Friday, September 27, 2013

The Eagles "Ol 55"

Let's face it.  People have strong feelings about The Eagles.

Really strong feelings.

That makes them a bit of a quandary for MVY.  And I had to do some thinking on the subject, due to a recent note from a listener.

He wanted to know why we played The Eagles version of "Ol 55."  He pointed out that the songwriter, Tom Waits, has said he doesn't like that version himself.

Sometimes I think that when people write the station, they really just want a one word response, like "Okay."

But sometimes, I feel the urge to explain myself, in probably too much details.

So, The Eagles . . .

On the one hand, The Eagles fit pretty sonically well with MVY.  Polished acoustics, well-crafted songwriting, the occasional blazing guitar lead, harmonies that directly descend from CSNY.  All that works.

On the other hand, The Eagles represent the antithesis of an MVY artist, in the sense that if it's a hit somewhere else, we're likely to leave it alone.  We'd rather play the road less traveled.  The critically-acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful.  We'll play the deep album cut, over the mass appeal hit.

This distinction is not really something the audience ever thinks about.

So the folks who live On The One Hand, request The Eagles, with some frequency.

Trying to skate the line, we do something with The Eagles, that we don't do with too many other artists.  We only play part of their catalogue.

Normally, a band is either IN with us, or they are OUT with us.  If we've decided to play them, like The Allman Brothers, we play most everything, even the hits.  If we've decided that they are already well-covered by Classic Rock, like The Doors, we don't play anything, even the obscurities.

With The Eagles, there is no sense of MVY playing "Hotel California" or "Heartache Tonight" or "Tequila Sunrise."  Because you can hear those songs right now, by just spinning the dial.  They're burnt out, and unnecessary for us.

But we do want to represent The Eagles, so we play songs like "The Last Resort."  That's one you are less likely to hear on a Classic Rock station.

For the same reason, we played "Ol 55."  It's a pretty deep cut.

But I have to admit, the listener who wrote in is right.

The cover tune doesn't do much for me, either.  The Tom Waits original is much better.

So yes, I pulled The Eagles version of "Ol 55" from the playlist.  And I kept the Tom Waits version in (we've been rotating the two, for years).

Someday, I'll probably grow a pair, and decided to weed out the last few Eagles cuts from the entire playlist.

But until then, I'll just enjoy waiting to receive the wrath of Eagles Haters, in the Inbox.

Read the article:  "Woman Allegedly Attacked Roommate For Listening To The Eagles"

Hear the song on Youtube.

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