As the list of Eagles Songs Ranked Worst to Best shows, they made their legend in a veritable blink of an eye. There have been only seven studio albums and less than 90 songs. Only one of those studio efforts, 2007's Long Road Out of Eden, arrived outside of a tight seven-year span in the '70s that comprises the Eagles' classic era.

Glenn Frey and Don Henley were the constants, even as Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon and Timothy B. Schmit followed Randy Meisner. Don Felder made key contributions but only over the course of a similarly compact three album swing in the late '70s – with additional turns on 1974's On the Border and 1994's appropriately titled reunion record, Hell Freezes Over.

That didn't stop the Eagles' music from changing and growing, even on such a short timeline. Rootsy early sounds gave way to more straightforward rock and R&B influences. Their songs sorted through the collective hangover following the '60s, explored the contours of modern love and took up environmental causes. They revived a holiday classic and still found time for a cowboy-themed playdate along the way.

We focused on full-fledged songs, not interludes or box-set extras. So, "I Dreamed There Was No War," a short Frey instrumental from Long Road Out of Eden is included, because it stood on its own. Reprises and repeated instrumental elements from 1973's Desperado and 1976's Hotel California were left off.

See where the rest ended up in the below list of Eagles Songs Ranked Worst to Best.

84. "I Wish You Peace"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

Away from Eagles, Leadon has been a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. So you might have expected one of his last moments with Eagles to be representative of that rootsy history. Instead, Leadon shared writing duties on this slow-death elegy with live-in girlfriend Patti Davis – daughter of future President Ronald Reagan, who had all but disowned her for cohabitating with the Eagles cofounder. Henley, and he was being kind, dismissed the results as "smarmy cocktail music."

83. "The Disco Strangler"
From: The Long Run (1979)

Co-credited to Frey, Henley and Don Felder, this one sounds like Henley at his most dour – only this time with a disco bass line! As Henley uses his gravelly tenor to once again skewer people who would dare go out to have a good time, this painfully obvious theme can only settle into an unmusical ever-revolving riff. "The Disco Strangler" might have driven Eagles fans to their own murderous deeds had it not mercifully started to fade at about the 2:30 mark.

82. "Born to Boogie"
From: Selected Works: 1972–1999 (2000)
The Eagles actually covered Hank Williams Jr. Don't ask.

81. "I Love to Watch a Woman Dance"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

This mawkish Larry John McNally track had been floating about since the Eagles first got together in advance of 1994's Hell Freezes Over. By the time they finally got around to recording it, however, Henley had already released a cover of McNally's "For My Wedding" on his 2000 solo album Inside Job – making it clear that this was really just a rewrite of the same tune. McNally also composed Rod Stewart's Top 10 1990 hit "The Motown Song," which sounds like neither of those other tracks.

80. "Teenage Jail"
From: The Long Run (1979)

Irritating musically, unfocused lyrically and featuring a squiggly synthesizer solo(!) by Glenn Frey, this somehow ended up as the B-side to his galloping chart-topper "Heartache Tonight." That's the definition of Eagles yin and Eagles yang. It's still difficult to believe that J.D. Souther — the easygoing country-rocker who helped compose signature Eagles songs like "Best of My Love," "Victim of Love" and "New Kid in Town" — was involved with such a plodding, flaccid throwaway.

79. "Nightingale"
From: Eagles (1972)

This was never supposed to be on the album, but Asylum label head David Geffen wanted one more Don Henley vocal. All they had left over, however, was a poor attempt at this Jackson Browne track. "Although I agreed that another song from Henley would be great," producer Glyn Johns said in his 2014 memoir Sound Man, "it had not worked out. The performance of the song by the band never came close to being good enough after several attempts. So, I had little faith in trying again." Undeterred, Geffen then moved to set up his own post-production session. So Johns quickly finished "Nightingale," and it sounds just like that – a slapped-together also-ran.

