Special edition to mark Hotel California milestone
The Eagles’ Hotel California will be reissued in a deluxe 40th-anniversary edition on Nov. 24, pairing the remastered original studio album with 10 live tracks recorded at the Forum in Inglewood about the time the work was released.
The 40th-anniversary designation is being applied somewhat loosely. “Actually, it came out in December of 1976, but nothing really hit the charts until ’77, so we’re not really that late,” Eagles founding member and songwriter Don Henley told the Times recently. “We’re fudging it a little bit.”
In fact, the first single from the album, New Kid in Town, sneaked in just before year’s end, premièring on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on Dec. 18, 1976, on its way to a peak at No. 1 during its 15-week chart run.
The album’s title track premièred on Feb. 26, 1977, and spent 19 weeks in the top 100, also reaching No. 1. Henley recalled that, because the song clocked in at little more than six minutes, “of course, the label said it was too long and that we had to cut it down. We said: ‘No, we’re not. You’re either going to put it out like it is or you’re not going to put it out.’ ” The band prevailed.
A third single, Life in the Fast Lane, made it as high as No. 11 and remained in the Hot 100 for 14 weeks.
The album itself became one of the bestselling albums of all time, and logged eight weeks at No. 1 in 1977. Ultimately, it lasted more than two years — 107 weeks — on the Billboard 200 albums tally. It has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, according to a spokesman at the Warner Music Group, which is reissuing the album.
The deluxe edition will include two CDs — the original album on one, the live tracks on the other — along with a Blu-Ray containing a new high-resolution stereo mix of the studio album, high-res multichannel sound and a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround-sound mix previously released in 2001.
The deluxe package also comes with an 11-by-11-inch book, previously unpublished photos from the era, a replica tour book and an 11-by 22-inch poster. That version carries a list price of $99.98 US.
The 40th-anniversary Hotel California will also be released in a two-CD expanded edition (listing for $19.98) and a single CD ($9.98), along with digital and streaming editions.
Since reforming this year for the Classic West/East Festivals in L.A. and New York, following the death last year of founding member Glenn Frey, the Eagles have continued touring with guest members Vince Gill and Frey’s son, singerguitarist Deacon Frey.
The band has five shows scheduled this month in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan.
The Eagles perform in 2013 during their History of the Eagles tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The band is marking the 40th anniversary of its Hotel California release.