Big 95 Music News: Eagles, Steely Dan

EAGLES:  Hotel California  reissue on the way Friday

The Eagles reissue Hotel California in multiple formats on Friday.

Though it's called a 40th anniversary edition, it's actually closer to 41. Don Henley tells Rolling Stone, "We're a year late, technically speaking. The album came out in December 1976. But it didn't really make an impact on the radio until February of '77."

The original album has been remastered and will be available in a single-CD and a digital release. The two-CD Expanded Edition adds 10 previously unreleased live tracks recorded in October 1976 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Henley says, "I was delighted at the energy and grittiness of the live tracks. I'm so thrilled we had the foresight to record those things at the Forum. I didn't even realize that we had done that -- playing songs from Hotel California before it was out. We were doing things that nobody had heard on the radio yet.

The 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition adds a Blu-ray audio disc with the album in Surround Sound. It's packaged in a hardbound book with rare and unseen photos, along with a Hotel California replica tour book.

The highlight of the album is the title track, particularly the duel guitar solo by Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Henley says, "Rather than perfectionism, I like to refer to [that solo] as craftsmanship. Don and Joe sat down and worked on those solos for days. Then [producer] Bill Szymczyk and I did some editing on those solos. Then they relearned the parts after we edited them together. They'll be pissed at me for saying this, but that wasn't them just sitting down and spontaneously playing it in one take. That was weeks of work to get there. I'm not taking anything away. I have to give them props. They wrote those solos, worked over those harmony parts for days, then played them over and over again."

Hotel California spent eight non-consecutive weeks at number-one in 1977. It spawned two number-one hits -- the title track and "New Kid in Town" -- and has sold more than 16 million copies in the U.S.

STEELY DAN:  Donald Fagen lawsuit

Donald Fagen has filed suit against Walter Becker's estate to get control of the company that runs the Steely Dan name.

The suit was filed Tuesday in L.A. County Superior Court and cited a 1972 agreement signed by the original members when Steely Dan was incorporated. The agreement states that whenever a member of the group quits or dies, Steely Dan purchases all of that members shares in the group. The suit claims that the estate sent a letter to Fagen four days after Becker's death, saying that the 1972 agreement was not in effect, that Becker's widow should be an officer of Steely Dan and demanded 50-percent ownership of the corporation. Fagen also claims the Becker estate currently operates the band's website and refuses to relinquish or share control of it.

Fagen is also suing the group's business management firm, claiming the company has been withholding records. Fagen is seeking upwards of $1-million in damages and is asking the court to declare that the 1972 agreement is valid and enforceable and that he is the sole owner of the Steely Dan name and all rights associated with it.

Fagen's lawyer, Louis "Skip" Miller, told The Hollywood Reporter, "This lawsuit is about a contract, the enforcement of that contract and the continuity of Steely Dan. We think the contract is very clear on its face and we hope this lawsuit is resolved expeditiously."

Fagen has already done some dates with Steely Dan since Becker's death in September.


Mike Love's solo album launch party in a small New York club Monday night turned into a Beach Boys mini-concert. Tour band mainstays Bruce Johnston, John Cowsill, Jeff Foskett, Scott Totten and John Stamosjoined Mike for a half-dozen songs, including such classics as "Fun Fun Fun" and "Help Me Rhonda."

The sons of the late Roy Orbison have filed suit in New York against Hologram USA Entertainment. They claim unauthorized use of Roy's name and likeness after termination a contract for creation of a hologram-based concert production. The Orbison family are now working with a different partner in creating similar show set to debut in the U.K. next year.

A re-working of Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” is used in a new Honda commercial.

Oops from the Queen camp: “Due to an unforeseen print error, a small number of the News of the World Anniversary Edition box sets were shipped with a misprinted replica 1977 ‘Special Press Edition' newspaper inside.” If you have one and want it replaced, log onto for more details.

Bryan Adams paid a visit to the graves of Beethoven and Mozart while on tour in Austria last week.

Amy Helm, the daughter of the late Levon Helm and stepdaughter of Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, will do a Tom Petty tribute show Friday night at her dad’s barn/studio in Woodstock, New York.

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