Monday, January 18, 2016

Glenn Frey Has Died

Shocking news in the music world--Eagles co-founder, songwriter, guitarist and singer Glenn Frey has succumbed to complications from acute ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia in New York City at the age of 67.

Frey had been suffering from intestinal issues, the same type he had that forced postponement of concerts from the Eagles' reunion tour in 1994.  Frey began having problems again several months ago, which caused the postponement of the Eagles' inclusion in the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.

Some people use the word "legend" far too loosely, and try to make someone bigger in death than they were in life.  This is what a legend looks like.  

The Eagles began in early 1971 when Frey and Henley were hired as backing musicians for Linda Ronstadt.  Frey and Henley first met in 1970 at the famous Troubadour in Los Angeles.  Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon joined Ronstadt's band for her summer tour.  All four played on Ronstadt's eponymous album. 

With Ronstadt's blessing, the four formed a band and signed with Asylum Records.  From those beginnings came one of the most successful recording acts in history.  The Eagles scored five #1 songs, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards and six #1 albums.  

At the end of the 20th century, the Eagles owned two of the top 20 best-selling albums--Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) and Hotel California.  The Eagles are one of the world's best-selling bands of all-time, selling 100 million in the U.S. alone and over 150 million worldwide.  Their first greatest hits package has sold 42 million while Hotel California stands at 32 million.

Currently, the Eagles are the fifth-highest-selling music act in recording history, although expect sales to spike with the news of Frey's death.  They were one of the most consistent recording acts ever, with 15 of their 20 singles (75%) reaching the Top 25.  In addition to their smash hits, the Eagles recorded some amazing album tracks that you will be hearing soon on Inside The Rock Era, which no doubt will be "discovered" by rock fans all over the world in the days to come.

In our most recent presentation of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era (1955-2015)*, the Eagles landed 10 of those:  "Hotel California" at #15, "One Of These Nights" at #88, "Lyin' Eyes" at #98, "New Kid In Town" at 102, "Best Of My Love" at #105, "Heartache Tonight" at #181, "Take It Easy" at #205, "Take It To The Limit" at #275, "I Can't Tell You Why" at #373 and "Witchy Woman" at #407.

In our presentation of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*, in which greatest hits packages and live albums which did not include new releases were not eligible, the Eagles placed Hotel California at #16 and The Long Run at #39.

    Reactions from musicians and fans from every walk of life and ever corner of the globe.

    From co-Eagle Glenn Frey:

    “He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed,” Henley said.

    “But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything,” he continued.

    “We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year History of the Eagles Tour to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life.

    “Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

    Glenn Frey, you will be sorely missed. Thank you for all you gave us.

    J.D. Souther, frequent Eagles songwriter: "Glenn Frey was my first songwriting partner and best friend when we set out to realize our dreams of making great music in Los Angeles. Our first year together will always seem like yesterday to me. His amazing capacity for the big joke and that brilliant groove that lived inside him are with me, even now, in this loss and sorrow. I will miss him every day but then…he is always here, isn’t he? I can’t say any more than that for now. The music and the love are indestructible.

    Thanks for the amazing music you gave the world, Glenn Frey.
    Eli Young Band

    Wow, can't believe Glenn Frey passed away. Such an amazing songwriter and inspiration. His mark will live forever

    In addition to a killer voice and masterful songwriting skills
    Richard Marx

    RIP Glenn Frey. Thank you for the songs and inspiration to so many. Missed by all. - T


    I was shocked to hear about Glenn Frey passing away – it was a real blow to hear. Love & Mercy to Glenn’s family tonight. – Brian

    Glenn Frey, founding member of the Eagles, a band I just loved, has died. His songs, those sounds, perfectly captured those days. 70s LA...

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