Don Henley and the Eagles may have sold a jillion albums
, written some memorable songs, and established themselves as icons of the cocaine-colored '70s. But if there's one thing they weren't, it's a great live band--unless, of course, your idea of greatness includes rote, note-perfect re-creations of the recorded versions. And so it is with Henley the solo artist, at least if Live: Inside Job
is any clue. Oh, it's not that this is a bad show. Au contraire
. Henley's got a really good voice, a very good band, and a batch of good songs, including five from Inside Job
(his first album of new material since the '80s), several solo hits, and the inevitable Eagle droppings. The guy is unquestionably a serious artist (that's serious as in "humorless"--Henley's stock in trade is sarcastic, cynical tunes like "Dirty Laundry," "New York Minute," and "They're Not Here, They're Not Coming," with their bitter ruminations on how tough it is to be a celebrity and the general decay and hollowness of contemporary culture). As such, he might reasonably claim that it's all about the music--hey, you want costume changes and firing flash pots, go see Cher or Kiss. An admirable stance, maybe, but it doesn't exactly make for a thrilling video experience. What you get is a filmed concert--nothing more, nothing less--with a couple of unexpected moments. Chief among the latter is the romping, Afro-Cuban arrangement of "Hotel California," and the presence of a 12-voice choir (led by Maxine Waters) that lends genuine majesty to "The Heart of the Matter." The choir is appropriate, because with Live: Inside Job
, that's who Don Henley's preaching to. --Sam Graham
Grammy Award winner Don Henley helped define the '70s as a member of the fabulously successful rock band The Eagles before launching an impressive solo career. On May 25, 2000, he returned to his Texas roots for a remarkable concert, recorded before an enthusiastic audience at Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas. This rock legend's live performance captures all the passion, satire and originality that fans around the world most treasure in his influential music. Songs: Dirty Laundry, Sunset Grill, Workin' It, Takin' You Home, The Boys of Summer, Lilah, Everything is Different Now, The End of the Innocence, All She Wants to Do is Dance, New York Minute, Talking to the Moon, They're Not Here They're Not Coming, The Heart of the Matter, Desperado, The Long Run, My Thanksgiving, Hotel California.