Picks and Pans Review: There Goes the Neighborhood
When their Take It Easy sound got too easy and guitarist Bernie Leadon bolted the Eagles' nest in 1975, the group turned to veteran ax-man Joe Walsh, a rock mainstay from the James Gang. Since he joined them on works like Hotel California and The Long Run, the Eagles have been tougher birds. If the band is still greater than the sum of its parts, the parts are nonetheless fascinating. This solo album (Walsh's sixth) shows some of the ideas that haven't been allowed to take wing inside the Eagles' stylistic platinum cage. There's a clever ditty called Down on the Farm that combines themes from author George Orwell and Old Macdonald. The lyrics lack the Eagle-ish multiple layers of meaning, but there are some good lines: "Mass inflation, welfare line...gross economy/Trade it all for what's behind/Curtain number three." Walsh's voice, a somewhat flat tenor without much range, would seem a liability, but used in tandem with his guitar fancywork, it gives him a homey, approachable sound. Eagles Tim Schmit and Don Felder joined in several tracks, and Joe says he has not flown the Eagles' coop. There are, however, no current plans for a new Eagles LP or tour.