78. "Get Over It"
From: Hell Freezes Over (1994)

Seemingly prone to bad moods, Henley returned to Eagles with a glum song that draws out the worst of those tendencies. Even a scalding turn on the slide from Joe Walsh can't get things back on track as Henley un-ironically calls out others for "all this bitching, moaning, pitching a fit." Still, it had been almost 15 years since the Eagles had last released a single, so "Get Over It" reached the Top 40 anyway.

77. "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks"
From: The Long Run (1979)

Clearly exhausted, both creatively and spiritually, Henley did what many people do: He got nostalgic. In this case, it was for the college fraternity-party circuit in Austin, where Henley's pre-Eagles band Shiloh used to play on weekends before he found fame. But too much had changed in the interim. So, "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks" shares the style – but not the attitude, wit, gumption, looseness or humor – of the old '60s frat-rock band ? and the Mysterians.

76. "Chug All Night"
From: Eagles (1972)

Glenn Frey once told Cameron Crowe that "the only difference between boring and laid-back is a million dollars." At this point, unfortunately, Eagles were only thousand-aires. In keeping, "Chug All Night" features a snoozy riff to go with an even snoozier theme. "And I've been meaning to tell you, baby," Frey sings, "that it makes no sense." He has a point.

75. "Frail Grasp of the Big Picture"
From: The Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

For some reason, Eagles decided to stir in many of the best-forgotten elements (okay, let's just say it: synths) from their respective '80s-era solo careers late in this two-disc set. Henley's "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture" goes one better, offering a media-hating lyric from I Can't Stand Still to go with the sleek keyboards from Building the Perfect Beast. This heaping helping of Henley's world-weary condescension is dragged the rest of the way down by a dreary groove that sounds like off-brand Steely Dan.

74. "On the Border"
From: (1974)

On the Border arrived during Eagles' transition from roots to rock, personified by the mid-sessions exit of early producer Glyn Johns. (He oversaw only "You Never Cry Like a Lover" and "Best of My Love," though the latter actually became the first of the band's five chart toppers.) The title track illustrated the difficulty they initially had in toughening up. A clumsy attempt at dunking on recently resigned President Richard Nixon, "On the Border" isn't as sharp as it needs to be lyrically – or musically. Were they actually trying for a Temptations vibe?

73. "Outlaw Man"
From: Desperado (1973)

This David Blue update represents the moment where they took this LP's rather dubious cowboy link a boot length too far. Henley subsequently admitted that "the metaphor was probably a little bullshit." After all, "we were in L.A. staying up all night, smoking dope, living the California life."

72. "Earlybird"
From: Eagles (1972)

There's only so much Bernie Leadon's fleet fingers on the banjo can cover. The initial tweeting sound effect is both too on-the-nose and quite annoying. It doesn't get any better, with a lyric as predictable as it is facile. Then the tweeting returns.

71. "Midnight Flyer"
From: On the Border (1974)

Randy Meisner is certainly game for this bluegrass-y train-themed Paul Craft cover, but "Midnight Flyer" always felt like it was dropped in from another album. Maybe, considering the arrival of Don Felder elsewhere, from another planet.

70. "Busy Being Fabulous"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

In case you were wondering, Don Henley is still way too good for his girl.

69. "You Never Cry Like a Lover"
From: On the Border (1974)

Really, he always was, you know?

68. "Fast Company"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Same. Except in falsetto.

67. "My Man"
From: On the Border (1974)

Bernie Leadon was the most talented instrumentalist the Eagles ever had. As a songwriter, though, not so much.

66. "I Dreamed There Was No War"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

A gorgeous interlude from Frey, but still ... really only an interlude.

65. "What Do I Do with My Heart"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Glenn Frey could do this kind of quasi-R&B ballad in his sleep – and, in this case, he might actually have been.

64. "Certain Kind of Fool"
From: Desperado (1973)

Gosh, Randy Meisner just sings the hell out of this song. Too bad it's only a half-drawn study of a character who doesn't seem all that interesting in the first place.

