Eagles - Desperado

Eagles - Desperado

‘Desperado’ is a soft rock ballad by the American rock band the Eagles. The track was written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, and appeared on the 1973 album Desperado as well as numerous compilation albums. Although it was never released as a single, it became one of Eagles' best-known songs. It ranked No. 494 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

The unexpected success of the first Eagles album was rather shocking for the group. "We freaked out," said Don Henley. "So [for our next album] we did Desperado, which we thought was going to be our big artistic statement on the evils of fame and success, with a cowboy metaphor." It's a loose concept album about the Dalton cowboy gang, and the title track is a sad lament about the lonely life out on the trail. Don Henley began writing parts of this in the late '60s, but it wasn't arranged into a song until his songwriting teammate Glenn Frey came along. It was the first of many songs Henley and Frey wrote together.

Henley explained in the liner notes for The Very Best of the Eagles: "Glenn came over to write one day, and I showed him this unfinished tune that I had been holding for so many years. I said, 'When I play it and sing it, I think of Ray Charles - Ray Charles and Stephen Foster. It's really a Southern gothic thing, but we can easily make it more Western.' Glenn leapt right on it - filled in the blanks and brought structure. And that was the beginning of our songwriting partnership - that's when we became a team."

It was never released a single, though the group's old friend Linda Ronstadt covered it in 1973 and brought it to a huge audience. It has been performed at every Eagles concert over the past 40 years, often as the very last song of the night. "Desperado’ is one of Eagles' most famous songs, and it was voted the second-most-favorite Eagles song in a poll of Rolling Stone readers. In 2000, the song was included in MOJO magazine's list of greatest songs, nominated by songwriters such as Paul McCartney, Hal David, and Brian Wilson. Members of the Western Writers of America included it in their list of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. In 2017, Billboard ranked the song number two on their list of the 15 greatest Eagles songs, and in 2019, Rolling Stone ranked the song number three on their list of the 40 greatest Eagles songs.

Label – Asylum
Songwriters – Glenn Frey, Don Henley
Producer – Glyn Johns


[Verse 1]
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You've been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one, but I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you can hurt you somehow
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet
Now it seems to me some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get
[Verse 2]
Desperado, woah, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh, freedom, well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walkin' through this world all alone
Don't your feet get cold in the wintertime?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the nighttime from the day
You're losin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feelin' goes
[Verse 3]
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you (Let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you before it's too late
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