Glenn Frey soared with the Eagles and enjoyed similarly high-flying success as a solo artist. But what are the best tracks by the singer-songwriter, who has died at the age of 67? EW looks back at his most memorable musical moments…
Take It Easy (1972)—The Eagles
Frey puts his troubles behind him — and encapsulates a very West Coast strain of good vibes — on the Eagles’ first single, which he co-wrote with Jackson Browne.
Peaceful Easy Feeling (1972)—The Eagles
The band’s second release, a melancholic love song penned by singer-songwriter Jack Tempchin, proved a second beguiling showcase for Frey’s sweet-sad vocals and for his ability to harmonize with his fellow Eagles, including co-leader Don Henley.
Desperado (1973)—The Eagles
Henley sang the title track from the Eagles’ album of the same name — but Frey co-wrote this much-covered ballad with the drummer. (Frey also co-wrote the Henley-sung “Hotel Califronia,” with the drummer and lead guitarist Don Felder.)
Lyin’ Eyes (1975)—The Eagles
Another beautiful mix of heartstring-tugging lead vocal and beautiful harmonies—which is a good thing, given the desperate story of deceit and gold-digging detailed by the lyrics in this Frey-Henley composition.
New Kid in Town (1976)—The Eagles
Frey sings about how easy it is to fall out of love with a partner — although he could also be singing about the fickle nature of fandom. The irony? The first single released from Hotel California, “New Kid in Town” hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, setting up its parent album to become one of the biggest-selling releases ever.
Heartache Tonight (1979)—The Eagles
“Somebody’s gonna hurt someone/ Before the night is through.” Those lyrics would prove prophetic. Although “Heartache Tonight” topped the charts, the Eagles split up in 1980.
The Heat Is On (1984)—Glenn Frey
Frey’s propulsive, sax riff-augmented contribution to the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack was a long way from the country-rock which had made Frey famous in the early days of the Eagles. But that didn’t stop the track reaching No. 2 on the charts.
You Belong to the City (1985)—Glenn Frey
Frey wrote the #2 hit song for the TV show Miami Vice, on which he also appeared, guest-starring as a pilot in the episode “Smuggler’s Blues.” Speaking of which…
Smuggler’s Blues (1985)—Glenn Frey
The hard-rocking tale of cocaine-smuggling also featured on Miami Vice. To this day, men of a certain age will reflexively start rolling up the sleeves of their jackets when it comes on the radio.
Route 66 (2012)—Glenn Frey
Frey tackled the Great American Songbook on his last album, 2012’s After Hours. The highlight? This jazzy, jaunty run through songwriter Bobby Troup’s classic tune.