Selected Works 1972-1999
The Eagles' zillion-selling Greatest Hits albums rank as the music industry's great warhorses; but they only tell part of the story of Southern California's rock monarchs. This career-spanning retrospective adds whole other chapters. The cleverly-sequenced four-disc set reprises all the smashes that made the band a radio staple for the past three decades, and peppers them with equally enticing album tracks. So hits such as "Take It Easy," "New Kid in Town," "Life in the Fast Lane," and their magnum opus "Hotel California" are set off by tunes such as "Doolin' Dalton," "Sad Café," and "King of Hollywood." Rather than order the tunes chronologically, the set groups them thematically -- with one studio disc devoted to rockers, one to ballads, and one to the group's more country-flavored material. Since the Eagles were never known as one of rock's more prolific flocks, fans might not expect Selected Works to hold much in the way of studio oddities. But it turns out the band did have a handful of offbeat items squirreled away, and those tracks spice up the proceedings, particularly the choogling "Born to Boogie" and the ten-minute "Random Victims Part 3," a mad-scientist splice of outtakes that holds together surprisingly well. The set's fourth disc -- which presents highlights from the "Millennium Concert" the Eagles staged in L.A. last year -- will be the most interesting to Eagles scholars who already own the major albums. Most of the songs culled from the gig are versions of their radio hits -- and some also appear in studio form in the box -- but ear-opening cuts, such as their rendition of Tom Waits' "Ol' 55" and Joe Walsh's reprise of his James Gang hit "Funk No. 49," will keep listeners on their toes. Selected Works also includes a well-appointed 44-page booklet graced with liner notes by Glenn Frey and arrives packaged in a unique canvas-bound box.