63. "It's Your World Now"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

The sentiment became sadly appropriate in the wake of Frey's sudden death, but its impact will always be governed by anyone's willingness to endure a musical setting best described as "family-restaurant mariachi band."

62. "No More Walks in the Wood"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

A vocal showcase in the style of "Seven Bridges Road," but this innocuous cousin lacks Steve Young's distinctive lyrical imagery.

61. "Visions"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

Written by Don Felder with an assist from Henley, this riffy, Southern rock-informed track is the only Eagles song to feature Felder on lead vocals. He'll never be confused with the group's better-known singers, but thankfully Felder's scorching runs on his main instrument provide plenty of gritty distractions.

60. "You Are Not Alone"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

The pretty, orchestrated "You Are Not Alone" presupposed Frey's similarly lightweight songbook turn on 2012's After Hours.

59. "Most of Us Are Sad"
From: Eagles (1972)

Frey gave this to Meisner to sing, but – despite the crushing title – "Most of Us Are Sad" just doesn't ache enough for suit his deeply emotional ballad approach at the mic.

58. "Twenty-One"
From: Desperado (1973)

Lyrically, "Twenty-One" isn't objectively better than "My Man." But Leadon's picking-and-grinning approach is just contagiously fun.

57. "Guilty of the Crime"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

There was typically more country than rock on the Eagles' final studio effort, save for notable examples like this one. Unfortunately, Joe Walsh disappears into a rather faceless song cowritten by Frankie Miller and the late Jerry Lynn Williams, the latter of whom composed a bunch of boring songs for Eric Clapton, too.

56. "Take the Devil"
From: Eagles (1972)

Meisner's first original composition for Eagles was the dirge-y, hookless "Take the Devil," showing that he really didn't know how to showcase his best vocal attribute either. Still, Frey's crunchy closing guitar solo hints at bigger, often unrecognized successes to come.

55. "I Don't Want to Hear Any More"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Paul Carrack contributes another showcase for Timothy B. Schmit, but the sweetly forgettable "I Don't Want to Hear Any More" is no "Love Will Keep Us Alive."

54. "Somebody"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Jack Tempchin co-composes another showcase for Glenn Frey, but "Somebody" has neither the rootsy gravitas of "Peaceful Easy Feeling" nor the rumbling attitude of "Already Gone."

53. "The Girl From Yesterday"
From: Hell Freezes Over (1994)

On the other hand, Frey and Tempchin's "Girl From Yesterday" manages a passable approximation of the clip-clop country lament from "Lyin' Eyes," updated for the jet-set era.

52. "Journey of the Sorcerer"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

This Leadon instrumental begins as a delicately conveyed aside before taking on epic proportions with the arrival of a surging orchestra and featured violinist David Bromberg.

51. "Is It True?"
From: On the Border (1974)

Randy Meisner's later growth as a songwriter is one of the Eagles' intriguing secondary storylines. "Is It True?" was the first hint that he could more fully emerge from behind the long shadows of Frey and Henley, as Meisner offered a lovelorn, nearly complete ballad. He left in an unfortunate line about chainsaws during the middle eight, but Frey saves things with another sharply drawn turn on lead guitar.

50. "Hole in the World"
From: The Very Best Of (2003)

The Eagles respond to the 9/11 attacks with an appropriate message of remembrance. Oddly, however, the hole in this song doesn't come courtesy of the recently departed Don Felder but in the form of a mechanized cadence where Don Henley's drums should have been.

49. "Good Day in Hell"
From: On the Border (1974)

A key moment in Eagles history arrives, as Felder is asked to become a sessions guest on slide guitar for this Frey-sung album cut. After this sizzling, Allman Brothers-inspired performance – in fact, the very next day – Felder was asked to join the Eagles.

48. "Out of Control"
From: Desperado (1973)

The Eagles' shift away from their country influences didn't come out of the blue. The rocked-out "Out of Control" comes smashing through the saloon doors just three songs into Desperado, even though this album defined their rootsy first era.

