After the death of founding member Glen Frey, Don Henley said the Eagles will probably never tour again. However, after a change of heart, the Eagles are headlining The Classic in both Los Angeles and New York City, along with Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Journey, The Doobie Brothers, and Earth, Wind & Fire.
The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Glen Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. They were one of the most successful bands in the 70s. Their album "Greatest Hite" (1971-1975) was the best selling album of the 20th century. They are one of the world's best-selling bands, having sold over 150 million records. They are the highest selling band in American History with five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number one albums. The Eagles were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
In the past 46 years, since the founding of the band, the Eagles have experienced several changes in personnel, for many different reasons. Here is a ranking of past and current band members, ranked based on musical abilities, character and reputation. Keep in mind that all members of the Eagles are exquisite musicians and even the lowest ranked are still wonderful.
7. Timothy B. Schmit.
After Meisner quit in 1977, Timothy B. Schmit replaced him. Although his time with the Eagles before they disbanded in 1980 was short, he contributed to the album "The Long Run," singing lead vocals on "I Can't Tell You Why." When the band reunited in 1994, Schmit sang lead vocals on "Love Will Keep Us Alive." Schmit has continuously been a part of the Eagles and is valuable member of the band. However, his status as a non-founding member is why he comes in last. He never really had the opportunity to help the band succeed during the peak of their career in the 1970s because they broke up shortly after he joined.
6. Randy Meisner.
Randy Meisner was one of the four original Eagles. He generally manned the bass and back up vocals but also plays the guitarrón. He worked on the first five albums and is most famously known for singing lead in "Take It To the Limit" on "One of These Nights."Although he is an extraordinary musician, Meisner wasn't designed to be a famous rocker and he generally didn't want to be in the spotlight. His desire to be with his family and his wishes to not be the center of attention lead to a lot of conflict within the band, specifically between Meisner and Frey. In 1977, Meisner decided to skip "Take It To the Limit" as an encore in Knoxville, Tennessee, resulting in a physical confrontation with Frey backstage. He quit the band on September 3, 1977 and was replaced with Timothy B. Schmit, who also replaced him in POCO.
5. Don Felder.
There is no denying that Felder is a talented guitarist. His partnership with Joe Walsh as dualing guitar leads is one of the most memorable on-stage partnerships. However, in 2001, he was dismissed from the Eagles and he did not handle it well, which is why he is ranked fairly low. After he was fired, he filed lawsuits against Don Henley and Glen Frey, reportedly for $50 million in damages. Being fired sucks, but Henley and Frey had every right. Like their lawyer said, "[Henley and Frey] felt—creatively, chemistry-wise and performance-wise—that he should no longer be part of the band ... They removed him, and they had every legal right to do so. This has been happening with rock 'n' roll bands since day one."
4. Bernie Leadon.
Bernie Leadon is on of the four original members. He is frequently credited for the country influences in their music in the Eagles' early career. Leadon's multi-instrumental talent is highlighted in hit songs like "Take it Easy," "Peaceful Easy Feeling," and "Witchy Woman." However, after releasing the album "Desperado"and receiving mediocre reviews, the band decided to move away from country-rock influences and focus on stadium rock. Leadon grew increasingly frustrated and famously quit in 1975 by pouring a beer over Glen Frey's head. While Leadon is talented, his country influences were holding the band back from success and their stadium rock sound.
3. Don Henley.
Don Henley is the co-founder of the Eagles. He plays the drum and sings lead vocal on many of the band's most popular songs, including "Hotel California," "Witchy Woman," "Life in the Fast Lane," and "The Long Run." Along with Frey, Henley wrote most of the band's most famous songs. After the band broke up in 1980, Henley went on to have a very successful career as a solo artist. During this time, he sold 40 million albums, won two Grammys, and five MTV Video Music Awards. Combined with the Eagles, he has released 25 top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008, he was ranked 87th greatest singer of all time in the Rolling Stone magazine.
2. Glen Frey.
Glen Frey founded the Eagles along with Don Henley. Frey was the lead singer and the frontman for the band. Along with Henley, Frey wrote most of the band's songs. He sang lead vocals on most songs, most recognizably, "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Take It Easy," "Tequila Sunrise," "Lyin Eyes," "New Kid In Town," and "Heartache Tonight." Frey also played the guitar, piano and keyboard. During concerts, Frey would tell stories about the band and would captivate the audience. His stage presence was extraordinary and he made it nearly impossible to not be a fan of his by the time he played the last note of the night. On January 18, 2016, Frey died at the age of 67.
1. Joe Walsh.
In 1975, after Bernie Leadon quit the band, the Eagles needed a guitarist. Record producer Bill Szymczyk suggested Joe Walsh, who had success in James Gang and Barnstorm. Initially, the Eagles were hesitant because of Walsh's wild reputation, especially Henley. The main concern was that Walsh wouldn't fit in with the band. It turns out that Walsh's wild demeanor was exactly what the band needed to take them from country rock to stadium rock. "Hotel California" was the first Eagles album Walsh was a part of. Guitar World magazine listed Felder's and Walsh's guitar solos on the track "Hotel California" at no. 8 on the Top 100 Guitar Solos. A guitar riff that Walsh used as a warm up became the inspiration for the song "Life In The Fast Lane" on the album "Hotel California."It reached no. 11 on the top charts and solidified Walsh's membership in the band. Along with his guitar and vocals, Walsh brought a reputation of a wild rocker to the Eagles. Stories of him using a chainsaw to cut a door into a wall of a hotel to make two rooms into one became famous. He changed the band's image of country rock to a true rock-and-roll band. Walsh began his solo career in 1973 and continued to pursue his own music, even during his time with other bands. Walsh has released 12 solo studio albums and been a part of 12 different bands including James Gang, The Who, The Beach Boys, Foo Fighters, and Eagles. In 2011, Rolling Stone placed him at no. 54 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.