The Eagles‘ crossover hit “Lyin’ Eyes” was written in a rush of inspiration over simply two days. But, each ingredient of this wry narrative a couple of gold digger’s empty life unfolds with a writerly knack for element.
Glenn Frey deftly shifted factors of view, by no means losing a phrase, as he stuffed within the blanks round a real-life encounter with Don Henley at their favourite ’70s-era watering gap, Dan Tana’s.
“We noticed lots of lovely girls round Hollywood who had been married to rich, profitable males, and puzzled in the event that they had been sad,” Frey mentioned through the audio commentary of the Hell Freezes Over live performance movie. “One night time we had been consuming in a bar after I noticed this beautiful younger lady; two steps behind her was a a lot older, fats, wealthy man. All of us began laughing and one of many different guys commented, ‘Have a look at her, she will be able to’t even cover these lyin’ eyes!’ Instantly, all of us started grabbing for cocktail napkins to put in writing down lyrics to go together with that nice remark.”
They scurried again to a scenic rental within the Trousdale space of Beverly Hills, initially constructed within the ’40s for early-era film star Dorothy Lamour.
“Glenn and I lived at reverse ends of the home, and we really transformed a music room to a full-on recording studio,” Henley advised Cameron Crowe in 2003. “The home was positioned on the highest level on the hill, and we had a 360-degree panorama. Within the daytime, we might see snowcapped peaks to the east and the blue Pacific to the west. At night time, the twinkling lights of the town under had been breathtaking.”
The writing got here straightforward, however maybe by no means simpler than on this night. Frey set about crafting a refrain, whereas Henley chipped in on among the verses. “I do not need to say it wrote itself, however as soon as we began engaged on it, there have been no sticking factors,” Frey added. “Lyrics simply stored popping out, and that is not all the time the way in which songs get written.”
They spent a second night time stitching all the things collectively then headed to the studio, the place the Eagles displayed the same meticulousness: The tune’s deeply resonant opening – “Metropolis women simply appear to search out out early” – really represents six completely different tries.
“The ‘ci’ and ‘ty’ got here from two completely different takes, ‘women’ from one other, and every phrase after that from completely different takes,” producer Invoice Szymczyk later advised Rolling Stone.
Take heed to Eagles’ ‘Lyin’ Eyes’
Bernie Leadon‘s forlorn mandolin guided them dwelling. “Because the saying goes, Henley might sing the telephone e book and make it sound attention-grabbing, however Glenn was an important storyteller,” Leadon advised Rolling Stone. “Simply hearken to the way in which he sings ‘Lyin’ Eyes.'”
That spotlight to element paid off. Launched in August 1975, “Lyin’ Eyes” emerged as a rootsy, Grammy-winning story tune, hitting No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart and a formidable No. eight on the nation ballot. (The brutally edited single model deleted all the second verse, the second refrain and 4 traces in the course of the third verse.)
This preliminary crossover success led to a raft of down-home covers, as Buck Owens, Lynn Anderson, Moe Bandy, Diamond Rio and Dolly Parton supplied their very own takes on “Lyin’ Eyes.” The tune additionally appeared within the 1980 film City Cowboy.
Eagles would by no means once more attain such heights with nation listeners, primarily as a result of they had been shifting towards a extra rock-focused strategy. (Their subsequent crossover Prime 40 hit did not arrive till 2007, with “How Lengthy.”) Within the meantime, songs continued to spill out of the Trousdale dwelling, which they began calling the Eagles’ Nest.
“The home was up on Briarcrest Lane,” Frey advised Crowe. “That is the place we wrote ‘One among These Nights,’ ‘Lyin’ Eyes,’ ‘Take It to the Restrict,’ ‘After the Thrill Is Gone’ and a few different tunes for the One among These Nights album.”
And there might have been extra, Frey confirmed. “I would like to get the authorized pad for ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ once more,” he mentioned, “as a result of I feel there have been verses we did not use.”
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