Critical respect has been a long time coming for the Eagles, although the band didn't exactly help its cause much with last year's mediocre double disc Long Road Out of Eden. (Despite — or maybe due to — it being only available at Wal-Mart, Eden still wound up as one of 2007's top-selling albums.) The quintessential Americana band long before there ever was such a term, the Eagles sparked a sea change in country music with 1994's tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. In fact, songs such as "Already Gone" and "Life in the Fast Lane" did as much as John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival did to lay the groundwork for what would (much) later become alt-country. But calling the band mere country-rockers completely glosses over Glenn Frey's deep Detroit R&B roots, which helped the group turn out some of the best ballads of the '70s: "Take It to the Limit," "Lyin' Eyes" and "Tequila Sunrise."
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