The Best Eagles Albums Ranked –> The Eagles are one of the most successful ” ____________ ” bands of all time. Notice there’s a blank in that first sentence because a number of adjectives could fill that spot – “rock”, “country”, “country rock”, “Americana”, “soft rock”, “pop”, “folk rock”, etc, etc. And that is why they were so successful and popular. You really can’t place the Eagles into any single genre of music. They had the ability to incorporate so many different styles and elements in to their music that attracted fans with many varieties of tastes and interests. Every member of the band was ultra talented. And perhaps most importantly when they played together they had a chemistry that produced an incredible balance of charismatic sounds. The Eagles are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 200 million records, including more than 100 million sold in United States alone.
The Eagles officially formed in Los Angeles in 1971. The original bands members consisted of Glenn Frey on guitars & vocals, Don Henley on drums & vocals, Bernie Leadon on guitars & vocals, and Randy Meisner on bass & vocals. In 1974, guitarist Don Felder joined the band. In 1975, guitarist and vocalist Joe Walsh replaced Leadon. In 1977 Meisner was replaced by Timothy Schmit.
Their debut album titled “Eagles” was released in June of 1972 and produced 2 top 20 singles. “Take It Easy” peaked at number 12 and “Witchy Woman” peaked at Number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972.
Their next album titled “Desperado” was released in April of 1973. The album produced two commercially successful singles – “Tequila Sunrise” peaked at number 64 on the charts, and “Outlaw Man”, peaked at number 59. The album reached number 41 on the Billboard album chart, was certified gold in 1974.
In March of 1974 The Eagles released their third album titled “On the Border”. All three of the singles released from this album saw success on the charts. “Already Gone” peaked at number 32, “James Dean” at number 77, and “Best of My Love” peaked at number 1 – their first Top 40 number 1 hit.
In June of 1975 the band released the album titled “One of These Nights”. This album became the band’s first album to top the charts at number one. It included three top-hit singles: “One of These Nights” topped the charts at number 1, while “Lyin’ Eyes” peaked at number 2, and “Take It To the Limit” peaked at number 4.
In February of 1976 The Eagles released the compilation album “Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)”. It included a collection of hits from their first four albums. It reached number 1 on US Billboard 200 and was the best-selling album of the 20th century in the United States.
In December of 1976 the Eagles released their sixth album titled “Hotel California”. Primed by the greatest hits compilation, Hotel California was an immediate success. Two singles from the album “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California” peaked at number on the charts in both the United States and Canada. A third single, “Life in the Fast Lane” peaked on the charts at number 11. Hotel California is the best selling album by the Eagles selling over 32 million copies world-wide.
The sixth album by the Eagles titled “The Long Run” was released in September of 1979. Three singles were released from the album, “Heartache Tonight”, “The Long Run”, and “I Can’t Tell You Why”. “Heartache Tonight” reached No. 1 on the singles chart while “The Long Run” and “The Log Run” both peaked at number 8. Another successful album for the Eagles, The Long Run has sold more than eight million copies in the United States.
The Eagles broke up in 1980 but reunited in 1994. In November of 1994 they released the album titled “Hell Freezes Over” – a mix of live and new studio tracks. The album went to number 1 on the Billboard album chart upon its release where it stayed for two weeks and has sold over 9 million copies in the United States.
In 2007, the Eagles released “Long Road Out of Eden”, their sixth number-one album in the US. The album produced two singles on the Hot Country Songs charts: a cover of J.D. Souther’s “How Long” and “Busy Being Fabulous”, both of which were Top 30 hits on the country charts as well as Top 20 hits on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts. The album produced five straight hits on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts with “How Long”, “Busy Being Fabulous”, “No More Cloudy Days”, “What Do I Do With My Heart”, and “I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore”.
The Best Eagles Albums Ranked
Below we have ranked all of the Eagles albums in order from better to best. We aren’t going to say from “worst to best” because there really isn’t a “worst” album – they’re all great. But if we’re putting them in order of which ones are our least to most favorites – this is how we rank them:
9. Hell Freezes Over (1994)
“What a great comeback for the Eagles after their 14 year split. Includes a great selection of songs, from their first album, up until their 1979 album ‘The Long Run’, plus 4 new studio tracks, which are admirable, if not quite up to the standard of their 70s pieces. The live pieces expand upon their studio counterparts, with great vocal harmonies and an amazing acoustic cover of ‘Hotel California’. The album flows well with great calming music, and well known pieces that everyone should know. This may not rank as one of the top Eagles albums – but look at the competition! Still a great album and worth listening to.”
8. Long Road Out of Eden (2007)
“As each of the Eagles are so very different, this album gives each of them a chance to shine. Some of the songs are longer than the past, but still great tunes. Their incredible harmonies come through on ‘No More Walks In The Wood’. Mellow songs like ‘No More Cloudy Days’ and ‘What Do I Do With My Heart’ are a great contrast to rockers like ‘Guilty Of The Crime’ and ‘Somebody’. Maybe not the most popular album – but still a must have for Eagles fans.”
