Wednesday, 8 October 2014

"Selected Works 1973-1999" by EAGLES - A Review Of Their 2000 Elektra 4CD Book Set - Now Reissued In 2013 Into A Card Slipcase and Bernie Grundman Remasters...

“…Pretty Maids All In A Row…” 

Originally released as a Long Book in November 2000 - this November 2013 reissue on Elektra 8122796239 reduces that "Selected Works 1973-1999" 4CD retrospective into a manageable card slipcase and keeps the four-themed CDs, the booklet (24-pages) and best of all - the superb Bernie Grundman/Richard Davis remasters. Here are the witchy women, ornery outlaws and dry-roasted desperados...

Disc 1 "The Early Years" (49:44 minutes)
1. Take It Easy ("Eagles", 1972)
2. Hollywood Waltz ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
3. Already Gone ("On The Border", 1974)
4. Doolin'-Dalton ("Desperado", 1973)
5. Midnight Flyer ("On The Border", 1974)
6. Tequila Sunrise ("Eagles", 1972)
7. Witchy Woman ("Eagles", 1972)
8. Tran Leaves Here This Morning ("Eagles", 1972)
9. Outlaw Man ("Desperado", 1973)
10. Peaceful Easy Feeling ("Eagles", 1972)
11. James Dean ("On The Border", 1974)
12. Saturday Night ("Desperado", 1973)
13. On The Border Dean ("On The Border", 1974)

Disc 2 "The Ballads" (58:26 minutes):
1. Wasted Time Reprise
2. Wasted Time ("Hotel California", 1976)
3. I Can't Tell You Why ("The Long Run", 1979)
4. Lyin' Eyes ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
5. Pretty Maids All In A Row ("Hotel California", 1976)
6. Desperado ("Desperado", 1973)
7. Try And Love Again ("Hotel California", 1976)
14. The Best Of My Love ("On The Border", 1974)
8. New Kid In Town ("Hotel California", 1976)
9. Love Will Keep Us Alive (1 of 4 new tracks on "Hell Freezes Over", 1994)
10. Sad Café ("The Long Run", 1979)
11. Take It To The Limit ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
12. After The Thrill Is Gone ("One Of These Nights", 1975)

Disc "The Fast Lane" (69:55 minutes):
1. One Of These Nights Intro
2. One Of The Nights ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
3. Disco Strangler ("The Long Run", 1979)
4. Heartache Tonight ("The Long Run", 1979)
5. Hotel California ("Hotel California", 1976)
6. Born To Boogie (outtake from "The Long Run" sessions - previously unreleased)
7. In The City ("The Long Run", 1979)
8. Get Over It (2 of 4 new tracks on "Hell Freezes Over", 1994)
9. King Of Hollywood ("The Long Run", 1979)
10. Too Many Hands ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
11. Life In The Fast Lane ("Hotel California", 1976)
12. The Long Run ("The Long Run", 1979)
13. Long Run Leftovers (instrumental outtakes from "The Long Run" sessions)
14. The Last Resort ("Hotel California", 1976)
15. Random Victims Part 3 (outtakes from various recordings sessions)

Disc 4 "The Millennium Concert" (59:53 minutes):
1. Hotel California
2. Victim Of Love
3. Peaceful Feeling
4. Please Come Home For Christmas
5. Ol' 55
6. Take It To The Limit
7. Those Shoes
8. Funky New Year
9. Dirty Laundry
10. Funk 49
11. All She Wants To Do Is Dance
12. The Best Of My Love
Recorded live at The Staples Centre, Los Angeles, 31 December1999

When this rather dull looking 4-disc set came out in 2000 - fans were both thrilled and let down. The themes given to the first three CDs were cleverly sequenced for sure - giving the listener an EAGLES song experience that touches well know bases but also throws in some of those forgotten album gems like say "Saturday Night", "Train Leaves Here This Morning", "Try And Love Again" and "Pretty Maids All In A Row". But it doesn't take a genius to look at the total playing times of the CDs (especially Disc 1 and 2) and wonder - why so much empty space? And in 2000 - this sucker wasn't cheap either...

Fast forward thirteen years later - and it's 2013 reissue into a card slipcase (four-way foldout holder inside) whilst boasting on online price tag of just seven pound coins - represents a far better buy (and not just in terms of its more manageable and very pretty `mini' box set packaging - but in the exclusives that aren't available anywhere else). The booklet has great liner notes by DAVID WILD with interviews, period photos, a note from original Producer Bill Szymczyk and Glenn Frey. Then there's the real deal - the gorgeous Bernie Grundman/Richard F. W. Davis remasters which brings stuff like "Doolin' Dalton", "I Can't Tell You Why" and the full version of "One Of These Nights" to life - warm, clear and beautifully produced.

The live show is good rather than great and suffers from the hugeness of the event - the duelling guitars on "Hotel California" feeling like their way back in the mix and instead of being out front. The "Funky New Year" track is good and "Please Come Home For Christmas" pleasant - but it takes Joe Walsh's "Funk 49" to really liven up things.

Written by Pete Vale, Jim Capaldi and Paul Carrack - "Love Will Keep Us Alive" showed that that melody magic hadn't disappeared and in the Elevens - the Eagles now seem more comfortable with their own legend than ever.

Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit - what a line-up of talent. Put this cowboy builder in your ten gallon hat real soon...

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