December 01, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Selected Works: 1972-1999

Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B+

Those perfectionist, studio tanned Eagles never started anything they couldn’t finish, so Selected Works 1972?1999, the four-CD overview, can’t offer any better vault material than a three minute medley of unfinished riffs and 10 minutes of studio banter. But in divvying up hits among three of the discs, the band made a smart compromise between chronological and thematic approaches.

First comes an ”Early Years” disc, then, getting into the Felder/ Walsh epoch, one CD of putative rockers and one of ballads — life in the car pool lane and on the soft shoulder, respectively. The case for Don Henley and Glenn Frey as SoCal Lennon and McCartney is certainly made, though proportionality results in arguable selections (like Ringo, Timothy B. Schmit must get his due).

The fourth disc, an abridgment of the reunited combo’s L.A. millennium eve concert, captures their curious tendency to exactly re- create studio arrangements, though any opportunity to squeeze in ”Funk 49” can’t be bad. B+

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