On This Day In Eagle’s History – December 8, 1976 – The release of the studio album Hotel California

Hotel California is the fifth studio album release from the Eagles and ultimately the third best selling album of all time (following #1 Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits 1971 – 1975 and #2 Michael Jackson’s Thriller). The album was recorded by producer Bill Szymczyk at the Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida and the Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, California from March until October of 1976. It was the first Eagles album to feature guitarist Joe Walsh and the last with bassist Randy Meisner.


Eagles’ Hotel California album cover shot by photographer 
David Alexander


Concerning the themes of the album’s songs Don Henley said: 


“They’re the same themes that run through all of our work: loss of innocence, the cost of naiveté, the perils of fame, of excess; exploration of the dark underbelly of the American dream, idealism realized and idealism thwarted, illusion versus reality, the difficulties of balancing loving relationships and work, trying to square the conflicting relationship between business and art; the corruption in politics, the fading away of the Sixties dream of “peace, love and understanding.”


Browne, David (June 10, 2016). “Eagles’ Complete Discography: Don Henley Looks Back”Rolling Stone.


The album was released by Asylum Records on December 8, 1976 in vinyl, cassette and 8-track cartridge formats. I’m just going to let that sink in for a moment! A show of hands isn’t needed, but I had an 8-track player in my 1966 Mustang.

Hotel California track listing:

Side One

1 – “Hotel California”

2 – “New Kid in Town”

3 – “Life in the Fast Lane”

4 – “Wasted Time”

Side Two

1 – “Wasted Time (Reprise)”

2 – “Victim of Love”

3 – “Pretty Maids All in a Row”

4 – “Try and Love Again”

5 – “The Last Resort”

Here’s a little snippet of Eaglewing playing “Hotel California”

Eaglewing performing a snippet of the Eagles’ Hotel California

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