Hotel California (6:30)

Cover of Hell Freezes Over

From Hell Freezes Over and 86 other releases

Hotel California is the title song from the Eagles’ album of the same name and was released as a single in early 1977. It is one of the best-known songs of the album-oriented rock era. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey. The Eagles’ original recording of the song features Henley singing the lead vocals and concludes with an extended section of electric guitar interplay between Felder and Joe Walsh. “Hotel California” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week in May 1977.

It won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978.

The song is rated highly in many rock music lists and polls. Rolling Stone magazine, for example, placed it as the forty-ninth greatest song of all time. It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song’s guitar solo is ranked 8th on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Solos.

As one of the group’s most popular and well-known songs, “Hotel California” has been a concert staple for the band since its release; performances of the song appear on the Eagles’ 1980 live album and, in an acoustic version, on the 1994 Hell Freezes Over reunion concert CD and video release. The “Hell Freezes Over” version is performed using eight guitars in total, and has a decidedly Spanish feel to it - with Don Felder playing a flamenco style intro. During the band’s Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne the song was performed in a manner closer to the original album version, but with a trumpet interlude in the beginning.

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