not only nostalgia you’ll be feeling either the next time you listen to The Eagles. A survey polling respondents on various “mood boosters” that brighten an otherwise cloudy day may have you thinking twice about what song you put on during the next rainstorm. Music also had large effects on people’s mindset, with 37 percent saying listening to their favorite album boosted their mood. The Beatles were voted the most “mood-boosting” band by participants, with The Eagles and Michael Jackson rounding out the top three. This suggests that music has a powerful ability to uplift spirits and create a sense of joy and relaxation, specifically the calming music of our youth. Overall, it’s clear that music plays a significant role in improving people’s days and contributing to their overall well-being. So the next time you’re feeling a little down in the dumps, maybe it’s time to throw on “Take It To The Limit” and kick back to the soothing voice of Randy Meisner. 

But what are some other songs you can throw on when you’re in the mood for that sweet southern California sound? Luckily, we at StudyFinds have researched across multiple expert sources to bring you the top five best Eagles songs for your listening pleasure, for the good, the bad, and all the days in between. Don’t agree with our list? We would love to hear from you in the comments down below! 

"One of These Nights" vinyl record
“One of These Nights” vinyl record (Photo by Blueee77 on Shutterstock)

 The List: Best Eagles Songs, According to Experts

 1. “Hotel California” (1976)

 Listening to “Hotel California” often feels like trying to check out of a hotel but not being able to leave, doesn’t it? With a dueling guitar solo that makes grown men weep. “Written by Don Felder, who joined the group in 1974, and Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the title track from the 1976 LP, won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1978. Some believe it’s an allegory for the afterlife. The Eagles said it was about life in Los Angeles. It’s the definition of classic rock,” raves American Songwriter.

“‘Hotel California’ began as a 4-track recording made by guitarist Don Felder at a house he was leasing on the beach in Malibu. Henley fleshed it out with Glenn Frey, whose lyrical images evoked what he later called LA’s ‘tarnished elegance.’ ‘It had the two things that are necessary for life: mystery and possibility,’ Henley said. Originally titled ‘Mexican Reggae,’ the finished product was sculpted during sessions in Miami and Los Angeles, with Felder and Joe Walsh spending three days working up their epic, climactic guitar battle. Released in December 1976, the song spent 19 weeks on the charts, grounding one of the most successful albums of all time and inspiring listeners to assume it was about everything from satanism to heroin abuse. ‘It’s just like a little movie,’ Frey said. ‘A lot of it doesn’t have to make sense,'” says Rolling Stone

“An unbeatable champion of a song, an aural movie that checks off all the boxes—evocative lyrics, social commentary, surrealistic circumstances, and that ferocious guitar jam, which resides comfortably in the pantheon of epics alongside ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Free Bird,'” writes Billboard.

 2. “Desperado” (1973)

“Desperado” is a timeless ballad that tells the story of a lonely outlaw who finds himself trapped in a life of crime and regret. With hauntingly beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics, the song paints a vivid picture of a man’s struggles. “Depicting an aging cowboy living life on the plains, the lyrics delve into the loneliness of such a life that stems from the pursuit of money rather than the pursuit of love. Interestingly, while ‘Desperado’ has become one of the most well-known Eagles songs over the years, it never saw release as a single. The power ballad was instead played at nearly every Eagles concert, often as the closing song, and it has earned itself a special place in the hearts of fans,” notes Extra Chill.

“A one-topic expansion of everything they tried to do on their eponymous debut, the Old West-themed ‘Desperado’ is an often-overlooked project that just gets better with age. Of course, such an ambitious concept didn’t exactly equal chart success. In fact, this album had no hits, despite later radio play for its title track and ‘Tequila Sunrise.’ Then there’s the back cover, which shows producer Glyn Johns towering over our tied-up outlaws. That image would prove to be all too metaphorical. As satisfying as ‘Desperado,’ no doubt, was, the band quickly came to feel trapped in its cowboy clothes,” writes UCR.

“‘Desperado’ was also one of the first songs Henley and Frey penned as a songwriting duo. The pair had huddled around an upright piano in Henley’s starkly furnished Laurel Canyon house a few days after they recorded their debut LP. Henley showed Frey a melody and chord progression he’d been toying with since around 1968. On the advice of Jackson Browne, they gave the tune a Western theme and went on to record it with the London Symphony Orchestra. ‘I was terrified,’ Henley recalled. It became a landmark country-rock ballad, covered by Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, and Miranda Lambert. ‘I brought Don ideas and a lot of opinions; he brought me poetry,’ Frey once said. ‘We were a good team,'” reports Rolling Stone.

