Hotel California Introduction
"Hotel California" is a beloved song with a bit of a dark side.
About the Song
|Artist||The Eagles||Musician(s)||Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Joe Walsh|
|Writer(s)||Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley|
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But maybe "Hotel California" has something even bigger to say, as well… something that speaks even to those of us who will never perform before 100,000 screaming fans or find ourselves hounded by groupies. Maybe the Hotel California is a metaphor for that most universal (if painful) of human experiences: broken dreams. Eagles guitarist Don Felder, who wrote the tune for "Hotel California," has talked about how the song was inspired by driving into Los Angeles filled with high expectations that were later disappointed: "If you drive into LA at night you can just see this glow on the horizon of lights and the images that start running through your head of Hollywood and all the dreams that you have." What happens when those dreams don't pan out? It's a theme that runs straight through American literature and history, the dark underbelly of the American dream. Tom Joad could tell you a thing or two about it. So could Jay Gatsby. So could the miners who came west to the California Gold Rush and never found the mother lode, or the immigrants who later found more hardship than fortune in American cities' overcrowded tenements.
And yet, even amidst all the hardship, the dream remained. However dark the message of "Hotel California" may be, we just can't stop humming the tune.
On the ChartsThe album Hotel California reached #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart in 1977.
Likewise, the title track, "Hotel California," was #1 on the American Billboard Pop Singles Chart.
"Hotel California" won a Grammy in 1978 for Record of the Year.
In 2009, the song was certified digital platinum for having sold over 1 million digital downloads.
Rolling Stone ranked "Hotel California" #49 on its list of the top 500 rock n' roll singles. It is also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.