47. "Long Road Out of Eden"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Songwriters Henley, Frey and Schmit try for a grandiose statement, in the style of the title track from Hotel California, and the Eagles almost get there musically. They just don't have as much to work with narratively.

46. "Too Many Hands"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

Meisner cowrote this smart twist on an old religious trope with Felder, who'd just become an official member. In keeping with Felder's arrival, "Too Many Hands" also takes one of the final long strides away from the pastoral sounds of their earlier albums. Felder tangles with Frey on a dueling guitar-dominated outro, while Henley happily bangs away on the tabla.

45. "Do Something"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Schmit's best showing on the Eagles' final album is a steel-tinged story song with a defeated sensibility that would have fit in nicely among the deepest sighs on The Long Run.

44. "Tryin'"
From: Eagles (1972)

Just because Randy Meisner had such facility with heartsick balladry doesn't mean he couldn't catch a groove. His original "Tryin'" finally gave Meisner a worthy piece of material, but not until their debut album's very last moments.

43. "Hollywood Waltz"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

Eagles were steaming toward a new rock-focused approach, but this Bernie Leadon cowrite showed they hadn't yet completely discarded the band's dusty-booted original sound – and to great effect. Leadon's everywhere on this track, plucking away on the mandolin when he's not adding a ruminative pedal-steel whine.

42. "Last Good Time in Town"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2006)

Joe Walsh wasn't much of a presence on Eagles' long-awaited follow up to 1979's The Long Run, singing on just two tracks. This is actually his only credited cowrite; Walsh contributed the verses while longtime Eagles collaborator J.D. Souther crafted the chorus. Still, "Last Good Time in Town" – with its winking tributes to the joys of home life after giving up the high life – sounds 100 percent Walsh.

41. "Business as Usual"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

Henley finally rediscovers the right balance of anger and introspection, but this deep into a needlessly long double-album slog, many fans might have already wandered off.

40. "King of Hollywood"
From: The Long Run (1979)

There's a welcome echo of Walter Becker here, both in the low-voiced foreboding and the track's Los Angeles environs – but without the perverse sense of humor, of course. It all devolves into another great guitar workout.

39. "Center of the Universe"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

A quietly effective ballad, as flaxen Eagles harmonies elevate Henley's sense of country-road contentment.

38. "Ol' '55"
From: On the Border (1974)

Sure, the Eagles polish the edges off the opening track from Tom Waits' 1973 debut album Closing Time. But along the way they uncover a heart-filling chorus buried amid his scuffed-up vagabond sensibility.

37. "Train Leaves Here This Morning"
From: Eagles (1972)

This track eventually became something of a signature moment for Bernie Leadon, who was revisiting a song he cowrote with Byrds cofounder Gene Clark for 1968's terrific but commercially disappointing Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark. By the time Leadon became part of Eagles' first lineup, after a similarly ignored detour in Flying Burrito Brothers, country-rock was no longer the outlier it had once been – and "Train Leaves Here This Morning" was born anew.

36. "Waiting in the Weeds"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

It's easy to forget, amid all of the political harangues or complaints about old girlfriends, but nobody does worn-down middle-aged melancholy as well as Don Henley.

35. "Doolin-Dalton"
From: Desperado (1973)

"Doolin-Dalton" was a great scene setter. Maybe too great. They ended up taking the iffy Old West subject too far, while returning to this song's musical theme an utterly unneeded number of times – including both an instrumental version and an album-closing reprise.

34. "No More Cloudy Days"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

With Frey gone, there's just something indescribably sad about "No More Cloudy Days."

33. "Love Will Keep Us Alive"
From: Hell Freezes Over (1994)

This song grew out of a shelved late-'80s supergroup featuring then-former Eagles Timothy B. Schmit and Don Felder, along with Jim Capaldi (Traffic), Paul Carrack (Squeeze, Mike + the Mechanics) and Max Carl (38 Special, Grand Funk Railroad). Schmit revived the idea when the Eagles mounted a surprising comeback.

