On This Day in 1977 | Hotel California hits #1

Such a lovely song, such a lovely band!

This iconic song was composed in 1977 by the lead guitarist of the Eagles, Don Felder, in a house they had rented on Malibu Beach. On an episode of Rock and Roll Road Trip, our friend Sammy Hagar joined Felder in the studio to sing “Hotel California”! Here is their rendition of this classic song.

Enjoy these fun facts about this record!

  • This song was considered as the Eagles’ most successful recording! On top of hitting the top of the Billboard charts, they also sold about 15 million copies and even received a Grammy┬« Award for it the following year.
  • This track was originally titled “Mexican Reggae.” The demo Don Felder made for “Hotel California” showed influences from both Latin and Reggae music. This grabbed the attention of Don Henley, who said he liked the song that “sounds like a Mexican Reggae or Bolero,” thus the name “Mexican Reggae.”
  • The sheer length of the song almost stopped “Hotel California” to be released as a single! The record company was concerned that it was too long, but they released it anyway after the band steadfastly refused to shorten it.
  • Steely Dan made a reference to the Eagles in their song ‘Everything You Did’, so the Eagles took a shot at Steely Dan in ‘Hotel California’ with the line “They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast.” Both bands were represented by the same manager, Irving Azoff, for a period of time and they had healthy competition.
  • The photographer that took the image that was used on the record’s album cover is famous for his other work in the music industry! John Kosh is the man behind some of rock’s most memorable album covers including The Beatles Abbey Road, The Who’s Who’s Next and The Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out.

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