Hotel California is the fifth studio album by the Eagles, released on December 8, 1976. The album was their first with guitarist Joe Walsh, who helped write "Life in the Fast Lane" and sung lead on "Pretty Maids All in a Row". Currently the third-best-selling album of all time, it is best known for hit singles "Hotel California," "New Kid in Town," and "Life in the Fast Lane." It was ranked the 37th greatest album of all time on Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and is included on Time Magazine's 2006 list of their All Time 100 Essential Albums.
- "Hotel California" (6:30)
- "New Kid in Town" (5:03)
- "Life in the Fast Lane" (4:46)
- "Wasted Time" (4:56)
- "Wasted Time (Reprise)" (1:23)
- "Victim of Love" (4:09)
- "Pretty Maids All in a Row" (3:58)
- "Try and Love Again" (5:09)
- "The Last Resort" (7:28)
"Life in the fast lane, sure to make you lose your tropes...":
- Back-Alley Doctor: Mentioned on "Life in the Fast Lane".Call the doctor, I think I'm gonna crash
Doctor said he's coming, but you gotta pay in cash.
- Concept Album: Said to be one according to Don Henley, at least loosely so, as a reflection on the state of America at the time.
- Crapsaccharine World
- Crapsack World: "Life in the Fast Lane".
- Feelies: Vinyl copies came with a fold-out poster of the band, which was eventually incorporated into the CD booklet.
- Green Aesop: "The Last Resort".
- Inn of No Return / Hell Hotel: "Hotel California".
- Instrumental: "Wasted Time (Reprise)".
- Longest Song Goes Last: "The Last Resort", clocking in a 7:28.
- Mind Screw: The lyrics of "Hotel California" constantly keep you just slightly confused about what exactly is going on. Even the band isn't really sure what its about: according to Don Henley, the song is about the problems one encounters when you spend your life seeking fame and suddenly get it; Frey says its about slowly losing one's hopes and dreams as life wears you down; Walsh says its about both; and when he was asked, Schmit famously shrugged his shoulders and said, "How the fork should I know, man..."note
- There are three main Epileptic Trees about the song. The first is that it is a deconstructed Ode to Intoxication. The second is that it is referencing a religious cult (everything from the Manson Family to Hollywood Satanism to the Church of Happyology has been suggested).
- The third, sometimes compared to a short musical The Twilight Zone episode, is when the lyrics are taken literally. The Hotel California is an Eldritch Inn Between the Worlds that lures in passersby and traps them in a paradise while it slowly makes them forget the world. The final two verses of the song are the protagonist realizing that This Isn't Heaven.Next thing I remember, I was running for the door.
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before.
"Relax", said the nightman, "we are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!"
- Miniscule Rocking: "Wasted Time (Reprise)" (1:23).
- Shout-Out: To Steely Dan in Hotel California:"They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast."
- Step Up to the Microphone: Joe Walsh sings "Pretty Maids All in a Row".
- Take That!: "Life in the Fast Lane" is said to be one to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks' relationship.
- Wham Line: "Hotel California" has the famous "You can check out any time you like/But you can never leave".