Rock Flashback: The Eagles Meet the Critics
On November 10, 1979, “Heartache Tonight” by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]the Eagles[/lastfm] and the album it came from, The Long Run, topped their respective record charts. Although record buyers loved the Eagles that fall, one prominent critic definitely did not.
In a Rolling Stone review that appeared in newspapers around the country that month, Dave Marsh wrote: “[W]hat can you say about a band which spends three years working on an album whose best song is one the inimitable [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Joe Walsh[/lastfm] wrote for a movie soundtrack (‘In the City’ from ‘The Warriors’), and which contains such inanities as ‘We thought we could change this world — with words like love and freedom.’ The fact that this pack of cliche-mongers is one of the biggest ‘rock’ bands today is perhaps the most pathetic commentary I know about the current state of the musical world.”
The reviewer for a local paper in Ohio was kinder: “The Eagles, consummate musicians that they are, have honed a finely-produced and excellently-executed album into what should prove to be another tour de force.” Contrast “excellently executed” with Marsh’s assessment of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Don Henley[/lastfm] — “a fine singer, but he’s a lame drummer.”
The Eagles could simply let negative reviews roll off because of all the money rolling in, although the amounts seem tiny by standards of our time. A department store in Madison, Wisconsin, was selling The Long Run on vinyl for $5.67 and on tape for $5.97. Eagles fans in the Philadelphia area could get into the band’s November 18 show at the Spectrum for $7.50 or $10, although the top tickets, priced at $12.50, were sold out.
Tickets cost a bit more when the Eagles performed “The Long Run” on their 2004 Farewell I Tour.