In tribute to Glenn Frey, who died on January 18, 2016, we look back on the legend of Desperado...
Time may have proved him correct, but the initial impact of Desperado when it was released in April 1973 seemed to confirm the band’s concerns. There were no hit singles, critically and commercially the response was lukewarm, while “everybody at the record company was horrified,” says Stone.
“Like, ‘What are we going to do with this?’ It was a big disappointment, but creatively it was such a leap, such an ambitious thing to do, not to sit on your success but to push the envelope. Now, when you look back across their work it doesn’t seem like such a radical thing to do, but at the time it was a left turn without signalling.”
Browne agrees. “Desperado was a brilliant move, because it gave the Eagles an identity. There was something limited about the concept, but it was also very potent. There was a nouveau-Indian hippy thing going on, everyone was coming to California, and in the end that was what they were writing about: that projected dream of what freedom could be. Vacate your assigned positions in life and be what you fucking want!”
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