Tonight (December 14th) on the world famous Classic Album at Midnight on Radio Nova we’re playing Eagles’ The Long Run.
The album is presented in full with no commercials or interruptions.
After the massive success of their 1976 album Hotel California, anticipation was rife for Eagles’ follow-up. A 1977 tour led to the departure of Randy Meisner, who was suffering stomach ulcers that affected his ability to perform. After coming to blows with Glenn Frey he quit the band. He was quickly replaced by bassist Timothy B. Schmit. That year the group, all save for Don Felder, performed on Randy newman’s album Little Criminals.
In late 1977 the band entered the studio to begin work on their sixth album. Initially Eagles had planned to follow Hotel California with a double album, but they failed to come up with enough material to justify such a move.
Burnt out by their recent tour, the band members struggled creatively, with recording lasting over 18 months and taking place in five different studios. Don Henley said the tour had left them “physically, emotionally, spiritually and creatively exhausted.”
So stuck for songs were Eagles that they enlisted Bob Seger and JD Souther to help write new material. Lyrically the album expands on the themes of Hotel California, taking a cynical jab at the entertainment industry. The track King of Hollywood, about an exploitative movie producer, now plays like it could have been written about Harvey Weinstein. The title track was a response to criticism from the music press that Eagles were becoming old hat against the new landscape of punk and disco. While the band mock disco on The Disco Strangler, the influence of The Bee Gees can be heard on I Can’t Tell You Why. There’s even a flirtation with heavy metal on Teenage Jail.
Eagles were backed on The Long Run by backing vocalists Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffett and The Monstertones, saxophonist David Sanborn and keyboardist Joe Vitale.
The Long Run features 10 tracks. On Side A are The Long Run; I Can’t Tell You Why; In the City; The Disco Strangler; and King of Hollywood. On Side B are Heartache Tonight; Those Shoes; Teenage Jail; The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks; and The Sad Café.
The Long Run was released on September 24th, 1979, almost three years after Hotel California. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard chart and took the top spot a week later, remaining there for nine weeks. It would go on to sell over eight million copies in the US.
Released as a single, Heartache Tonight topped the US chart while The Long Run and I Can’t Tell You Why both peaked at number eight. A version of In the City credited solely to Joe Walsh featured on the soundtrack of the cult 1979 movie The Warriors.
The Long Run would be Eagles’ final album until 2007’s comeback double LP Long Road Out of Eden. It captures the band at the end of their golden era, when they ruled the rock airwaves. You can return to that era at midnight tonight on Radio Nova.