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Eagles Fly High With Disco ‘Night’

The band scores another hit single with latest record’s uptempo title track

The Eagles

The Eagles performing on stage at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom, June 21st, 1975

RB/Redferns/Getty

We like to be a nice little country-rock band from Los Angeles … about half the time,” Eagles drummer Don Henley claimed backstage after the band’s mid-June performance at Wembley. “We wanted to get away from the ballad syndrome with ‘One of These Nights.’ With Don Felder in the band now, we can really rock. He’s made us nastier and done a great guitar solo on the single.”

Henley was referring to the Eagles’ latest hit single, the uptempo title tune on their current album. From its inception, an irresistible dance beat was an integral part of the jubilant love song. “I’d been listening to Spinners and Al Green records when I started writing it at the piano,” cowriter Glenn Frey explained. “We wanted ‘One of These Nights’ to have a lot of teeth, a lot of bite—a nasty track with pretty vocals. Our producer, Bill Szymczyk, is a real R&B freak. He was a freelance engineer in the Sixties on Aaron Neville’s ‘Tell It Like It Is’ and B.B. King’s ‘The Thrill Is Gone.'”

“The discos are back,” Henley affirmed. “Look at the Bee Gees’ ‘Jive Talkin’,’ a good dance record. We heard ours being played in a club in New York.”

“I heard it coming out of a disco in Rotterdam,” the globe-trotting Frey interjected, “and in Miami it was being played in a club we walked past.”

“I GET NERVOUS. MY VOICE HAS TO BE JUST RIGHT TO HIT THE HIGH NOTES. SOMETIMES I MAKE IT, SOMETIMES I DON’T.” —DON HENLEY

Singer/guitarist Frey recalled the odyssey required to make the single. “I started the music, Don [Henley] started the lyrics. What usually happens is when we get the thing fused together, he gets involved in the music and I get involved in the lyrics. We cut the basic track in Miami in December at Criteria Studios. We took it to L.A., put all the drone guitars and Felder’s solo on in L.A., and went back to Miami to put the vocals on in March.”

The finished product was given its world premiere on WCFL, one of Chicago’s two major AM rock stations; within two months it entered the national Top Ten. Coming on the heels of the group’s first Number One hit, “Best of My Love,” it gave the Eagles their first back-to-back pair of Top Ten singles to add to their string of hit albums.

Performing “One of These Nights” live has its particular hazards. “I get nervous,” vocalist/drummer Henley admitted. “My voice has to be just right to hit the high notes. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t. It’s hard to do what I did in the studio on the high hat and sing at the same time. I almost get myself in a crack, but I do it.”

The ballad, “Best of My Love,” is somewhat easier to play live. Frey explained that the group was particularly grateful for the timing of that hit. “We were on the radio for three months while we were off the road working on our fourth album. The single was right there keeping us happening with the public, even though two singles had been taken from the third album already.” On the Border enjoyed a resurgence in sales when “Best of My Love” peaked, and Frey was quick to make the obvious connection:

“‘One of These Nights’ is great advertising time on AM radio for our record.”

In This Article: Coverwall, Don Henley, Eagles, Glenn Frey

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