32. "How Long"
From: Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

"How Long" was perhaps the closest Long Road Out of Eden got to replicating the heft and feel of their best earlier stuff. Frey and Henley welcome back J.D. Souther, one of the first people Frey met after he left Detroit for California, then take turns on the lead vocal. Along the way, everything old starts to feel new again. But not too old: They keep the band's harder-edged Felder-era attitude, even though he was long gone by then.

31. "Bitter Creek"
From: Desperado (1973)

Bernie Leadon wrote and sang this album's final original, before the "Doolin-Dalton"/"Desperado" reprise closes out Desperado. The track begins just as you'd expect from the Eagles' stalwart traditionalist: reserved country rock – maybe too reserved. But then something happens about three minutes in, when the rest of the group joins Leadon's wordless harmonizing on the outro. "Bitter Creek" takes flight.

30. "After the Thrill Is Gone"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

Taking a rueful look back at the wreckage a lost relationship was already becoming old hat for Frey and Henley, even this early on, and that's likely why "After the Thrill Is Gone" hasn't gained wider attention. This tucked-away gem is made complete by Felder's solo, which adds a touch of simmering anger.

29. "Please Come Home for Christmas"
From: 1978 single

Sessions for the follow-up to Hotel California were dragging on, and executives at Asylum had grown concerned. Everybody needed a break. Henley suggested the recently reformulated Eagles cover an old Charles Brown song he remembered as a kid growing up in east Texas. "Please Come Home for Christmas" served as an official introduction to Schmit, who replaced Meisner after the Eagles' most recent tour completed. It also broke the creative logjam: They completed The Long Run mere months after this holiday song hit.

28. "Learn to Be Still"
From: Hell Freezes Over (1994)

"Learn to Be Still" was only released after three other Hell Freezes Over tracks, including the humorless lead-off single "Get Over It." That's probably why Henley's moving ballad about centering yourself seems to have been largely forgotten. Still, this message resonates across the ages, just as it presumably did back then for Henley's restless cohort Joe Walsh. He memorably slipped into addiction during the group's lengthy hiatus between 1980-94. So, when former Eagles bandmates came calling about a reunion, they had one caveat: He had to get sober. It saved Walsh.

27. "James Dean"
From: On the Border (1974)

Eagles originally worked up an early version of "James Dean" during sessions for Desperado before fully committing to a cowboy narrative. Held over for the follow-up, "James Dean" helped introduce fans to their muscular new frame of mind. But only after driving a wedge between the band and longtime producer Glyn Johns, who liked their country-rock vibe just fine. They fired Johns, bringing in the more amendable Bill Szymczyk – and he oversaw three more chart-topping Eagles albums.

26. "Seven Bridges Road"
From: Eagles Live (1980)

The band's gorgeous harmonies on "Seven Bridges Road" belied what was really going on behind the scenes. Recorded live just days before their breakup, this tribute to an old Alabama country route written by singer-songwriter Steve Young became the Eagles' final charting single until an unlikely early-'90s reunion. The template for their work was a remarkably similar 1973 version by Iain Matthews that was produced by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.

25. "I Can't Tell You Why"
From: The Long Run (1979)

Poor Timothy B. Schmit. The first Eagles song to feature Meisner's replacement was also the first to be completed for The Long Run. Then it became a very long run indeed, as sessions dragged on from March 1978 through September 1979. "I Can't Tell You Why," with one of Frey's most expressive guitar solos, wasn't released as the LP's third single until February 1980. By July, Eagles were in the midst of a lengthy hiatus.

24. "Victim of Love"
From: Hotel California (1976)

"Victim of Love" begins with a stuttering, snarling guitar, then paints a dim portrait of this desperate search for late-night companionship amid of a series of nasty Felder retorts. The guitarist also cowrote the track, though it was sung by Henley.

