Today (November 6th) marks what would have been the 70th birthday of the Eagles leader Glenn Frey. Frey died on January 18th, 2016 in New York City due to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia. He was 67-years-old. Against all odds, after a period of mourning, the surviving Eagles — Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit — decided to forge ahead and hit the road with Frey's then-23-year-old son Deacon Frey and country star Vince Gill stepping in to cover Frey's classic songs.
Born on November 6th, 1948 in Detroit and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan, Frey played in bands in and around the Motor City for years — and nearly permanently joined forces in 1966 with Bob Seger — who helped score him his first recording and managerial contract with Hideout Records. Two years later, in 1968, Frey supplied the acoustic guitar and backing vocals on Seger's classic early single, “Ramblin' Gamblin' Man.”
Frey made his way out to L.A. — not for a shot at stardom, but as a last-ditch effort to reunite with his ex-girlfriend who had moved west to become a singer. He soon teamed up with J.D. Souther to form the short-lived duo, Longbranch Pennywhistle, who released one album in 1969 on the Amos label, which saw its first remastered standalone CD reissue earlier this year. Frey soon met his musical fate while he and the rest of the soon-to-be Eagles backed Linda Ronstadt for a 1971 summer tour.
Glenn Frey, who co-founded the Eagles in 1971 with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner, will be remembered as one of the most important and consistent hitmakers of the 1970's for the songs he wrote with Henley, and often in conjunction with J.D. Souther. Frey co-wrote such era defining tunes as “Tequila Sunrise,” “Desperado,” “Best Of My Love,” “Lyin' Eyes,” “Take It To The Limit,” “One Of These Nights,” “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” “Victim Of Love,” “Heartache Tonight,” “I Can't Tell You Why,” and “The Long Run” — along with the band's signature hit, “Take It Easy,” which he wrote with Jackson Browne. Like the Beatles, the Eagles featured two distinct lead voices, with Henley and Frey divvying up their catalogue to suit each other's vocals. The Eagles originally split in 1980 and reformed in 1994 and have toured the world regularly ever since.
The Eagles' last original collection, 2007's Long Road Out Of Eden, was the band's sixth chart-topper and was the highest selling album of the year. To date, it has sold over 3.5 million copies in the U.S. alone.
With the Eagles, Frey earned six Grammy Awards, and with the band and on his own, landed 24 singles in the Top 40 — including the chart-toppers “Best Of My Love,” “One Of These Nights,” “New Kid In Town,” “Hotel California,” and “Heartache Tonight.”
The Eagles, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, have sold over 120 million albums globally.
Back in August, the Eagles overtook Michael Jackson's 1982 masterpiece Thriller for bragging rights to the best-selling album of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has now been certified 38-times Platinum, accounting for sales and streams of more than 38 million copies since its release in February of 1976.
In addition to the new benchmark, the Eagles' followup to the classic compilation, the watershed Hotel California album, released in December 1976, is now the third best-selling album of all time, certified 26-times Platinum by the RIAA for sales and streams of more than 26 million copies.
Eagles/Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, was originally released on February 17th, 1976 and went on to top the Billboard 200 album charts the following March 13th for five non-consecutive weeks.
Don Henley and Glenn Frey were induced into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000.
Following the Eagles' 1980 split, Frey's solo career initially boomed, teaming up with Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin for a string of Top 40 hits — including the 1985 Top Two hit, “You Belong To The City” which was featured on the soundtrack to Miami Vice, “Smuggler's Blues” — which inspired an episode of the NBC cop drama — and kicked off an acting career for Frey, who was featured in a notable cameo in Cameron Crowe's 1996 film Jerry McGuire. Frey also scored a Top Two hit in '85 with a tune he didn't write — “The Heat Is On” — as featured in the classic Eddie Murphy comedy, Beverly Hills Cop.
In 2012, Frey released his first solo album in nearly 20 years, the standards collection, After Hours. The set, which was long awaited followup to Frey's last album, 1992's Strange Weather, featured a string of American classics — but stretched the “American Songbook” genre to include songs through the 1960's, including Burt Bacharach & Hal David's “The Look Of Love” and Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds closer, “Caroline, No.”
In 2013 the Eagles released History Of The Eagles Part 1 & 2, the band's three-hour documentary. The three-disc set includes the bonus disc, Eagles Live At The Capital Centre – March 1977, featuring never-before-released performances from the band's two-night stand at Washington, D.C.'s Capital Center during the legendary Hotel California tour.
In 2014 he inducted Linda Ronstadt into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Eagles — with special guest Bernie Leadon — toured the world throughout 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Released back in May 11th was the definitive Glenn Frey solo retrospective, the four-disc set, Above The Clouds: The Collection. Highlights on the set include such solo hits as “The Heat Is On,” “The One You Love,” “Part Of Me, Part Of You,” “You Belong To The City,” and “Smuggler's Blues,” among others. In addition, the set includes a live DVD featuring Frey performing some of his most beloved Eagles classics taped live on September 15th, 1992 in Dublin, Ireland. Above The Clouds is most notable for the first CD reissue of the 1969 self-titled Longbranch Pennywhistle album.
Back in 2012 Glenn Frey spoke candidly to Piers Morgan and revealed what his favorite piece of work was: (Piers Morgan) “What is the one? If I said, 'Right — Glenn, you've got five minutes to live, you can play one song to be remembered by. The defining song.' (Glenn Frey): “I loved 'One Of These Nights.' I thought that was a real interesting song. I thought it was kinda cowboy R&B, y'know, fuzztones instead of saxophones. Y'know, great soul singer — Don Henley — y'know, cool chord progression — mine. (Morgan): (Laughs) (Frey): (Laughs) That was one of my absolute favorite Eagles records.”
The Eagles will close out the year on December 7th with special guest Jack Johnson at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.
Source: Pulse of Radio