Thursday, February 03, 2005

"Hotel California" performed by the Eagles

Quite possibly one of the greatest songs ever written, Hotel California was first released in 1976 on the Hotel California Album by the "quintessential California country rock band", the Eagles. Originally conceived by Don Felder and Glenn Frey, the lyrics of the 3 verses and choruses tell an eerie Twilight Zone story of a visitor to a roadside hotel in California where you can "check out any time you like but can never leave."
This song starts with a beautiful guitar intro that improvises on the theme and eludes to the rest of the piece. One familiar with this piece can pick the catchy theme out practically instantly after hearing only a few bars of the intro. After a brief pause in the piece, the drums come in underneath the guitar, joined shortly thereafter with the rest of the band. This motive will be repeated throughout the rest of the song. With the exception of a little guitar improve on top of the singer; there is little change in the melody and accompaniment until the final verse. Near the end of the song, the bottom drops out, emphasizing the creepy-ness of the lyrics, and crescendos dramatically to the end of the final verse. Of course the Eagles are not nearly finished, as the guitarist still has several minutes to improve a final guitar solo. This famous concluding solo expands upon the Hotel California melody and clearly concludes a song that is over seven minutes in length.
This is, hands down, one of my favorite classic rock songs. There few bands that are able to create a song that tells such a good story and have such a great timeless melody. The combination of instruments, guitar and rhythm give this piece and unmistakable Spanish Reggae Rock feel that has made this piece unique and special. Rock on Advanced Musicianship.

1 comment:

Scott Spiegelberg said...

This song is a great example of secondary dominant chords in a descending sequence.