7. The Long Run (1979)
“When you’re talking about a band such as the Eagles, one that sells over 200 million records plus, they really don’t make any bad records. ‘The Long Run’ is no different. This LP came after ‘Hotel California’ and was the last one before breaking up. It is full of hits such as ‘I Can’t Tell You Why’, ‘In The City’, ‘Heartache Tonight’, ‘Sad Cafe’ and of course, ‘The Long Run’. Great production, produced by long time producer Bill Szymczyk, this record holds with the rest of their catalog. If you’re a fan, you’ve got to add this to your collection.
6. On the Border (1974)
“With the release of their third record, ‘On The Border’, the Eagles smashed the charts with a number one song, ‘Best Of My Love’. This album also has more than enough rugged rockers to pump you up as well though, and every aspect of the record is amazing.
After their previous two offerings, it’s hard to imagine how the Eagles could release another amazing record in such a short amount of time. They did though, and this record stands up just as well as anything else from the time. While solid the entire way through, my favorite songs are ‘Good Day In Hell’, ‘Already Gone’, ‘James Dean’, ‘On The Border’ and ‘You Never Cry Like A Lover’.”
5. Eagles (1972)
“Released in 1972, the Eagles self-titled debut album is easily one of the strongest debut albums of all-time! This record would set the stage for a decade-long dominance almost unrivaled in musical history.
The Eagles took a very shrewd approach to making their mark on music history. They took the country rock sounds of the Byrds and mixed it with the easiness of the folk rock craze of the era. Simply put, The Eagles took a lot of what was popular and made it even more accessible to the public. This record did exactly what the Eagles wanted, made country rock a force to reckoned with throughout the 1970’s. While every song on this album is solid enough, my favorites are ‘Chug All Night’, ‘Nightingale’, ‘Take The Devil’ and ‘Take It Easy’.
If you only know the singles from this terrific band, your seriously missing out on some awesome music. If you like the breezy sounds of the 1970’s, you’ll want to check this album out, you’ll not be disappointed!”
4. Desperado (1973)
“I believe this is the Eagles, most creative album. I never get tired of it. Every song is so well-crafted and beautifully-produced. I recently watched their documentary and I cannot believe this album was not as successful as anticipated when when first released. I was in high school when the album was released and bought it immediately. They were one of my favorite bands back and they still are today. I still play this album all the time. To me, this exemplifies the Eagles – the whole California vibe, the country rock thing, Their image will always be, for me, tied to this album. I love how Jackson Browne and JD Souther are actually in the photograph on the back of the album, as outlaws! I really miss Glenn Frey and hope others give this album a listen and appreciate the genius that was the 70’s Eagles.”
3. One of These Nights (1975)
“This is really a funny one to review. I have grown into a huge Eagles fan, and I have also grown very attached to their first three albums. I was always told how different the Eagles had begun to sound on this album, and I found that that claim is almost completely false.
The first track, which is also the title track, almost sounds disco at times. The tune is groovy, and fun to listen to, with Bee Gee-esque falsetto spots. The second track, ‘Too Many Hands’, with Meisner on lead vocals, sounds like it could have easily been on Desperado. ‘Lyin’ Eyes’, the big ballad of the album, is classic Henley/Frey. Its easy acoustic sound and laid back vocals conjure up images of that desert sunset on the first album. The jewel of this album is the Felder/Henley penned “Visions”. It’s a driving rocker!
This album is a little different from the preceding three, but at times sounds better. It has the same country twang, acoustic calm, and grooving rock as Eagles and Desperado, but isn’t full blown country-rock-pop like Hotel California. Definitely among their top three albums.”
2. Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 (1976)
“Listen to this album and you will begin to sense that most of the songs have a country feelin. Others use powerful background music to power through. This album is classic rock at its early beginnings.
If you’re a classic rock buff, this album is essential for your collection. In this greatest hits collection, there are only ten tracks to listen to, but these classic songs do not wear on you. This collection also defines the early Eagles’ creativity and diversity in their music. It shows Glenn Frey and Don Henley as two of the best songwriters in classic rock history.
The album has classic rockers such as ‘Take It Easy’ and ‘Already Gone’. Wonderful relaxing classics consist of ‘Peaceful, Easy Feeling’, ‘Best Of My Love’, and “Tequila Sunrise’. The songs are so soothing, they almost take you to another place where one can relax and watch a sunset while sipping a strong drink. ‘Take It To The Limit’ is a beautiful collaboration of the bands vocal talents and songwriting. The song that strikes me the most on this album, though, is ‘Desperado’. Every time I listen to this song, I get moved. This album captures the essence of the Eagles – out of all their album this is one of the best!”
1. Hotel California (1976)
“The Eagles were a phenomenally successful American Band that achieved mega stardom during the 1970s. Their music is steeped in western Americana and sits astride rock and country genres and has proven to be timeless. ‘Hotel California’ is without doubt the highpoint of their career – a truly iconic album that fully deserves the accolades. The title track ‘Hotel California’, ‘New Kid In Town’, and ‘Life In The Fast Lane’ are of course part of the Eagles legendary string of hits. The songs, the musicianship and the sound engineering combine to create a perfect synergy that truly captures the essence of the band. Definitely their best album!”
Music for Bass Players – Main Page
The Best Eagles Albums Ranked