Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane

Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane

‘Life in the Fast Lane’ is a song written by Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, and recorded by American rock band Eagles for the band's fifth studio album Hotel California (1976). It was the third single released from this album, and peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song tells the story of a couple who take their excessive lifestyle to the edge. On In the Studio with Redbeard, Glenn Frey revealed that the title came to him one day when he was riding on the freeway with a drug dealer known as "The Count". Frey asked the dealer to slow down and the response was, "What do you mean? It's life in the fast lane!" In that same interview, Frey indicated that the song's central riff was played by Walsh while the band was warming up in rehearsals and Walsh was told to "keep that; it's a song". Don Henley recalled that the "song actually sprang from the opening guitar riff. One day, at rehearsal, Joe [Walsh] just busted out that crazy riff and I said 'What the hell is that? We've got to figure out to make a song out of that." Henley and Frey, the primary lyricists for the band, then wrote the lyrics for the song.

Cash Box said that "with the influence of six-stringer Joe Walsh, the Eagles are harder and funkier than ever here." Record World said that it's "the album's most hard-edged rocker, dominated by a Walsh-signature guitar line." In 2016, the editors of Rolling Stone rated ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ as the Eagles' eighth-greatest song. In 2017, Billboard ranked the song number four on their list of the 15 greatest Eagles songs, and in 2019, Rolling Stone ranked the song number eight on their list of the 40 greatest Eagles songs

In a 1981 interview with the BBC, Frey explained: "Life In The Fast Lane' kind of expressed the stereotyped LA 'run around in your Porsche' 24 hour boogie mode that unfortunately is too true for a lot of people. It wasn't really a statement about the guys in the band, or about anybody in particular – just it's kind of disturbing to see the extremes that the bourgeois jet set will involve themselves in. For instance, disco almost turned into a lifestyle, and it's such a non-meaningful thing on which to base one's life."

When reminded that his Eagles bandmates may have exhibited some symptoms described in this song, Walsh replied: "Yeah, that's probably true, and I think it was healthy, though, that we realized that running around and parties and fast cars are really not the answer – it's kind of a shallow way to approach why we're on this planet, and it probably came as a band consciousness."

Label – Asylum
Songwriters – Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Don Henley
Producer – Bill Szymczyk


[Verse 1]
He was a hard-headed man, he was brutally handsome
And she was terminally pretty
She held him up and he held her for ransom
In the heart of the cold, cold city
He had a nasty reputation as a cruel dude
They said he was ruthless, they said he was crude
They had one thing in common, they were good in bed
She'd say, "Faster, faster, the lights are turnin' red"
Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane, huh
Are you with me so far?
[Verse 2]
Eager for action, hot for the game
The coming attraction, the drop of a name
They knew all the right people, they took all the right pills
They threw outrageous parties, they paid heavenly bills
There were lines on the mirror, lines on her face
She pretended not to notice, she was caught up in the race
Out every evening, until it was light
He was too tired to make it, she was too tired to fight about it
Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane, huh
Life in the fast lane, everything all the time
Life in the fast lane, uh-huh
[Instrumental Bridge]
[Verse 3]
Blowin' and burnin', blinded by thirst
They didn't see the stop sign, took a turn for the worst
She said, "Listen, baby, you can hear the engine ring"
"We've been up and down this highway, haven't seen a goddamn thing"
He said, "Call the doctor, I think I'm gonna crash"
"The doctor say he's comin', but you gotta pay in cash"
They went rushin' down that freeway, messed around and got lost
They didn't care, they were just dyin' to get off and it was
Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane, uh-huh
Life in the fast lane, everything all the time
Life in the fast lane, uh-huh
Life in the fast lane
Life in the fast lane
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