Monday, April 30, 2007

Hotel California

Another anniversary coming up, this time for the LP that finally killed off hippiedom! First released in the US in late 1976, Hotel California was released in the UK in 1977 and very quickly eclipsed just about every other album on release. I do still have a copy of the album from its first UK release somewhere.

The Eagles, originally Linda Ronstadt's backing group, who had boozed and tripped their way through the '70's came out with this powerful indictment of the whole drop-out culture. The classic line "You can check out anytime, but you cannot leave" says it all, and puts a definitive full stop on the whole pseudo turn-on, tune-in, drop-out attitude of Timothy Leary and the late '60's, early '70's counterculture and which had led to the extreme excesses of Charles Manson in 1969. For years, flower-power was looking for the right moment to grow up and move on, and this LP, as far as I was concerned, did that.

Yesterday, I put my CD version on the player, and the songs still seem fresh and original 30 years later. Not many LP's are that important, but this one was.


Jen said...

The Eagles are a big part of my music collection. Wish I had seen them in concert.

Jay said...

I have a different take on the lyrics. To me, it signifies when the positive aspects of the hippie culture "dropped out", so to speak, and was commercialized to triviality. As a result, that generation moved on, came into power, and did the very things that they protested against but on a much more massive scale.

We just could not kill the beast.

Mark said...

The interesting thing about the LP is that the Eagles, themselves, didn't really know what it was really about - and the state they were in during the 70's, that's no surprise.

Whatever, the LP was about, it is still one of the greats, and provided the theme tune for BBC's TV series Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Jay said...

It is a classic.