One Of These Nights


Asylum Records, 1975

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I read with some mterest recently that the first great hits package from the Eagles recently overtook Michael Jackson's Thriller as the best-selling album in America. Almost 30 years since they first formed, their blend of country-rock sounds as fresh today as it did when these songs were first cut to tape - a claim many groups wish they could make.

Such is the case with their 1975 album One Of These Nights, This record is one where you will not just remember the songs that have been etched into your memory courtesy of classic rock radio, but also the songs that have remained hidden through time.

The title track, of course, is one of the best-known works by the Eagles. With a slide-like feel on the bass guitar provided by Randy Meisner and a hot solo from the hands of Don Felder, the band creates a groove that has rarely been equalled. Don Henley's lead vocal fits the mood perfectly (never mind the fact I slammed his solo album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Building The Perfect Beast just last week), even down to the falsetto.

But Henley was not the only lead singer for this band. Meisner sounds a bit like Rik Emmett from Triumph on "Too Many Hands," a song which should get more airplay than it does, while he also plays the falsetto to the hilt on "Take It To The Limit." And, of course, let's not forget guitarist/keyboardist Glenn Frey, who adds enough of a whiskey smoothness to the country twang of "Lyin' Eyes." However, when Henley and Frey share the lead vocal duties on "After The Thrill Is Gone," the result is much less dramatic.

All five members of the band take turns in front of the microphone on One Of These Nights - Felder on "Visions," and Bernie Leadon on "I Wish You Peace." But it would be hard to say which of these five is the true "voice" of the Eagles. In fact, I don't think you could name one as the "leader," though at this stage in the band's existence, Henley and Frey were the front-runners. (With the addition of ex-James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh, the leadership picture became even more muddied.)

But the moment on the album which stands out for me is the instrumental "Journey Of The Sorcerer," a song from the pen of Leadon featuring the "Royal Martian Orchestra." The ambitiousness of this track is what separates it from the rest of the works by the Eagles to this point. (Trivia time: Name the British mini-series which used this song as its opening theme music. Answer: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.) This song does show a little sign of age, but still is quite enjoyable.

While this album holds some high points of the band's career, it was far from the end of their glory days. It was, however, the end of the road for Leadon, who left the band shortly after this album was completed. But while his solo career floundered, he did leave a legacy in the music of the Eagles which will not be soon forgotten.

One Of These Nights is an album that may not be in many people's collections - most likely people have chosen instead to opt for the greatest hits albums - but this one is definitely worth searching out for the hidden, forgotten gems that reside therein. Maybe with the recent reunion of the band these tracks will be rediscovered. One can only hope.

Rating: B

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© 1997 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Asylum Records, and is used for informational purposes only.