23. "Wasted Time"
From: Hotel California (1976)

Henley sang it, but "Wasted Time" really speaks to Frey's passion for R&B music – in this case, '70s-era Philly soul. They added some distinctly un-country rock-like strings, and then Frey – who once described Henley as "our Teddy Pendergrass" – left his longtime bandmate to his own vocal devices. "You're not going to find that track on a Crosby, Stills & Nash record or Beach Boys record," Frey added. "Don's singing abilities stretched so many of our boundaries. He could sing the phone book. It didn't matter."

22. "In the City"
From: The Long Run (1979)
Joe Walsh had already released his own version of "In the City," as part of the soundtrack to 1979's cult classic The Warriors, when Eagles approached him about rerecording the song for their long-delayed new album. Musically, the approach was lighter but largely the same; the major difference is their gorgeous vocal blend. Later, after "In the City" had become a live and radio staple, Eagles added a memorable reference to the Beatles' "Day Tripper" onstage.

21. "Those Shoes"
From: The Long Run (1979)
The musical relationship between Don Felder and Joe Walsh, as both foils and friends, helped define the group's sound in the late '70s. Together, they give this Henley-sung track a steely menace. Felder cowrote "Those Shoes" and impressively mixes it up with Walsh during one of the decade's most memorable talk-box street fights – and that's saying something.

20. "Peaceful Easy Feeling"
From: Eagles (1972)

Eagles had been together just a little more than a week when Frey brought in this song from buddy Jack Tempchin. Written off and on while Tempchin was girl watching around his hometown of San Diego, the third single from their debut is brought to life through sunlit backing vocals from Leadon and Meisner. Its timeless message about fate did the rest: "Part of the idea is when you give up looking for something, a lot of times that's when you find it," Tempchin told Culture Sonar. "Your looking was getting in the way."

19. "Saturday Night"
From: Desperado (1973)

A true band composition, "Saturday Night" grew out of a stray thought Meisner had about growing up. "I was sitting there one night, and I came up with the line 'What ever happened to Saturday night?'" Meisner later remembered. "When I was younger, I would be out partying and with girls and having fun. And that's what it was about: Whatever happened to it? And the answer was, 'You're older now.'" This moment of introspection, delicately led along by Leadon's mandolin, grounds an album that might have otherwise gotten bogged down in its Big Concept.

18. "Tequila Sunrise"
From: Desperado (1973)

One of the first songs Henley ever wrote with Frey almost didn't happen. "I think he was ambivalent about it because he thought that it was a bit too obvious or too much of a cliche because of the drink that was so popular then," Henley said in the liner notes for The Very Best Of. "I said, 'No, look at it from a different point of view. You've been drinking straight tequila all night and the sun is coming up!' It turned out to be a really great song." Henley admitted that the reference to a "shot of courage" came from real life: They'd often have a couple of drinks before working up the nerve to approach women back then.

17. "Witchy Woman"
From: Eagles (1972)

Henley's only songwriting credit on the Eagles' first album arrived courtesy of a half-finished song Leadon had been working on since his days with the Flying Burrito Brothers. "[Leadon] came over one day and started playing this strange, minor-key riff that sounded sort of like a Hollywood movie version of Indian music — you know, the kind of stuff they play when the Indians ride up on the ridge while the wagon train passes below," Henley later told Cameron Crowe. "It had a haunting quality, and I thought it was interesting, so we put a rough version of it down on a cassette tape." Frey completed things with another stand-out guitar solo.

16. "The Last Resort"
From: Hotel California (1976)

Henley would explicitly tie "The Last Resort" to his growing activism over environmental issues, and there is certainly plenty of righteous anger directly relating to our poor stewardship. But, in context, this always felt like something more than another of his political screeds. Instead, an album defined by empty dissolution ends the only way it could: with a lonesome figure, surrounded by wreckage of his own making.

15. "New Kid in Town"
From: Hotel California (1976)

"New Kid in Town" returned to the issue of aging, but ended up revealing deeper worries surrounding the Eagles. "We were already chronicling our own demise," Henley said in the liner notes to The Very Best Of. "We were basically saying, 'Look, we know we're red hot now, but we also know that somebody's going to come along and replace us – both in music and in love.'" Frey and Henley helped complete an idea brought to the band by J.D. Souther. When they were finished, Eagles had their third chart-topping smash.

