American Top 40 PastBlast, 11/8/75: Eagles, “Lyin’ Eyes”

My mother didn’t own a car with a cassette player in it until at least the late 80s. One year soon thereafter, she had a single Christmas wish for a tape to play while driving: Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975). Mom was not nearly the rock ‘n’ roll fan that Dad was—on the whole I suspect she merely tolerated anything harder than, oh, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, or Gordon Lightfoot (though she never complained about what came on the radio). The country-rock of the pre-Hotel California Eagles was very much her style; I was happy to buy the cassette for her, and it remained in whatever vehicle she was then driving for more than two decades.

Their greatest hit I think of Mom liking most is “Lyin’ Eyes,” here at its peak of #2. I find it a profoundly sad piece, more so than I did in my younger days—no one in the lover’s triangle is satisfied, and Frey’s subdued vocals only add to the sense of that the protagonist’s choices have left her with no chance of escape. On the other hand, it does  have their best arrangement of harmonies.

I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s hard to access Eagles tracks on YouTube—what you’re seeing here only went up a couple of days ago, so who knows how long the link will be live. I’d much rather listen to the LP version—honestly, the song isn’t complete without the middle verse—but I hear you can’t always get what you want.

Last year when I was going through one of my recurring periods of poor sleep, the phrase “Another night, it’s going to be a long one,” came to mind as I was about to climb into bed. I regret to inform you that I had to Google the line for its source.

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