This album established the Eagles' primacy on the airwaves and the arena circuit. There's no need to discuss the three singles that also appeared on the first Greatest Hits, you've heard 'em, you know whether you like 'em. Me, I'm in for all three, with the title track and its intro being one of the Eagles' best moments.
Apart from the hits, if I were cherry-picking tracks for download or compiling my own best of the Eagles, "Journey of the Sorcerer" would be the first one on the portable mp3 player. A six or seven minute instrumental, something unique in the Eagles' catalog, and it maintains interest for the duration of the track.
The album's weakness is that the rockers just don't hold their own. Of the six non-single tracks, "Visions" and "Too Many Hands" are the two rockers, and unfortunately they're the two weakest tracks on the album. The remaining three ballads make this the mellowest of the Eagles' albums. None are on a par with the ballads from the
album such as "Bitter Creek", "Saturday Night" or "Tequila Sunrise" but they hold their own.
In spite of any shortcomings, for my money this was the last solid Eagles album. When the CD era came along I surprised myself by snapping up the first four Eagles albums almost immediately; I'd always enjoyed those Eagles albums on vinyl but never particularly thought of myself as a fan. But sometimes our actions reveal our priorities and when the CD era arrived I found that my appreciation of the Eagles had grown over time.
The Eagles released three albums after this before breaking up (the first time) -
. If you have the affordable
you've got all you need from those more rock-AOR days. But do yourself a favor and check out the first four Eagles albums, with
being the crowning glories.
, with its ten song limit, just can't do justice to the Eagles' best years.