Remembrances of the life and work of Glenn Frey have been plentiful since his passing just a week ago. When recalling his music with the Eagles, many retrospectives have listed the incredible string of hit songs the band ripped off in the '70s and yet also noted the fact that these chroniclers of California excess and ennui were rarely critical darlings. It’s an odd conundrum, one that the band addressed in part on “New Kid In Town,” the chart-topping lead single off their 1976 masterpiece Hotel California. Frey wrote the song in tandem with bandmate Don Henley and frequent Eagle collaborator J.D. Souther. In the liner notes to the Eagles compilation album The Very Best Of, Henley recalled the dual meaning of “New Kid In Town”. “It's about the fleeting, fickle nature of love and romance,” he said. “It's also about the fleeting nature of fame, especially in the music business. We were basically saying, 'Look, we know we're red hot right now but we also know that somebody's going to come along and replace us — both in music and in love.” The insight about their standing in the rock world could have come off as snarky, but Frey’s compassionate lead vocal removes any chance of that occurring. As the “talk on the streets” subtly advances from praise of the song’s “Johnny come lately” to shunning him in favor of somebody new, Frey’s vocal captures every nuance. Even when things are going well, he’s there to warn about the tricky business of “great expectations”: “Everybody loves you/ So don’t let them down.” In the second... Sign In to Keep Reading
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