 3. “Take It Easy” (1972)

Fewer songs capture the sound of The Eagle’s California rock than “Take It Easy.” With its catchy guitar riffs and heartfelt lyrics, the song tells the story of a man searching for peace and simplicity in the fast-paced world of Los Angeles. “For a kid growing up in the early ’70s, everything that was coming out on the news seemed scary. The rock scene needed a song that said things were going to be OK, and the Eagles delivered on ‘Take It Easy.’ Although the Eagles had a long road ahead of them, this is the one song that stayed in their set all the way through to the end of their time together. Even outside of the ’70s connotation, the guitar tone of this song captures the image of driving down an endless highway in an eternal summer,” writes Far Out.

“This was the Eagles’ first ever single and began life as a song by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne before Glenn Frey offered to finish the song for him. Browne later said: ‘After a couple of times when I declined to have him finish my song, I said, ‘All right.’ I finally thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Go ahead and finish it. Do it.’ And he finished it in spectacular fashion. And, what’s more, arranged it in a way that was far superior to what I had written,” adds Smooth Radio.

“The song that became the Eagles’ national anthem was written by Jackson Browne on a road trip that took him through Utah and Arizona. He showed a rough draft to his upstairs neighbor, Frey, who immediately recognized its potential. Jackson Browne let Frey take it to the Eagles. From its wind-in-your-sails intro to its catchphrase title, the Eagles’ first Top 20 hit embodied the band’s mellow vibe,” describes Rolling Stone.

 4. “One of These Nights” (1975)

 Another iconic ballad by the rock band comes in the form of “One of These Nights.” Released in 1975, the track takes listeners on a journey through a passionate and intense love affair that eventually meets its end. “This song was the Eagles’ second US number-one single, taken from their fourth album of the same name. The song was an attempt by the band to write something different from the country-rock and ballad songs they had hit with before. Don Henley said, ‘We like to be a nice little country-rock band from Los Angeles … about half the time.’ Glenn Frey also said that the song is about putting things off: ‘We’ve all said, One of these nights I’m going to do something—get that girl, make that money, find that house. We all have our dreams—a vision we hope will come true someday. When that someday will come is up to each of us,'” explains SmoothRadio.

“For any other band, this would be a career-defining moment. But the Eagles’ shift away from their rootsy beginnings—confirmed here but still incomplete—led to the departure of founding member Bernie Leadon. Randy Meisner, who voiced ‘Take It to the Limit,’ would soon depart, too. All of that too often relegates ‘One of These Nights’ to a sort of preamble status. But that’s only because we now know what came next in ‘Hotel California.’ It’s a shame because these remain some of the Eagles’ best-realized songs,” reports UCR.

“‘One of These Nights’ is the title track from the Eagles’ One of These Nights’ album. The song became their second single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart after ‘Best of My Love’ and also helped propel the album to number one. The single version was shortened from the album version of the song, removing most of the song’s intro and most of its fade-out as well. Henley is the lead vocalist on the verses, while Randy Meisner sings high harmony on the refrain,” describes Acoustic World.

 5. “Lyin’ Eyes” (1975)

“Lyin’ Eyes” is a timeless classic that paints a vivid portrait of an unhappy woman. Through masterful harmonies, the song is an unforgettable anthem for anyone who has experienced the pain of infidelity. “‘Lyin’ Eyes’ is a classic country rock song from the Eagles’ 1975 album ‘One of These Nights’. The song features a memorable melody, soulful harmonies, and a catchy chorus, creating a sense of wistful nostalgia. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage but dreams of escape—a theme that resonated with audiences and helped establish the Eagles as one of the most popular and enduring bands of the 1970s,” notes SingersRoom.

“‘One of These Nights’ was the Eagles’ fourth studio album released in 1975 that contained ‘Lyin’ Eyes,’ which was co-written by Frey and Henley, ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ is a song about an extramarital affair that hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It won a Grammy Award in 1975 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, with the lead being sung by Frey and the rest of the band harmonizing beautifully on the chorus,” says Blues Rock Review.

“The title and idea for this song came about when Glenn Frey and Don Henley were in their favorite Los Angeles restaurant, Dan Tana’s, and they started talking about beautiful women who were cheating on their husbands at the venue. They apparently saw a young woman with a fat and much older wealthy man, and Frey said: ‘She can’t even hide those lyin’ eyes,'” concludes Smooth Radio.

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 Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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