14. "Desperado"
From: Desperado (1973)
The title song for this Old West-themed project had been rattling around in Henley's head since at least 1968, but Frey was the main proponent of the larger rockers-as-cowboy-outlaws concept. The objective, it seemed, was to make a grand statement so that the Eagles might be taken more seriously. They read books about tumbleweed antiheroes like Bill Dalton, plugged in some interludes and then updated "Desperado" to make it all fit. Initially, however, the song had what would have been a truly tragic astrological bent. Frey remembered Henley's original lyric as, "Leo, my God, why don't you come to your senses?" Glad the Eagles did.

13. "Life in the Fast Lane"
From: Hotel California (1976)

Walsh was fooling around with this riff in a loose rehearsal moment when the others took notice. Henley asked, "What the hell is that? We've got to figure out to make a song out of that." Then, some time later, Frey was barreling down the Santa Monica highway with a drug dealer he called "the Count." "I was riding shotgun in a Corvette on the way to a poker game. The next thing I knew we’re going about 90 miles an hour," Frey later remembered. "I say, 'Hey, man, what are you doing?' And he looked at me and he grinned, and he goes, 'Life in the fast lane!'" Released as the final single from Hotel California, the results shot to No. 11.

12. "Lyin' Eyes"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

This crossover hit was written in a rush of inspiration over just two days. Yet, every element of this wry narrative about a gold digger's empty life unfolds with a writerly knack for detail. Glenn Frey shifts points of view, never wasting a word, as he fills in the blanks around a real-life encounter he had while with Don Henley at their favorite '70s-era watering hole, Dan Tana's. They rushed back home, working to get every word just right before heading directly into the studio, where the Eagles displayed a similar meticulousness: The song's deeply resonant opening line – "City girls just seem to find out early" – actually represents six different tries.

11. "The Sad Cafe"
From: The Long Run (1979)

Despite reloading with Timothy B. Schmit, a malaise had clearly crept in. The Long Run was dotted with halfhearted efforts before the Eagles finally righted things with the album-closing, very cinematic "The Sad Cafe." In many ways, this song sets a template for Don Henley's subsequent solo career, as he offers a darkly ruminative examination of love lost. But it wouldn't have been such a fitting finale without Don Felder's elegiac, utterly virtuosic turn on guitar.

10. "Already Gone"
From: On the Border (1974)

You could partly blame "Locomotive Breath" for the Eagles' split with Glyn Johns while recording this album. "We're taking a beating opening for Jethro Tull," Frey said in 1973: Rock at the Crossroads, "and our feeling was, 'We gotta have some kick-ass songs.'" Eagles started with "Already Gone," as the band and new producer Bill Szymczyk shifted to the Record Plant in Los Angeles. Newly added guitarist Don Felder then brought a sharp edge to the session. "The great thing for me about ["Already Gone"] is that I left England behind," Frey told Cameron Crowe, "and had a much more positive energy in the studio."

9. "Pretty Maids All in a Row"
From: Hotel California (1976)

The Eagles completed their shift from shaggy roots band to full-on rockers as Walsh took over for Leadon. Nobody else could have come up with the riff for "Life in the Fast Lane," Walsh's other major contribution to Hotel California. That said, "Pretty Maids All in a Row" couldn't have been more different. An emotional meditation on regret, the song catches a different gear when his new bandmates join the vocal finale – but not before Walsh tears off a mournful slide solo. Rock's clown prince has rarely been more revealing.

8. "Heartache Tonight"
From: The Long Run (1979)

This took forever to finish, like everything else on The Long Run. Frey's initial inspiration was a straightforward love of old Sam Cooke records, played out as a loose jam with J.D. Souther. But then Frey got stuck. He ran it by Bob Seger, who'd originally taken Frey under his wing as a teen. Henley was involved, too. Together, they'd begun piecing together a fun-sounding Grammy winner. Something, however, was still missing. That's when Seger blurted out the title line. "Heartache Tonight" went on to become the Eagles' final No. 1 single.

