The Eagles song Glenn Frey considered perfect

Glenn Frey

No song is perfect from beginning to end. Playing instruments skillfully can’t eliminate subtle flaws in the mix, adding a unique character unmatched by perfection. These imperfections add a layer of character that no one else can match. While The Eagles had to work out the kinks in their sound throughout their career, Glenn Frey felt that one song represented one of the early peaks of their songwriting.

When the band first formed, much of their debut album was pieced together from various artists. After Frey formed the band with Don Henley on the back of Linda Ronstadt’s outfit, much of their debut included a laundry list of songs they worked on in initial jam sessions, like the hard-rocking ‘Witchy Woman’.

By the time the band needed its first hits, they had made the most of their friends’ material. Jack Tempchin, who brought in the mellow groove of ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’, helped them record old favourites. That was cover of the song ‘Nightingale’, one of their more recognisable early hits.

The band began working on a song with Jackson Browne called ‘Take It Easy’. That was the time when Frey’s magic appeared for the first time. Browne eventually handed over the track to the rest of the group. Frey filled in the blanks. He sang about a beautiful woman slowing down to look at him from the back of her flatbed Ford.

Even though the album did well on the charts, the band was equally concerned about what it meant to become famous. After wondering if they could write anything worthwhile, Glenn Frey presented Henley with a concept he had been working on based on Roy Orbison’s music.

‘Tequila Sunrise’, which features a Spanish-flavored rhythm guitar part, was Frey and Henley’s first collaboration on a song. They created the musical embodiment of the sun rising after a night of heavy drinking. Frey and Henley would write many other classics after their first collaboration. However, Frey insisted that ‘Tequila Sunrise’ will always have a special place in his heart.

In the liner notes of The Very Best of the Eagles, Frey stated that the piece was as perfect as they could have written at the time. He said, “I love the song. I believe that any songwriter’s goal is to make a song appear seamless, with no indication of struggle. Nothing should come across as forced. ‘Tequila Sunrise’ was written quickly, and I don’t believe there’s a single chord out of place.”

It’s clear what Frey is talking about in order to make everything flow smoothly. For all of the woodshedding that goes into writing a melody as bulletproof as this, their delivery makes the whole song sound like they were simply in the right place at the right time when the engineer decided to push the record button on the console.

Even though the accompanying Desperado album did not receive the massive response Frey and Henley had expected, it did not appear to matter. The Eagles’ songwriting duo had congealed, and it was time to begin soundtracking the California dream.

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