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The Music World Mourns: Chronicling The Life And Success Of The Eagles Founder Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey
  – Glenn Frey

Another music legend has passed away over the holiday weekend. It saddens us to join the rest of the world in reporting that singer/songwriter, and co-founder of the Eagles, Glenn Frey has died. Frey died on Monday, January 18, 2016. His family, band mates, and manager released the following statement about his death on his official web site, glenfreyafterhours.com.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of husband, best friend, father, comrade, and Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.

Cindy Frey • Taylor Frey • Deacon Frey • Otis Frey

Don Henley • Joe Walsh • Timothy B. Schmit • Bernie Leadon • Irving Azoff”

 

He was just 67 years old.

As a founding member and guitarist of The Eagles, and successful solo artist, Glenn Frey was one of the most successful musicians in Rock music history. The Eagles first formed in early 1971` after Glenn Frey and band-mate Don Henley came together after the two of them were initially recruited by singer/songwriter, Linda Ronstadt as part of her back up band. After the two of them were confident enough to form their own band together, convinced music mogul, David Geffen to sign them to his then new Asylum Records. In 1972 they would release their self-titled debut album. It featured their first hit, “Take It Easy,” which Glenn wrote with his longtime friend, Jackson Browne.

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The Eagles

“Take It Easy”

From Eagles

Asylum Records

 

 

The identity of the band would be formed further in future projects however, when Frey and Henley would find their sound as the songwriting duo that would produce the majority of The Eagles’ most memorable music for years to come.

Glenn Frey’s songwriting with band-mate Don Henley, resulted in some of the biggest hits and of the 1970s. Some of these include “Desperado,’ ‘One Of These Nights,’ ‘Lyin’ Eyes,’ and “Hotel California.”’

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The Eagles

“Desperado”

From Desperado

Asylum Records

The Eagles

“One Of These Nights”

From One Of These Nights

Asylum Records

The Eagles

“Lyin’ Eyes”

From One Of These Nights

Asylum Records

The Eagles

“Hotel California”

From Hotel California

Asylum Records

Songs like these would eventually lead to The Eagles winning six Grammy Awards throughout the course of their career. “Desperado” and “Hotel California” also have been inducted into the Grammy Hall OF Fame. In 1976, the band reached the peak of its success with the album Hotel California, selling over 16 million copies worldwide. It was during this time when they released four number one albums consecutively between 1975 and 1979. Those albums were One of These Nights, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Hotel California and The Long Run.

The Eagles

“The Long Run”

From The Long Run

Asylum Records

Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, was the first album certified platinum and is the second best selling album in American Pop music history. It has sold over 29 million copies in the United States, second only to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

After The Eagles first broke up in 1980, Glenn Frey enjoyed success as a solo artist. His first major hit came in 1984 with , “The Heat Is On.” It was featured on the soundtrack to Eddie Murphy’s career milestone film, Beverly Hills Cop. “The Heat Is On” was released as the fourth consecutive hit single from the massively popular compilation. The track reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1985, and helped that album become one of the best selling soundtracks of all time.

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Glenn Frey

“The Heat Is On”

From Beverly Hills Cop: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack

MCA Records

 

Another major soundtrack appearance would come in October of 1985. Glenn would have two songs prominently featured on the first soundtrack to the 1980s crime drama, Miami Vice. These song were the singles, “You Belong To The City,” and “Smuggler’s Blues.” “You Belong To The City” was a huge hit. It peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it also topped the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. This song, helped the Miami Vice soundtrack album reach the top spot of the Billboard 200 chart for 11 weeks in 1985,

Glenn Frey

“You Belong To The City”

From Miami Vice Soundtrack

MCA Records

Glenn Frey

“Smuggler’s Blues”

From Miami Vice Soundtrack

MCA Records

Miami Vice’s “Smuggler’s Blues” was also the title of an episode of the show in which Frey guest starred. Throughout his career Frey would also appear as an actor in other shows like Wiseguy (CBS), Nash Bridges (CBS), and Airliss. (HBO). He also starred in a 1993 pilot for a CBS, South Of Sunset. It was cancelled after the first episode aired, but the other produced episodes were subsequently aired on VH1 during their Eagles Family Tree Week special presentation. In film Frey starred alongside Mark Harmon, and Gary Busey in 1986’s Let’s Get Harry. He also played the minor role of Dennis Wilburn in the 1996 Tom Cruise hit film, Jerry Maguire.

 

Miami Vice

Episode Clip: “Smuggler’s Blues”

NBC

Away from his acting, Glenn Frey and the Eagles reunited in 1994. “For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation”, Frey said at their first reunion live performance in April 1994. They released their second live album, Hell Freezes Over, an album released in November 1994 to commemorate their reunion tour of the same name. That album featured the new singles composed by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, “Get Over It”, and “Love Will Keep Us Alive”. The tour inspired a broadcast of a related concert special for both VH1 and MTV, and lasted from 1994-1996, becoming one of the most successful tours of all time. From that point on Glenn and The Eagles would tour all throughout the 90s and early 2000s. They even had a Top 5 Adult contemporary hit single, in 2003 called “Hole In The World”.

 

The Eagles 

“Hole In The World”

From Very Best Of 

The Eagles Recording Company II/Warner Music Group

Frey’s last album with the band, Long Road Out of Eden was released in 2007. It would go on to sell 7 million copies in the United States. Apart from the general statement published on Glenn Frey’s web site, band-mate and song writing partner, Don Henley also poured his heart out in his own personal statement.

“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved.

We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.

We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year “History of the Eagles Tour” to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

-Don Henley

Other musicians, and celebrities in the music world soon followed Henley by posting their thoughts and feelings on how Glenn Frey and his music touched them on social media.

As a member of The Eagles, and a solo artist, Glenn Frey helped sell a combined total of over 150 million albums worldwide. He is a true talent that will be missed, but always remembered. Rest in Peace Glenn Frey.