The Eagles' first reunion tour was a full-on shock to music fans who never thought they would play together again. After they parted in 1980, Don Henley was categorical all along, stating that the band would get back together "when hell freezes over.” Apparently, everyone was wrong. On Nov. 8, 1994, they released “Hell Freezes Over.”
After appearing together at a charity event, the men realized there was too much left unsaid, and decided to give it another shot. A film studio in Burbank, Calif., was booked and over a two day period in April 1994, the Eagles recorded a MTV special, which resulted in the live tracks found on Hell Freezes Over. The DVD has the full 17 song performance, the CD has 11 tracks.
The video starts with Glenn Frey stating, “For the record, we never broke up. We just took a 14-year vacation.” And with those words came the infinite magic that is, was, and will always be, the Eagles. Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmidt, and Don Felder. From the first wistful notes of “Hotel California,” you just know that this is going to be very special.
Moving from that song into one of the very first songs Frey & Henley ever wrote, Tequila Sunrise in 1973, the stage is set for the soaring harmonies that The Eagles deliver with such finesse’. Then Joe Walsh’s Help Me Through the Night, followed by Henley’s huge solo hit The Heart of the Matter, about which Henley states “This song took 42 years to write, and 4 minutes to sing.”
The band continues to weave through both their hits, and some new material as well. Songs like I Can’t Tell You Why and Love Will Keep Us Alive, both sung by Timothy B. Schmidt, gave us the true Eagles experience everyone had hoped for. Wasted Time lamented a love long since gone. As the band performed New York Minute, Don Henley paused and stated “This is a song about appreciating what you have.” You could sense the poignancy of that sentence.
Other classics like The Last Resort, Take It Easy, In The City, and Life in the Fast Lane followed. A new song was then performed, which Walsh wryly called their new “band theme song,” Get Over It was a huge hit with the audience.
They closed with the second song ever written by Henley and Frey in 1973, Desperado. The song was made famous by Linda Ronstadt, but also became a huge hit for the Eagles as well.
This concert was about more than just music. It was witnessing the rebirth of one of the greatest bands that was ever formed. The Eagles proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that they were not done yet - not by a long shot!
The tour, which began a month after the special was recorded, ended up becoming one of the most notable and financially successful tours in the history of rock music. Over the next three years, from 1994-96, the Eagles played 160 shows across the world, setting box office records at nearly every stop along the way.
Tami Danielson is the main in-house blogger and Director of Operations for Pop-Daze. She was raised in California and Florida and currently resides in Oregon. Tami has written for a variety of periodicals and has provided digital marketing services for a number of artists. She can be reached at TDanielson@Pop-daze.com.