7. "Try and Love Again"
From: Hotel California (1976)

Some days, this tucked-away album cut feels like the best song on the Eagles' most celebrated studio project. A soaring anthem about believing against all odds, "Try and Love Again" had an appropriate theme for the often-forgotten Randy Meisner. Ultimately, however, he couldn't live up to that promise. This unfortunately became Meisner's final cowriting credit – and his final lead vocal – with the group he cofounded.

6. "The Long Run"
From: The Long Run (1979)

Eagles had scaled the mountain top, reaching an era-defining plateau with Hotel California. There was, really, nowhere to go but down. Still, as the title track from the band's final classic-era album makes clear, they intended to go down swinging. "Disco had exploded, and punk was on the rise," Henley told Rolling Stone in 2016. "We were beginning to see press articles about how we were passe. Those kind of jabs were part of the inspiration for the song The Long Run: Who is gonna make it? We'll find out in the long run.'" Of course, the group promptly imploded. But their legacy only grew, eventually leading the Eagles back for an improbable '90s-era reunion.

5. "Best of My Love"
From: On the Border (1974)

"Best of My Love" is remembered today as the Eagles' breakthrough single, but there was a bit of controversy involved with reaching that goal. Seems the band's label shortened the song for airplay — without clearing anything beforehand. It went from 4:34 on 1974's On the Border to 3:25 on the AM radio edit, while becoming the first of five '70s-era chart-toppers for the Eagles. That so infuriated everyone that the band came up with an ingenious plan, hacking a piece out of a 45-single covered in gold paint then presenting it to the bosses at the Asylum Records offices. Message received.

4. "Take It to the Limit"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

As this became Eagles' highest charting single yet, Meisner found himself under crushing pressure to hit the song's heart-rending high note onstage night after night. Panic apparently began to creep in, and he asked that the song – despite its massive popularity – be removed from the band's sets. When the rest of the Eagles refused, Meisner quit. The vocal was first taken over by Frey, then, after Frey's death, by Vince Gill.

3. "One of These Nights"
From: One of These Nights (1975)

The goal was to break the ballad template, stirring in contemporary R&B sounds and a sneaky lyric that pulls no punches. Everything was coming together for Frey and Henley, who were quickly emerging as the group's undisputed coleaders. Still, newcomer Don Felder played a huge role in helping the Eagles shed their country-rock pretensions. He arranged the unforgettable bass and guitar signature for "One of These Nights," and his searing solo then neatly underscores this chart-topping song's bitter sense of missed opportunities.

2. "Take It Easy"
From: Eagles (1972)

The opening track on the Eagles' first album perfectly sums up their early country-rock aesthetic, so much so that Glenn Frey said its first few jangly guitar strums "felt like an announcement, 'And now ... the Eagles.'" The impetus for "Take It Easy," however, came from elsewhere: Jackson Browne, a then-unknown singer-songwriter who lived next door to Frey, couldn't finish a new song. "Take It Easy" kept stopping cold on the second verse after "Well, I'm a-standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona." Then Frey had an idea. Today, you'll find a statue commemorating the next line in Winslow, paired with a painting of a girl in a flatbed Ford.

1. "Hotel California"
From: Hotel California (1976)

Turns out this song's off-the-cuff brilliance wasn't so off-the-cuff, after all. The concluding twin-guitar solo on "Hotel California" has moved into classic-rock lore, representing the most famous in a series of fiery collaborations between Don Felder and recently installed new member Joe Walsh. But it wasn't improvised at all. Instead, the completed Eagles song mirrors — almost note for note, at Henley's insistence — the original instrumental demo that Felder created in his Los Angeles home. A call to Felder's housekeeper led to a frantic search through all of his cassettes. She then put the found tape into a boombox and played it through the phone so Walsh and Felder could learn the original twin solos.

The Complicated History of the Eagles’ ‘Victim of Love’