1971 The Band
Glenn Frey - guitar, vocals, piano, slide guitar, harmonica
Bernie Leadon - guitar, vocals, banjo, mandolin
Randy Meisner - bass, vocals, guitar
Don Henley - drums, vocals, guitar
The band formed in 1971 when Linda Ronstadt's then-manager, John Boylan, recruited Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner from their previous affiliations. They were short of a drummer until Frey telephoned Don Henley, whom he had met at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles. After auditioning for Ronstadt, she approved and the band backed her up on a two month tour and provided the opportunity for their first album recording, on her 1970 album Silk Purse. After their tenure with Ronstadt and with her encouragement, they then decided to form their own band, signing in 1970 to Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts also initially managed the band. The new group chose the name the Eagles as a nod to The Byrds (Leadon had been in The Flying Burrito Brothers with former Byrds bassist Chris Hillman).
Their first album, Eagles, was filled with natural, sometimes innocent country rock, and yielded three Top 40 singles. The first single, "Take It Easy," was a song written by Glenn Frey and his friend, neighbor and fellow country rocker, Jackson Browne. Frey heard Browne playing it and asked if the Eagles could use it. Browne agreed and with a few lyrics added in by Frey, the song was recorded and reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and propelled the Eagles to stardom. The single was followed by the bluesy "Witchy Woman" and the soft country rock ballad "Peaceful Easy Feeling," charting at No. 9 and No. 22 respectively. The Eagles were a major force in popularizing the southern California country rock sound around the nation. Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" ranked Eagles at number 374