Here’s Why Billy Joel Called the Eagles the ‘American Beatles’

Comparing someone to the Beatles is not thrown around lightly. Despite one’s personal opinions on the foursome, no one can deny they were (and continue to be) a mammoth force in rock music. That makes Billy Joel’s assertion that the Eagles were the ‘American Beatles’ a majorly gushing remark.

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There are easy connections to be made between the Eagles and the Beatles. Firstly, there is a prolific songwriting duo at the heart of both of these bands. Don Henley and Glenn Frey in the former. John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the latter.

[RELATED: The Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” and the Real-Life Drunken Doctor Who Inspired The Fourth Verse]

Moreover, there is something to be said about the talent of every member of both of these bands. Like the Beatles, the Eagles had a stacked roster full of equally as impressive musicians as their two “frontmen.”

It’s easy enough to see where Joel would come up with that descriptor. But, don’t just take it from us. Here’s what Joel had to say about the West Coast rockers: “You could argue that they were the American Beatles, with that dual songwriting team of Frey and Henley and all those state-of-the-art hit records.”

Joel isn’t the only person to ever dub the Eagles something similar to the ‘American Beatles.’ We don’t think any Eagles members would have a problem with the descriptor either–particularly Don Henley.

“I admired John Lennon more than anybody in the music industry,” Henley once said. “I loved his voice, I loved his sense of humor — his dry wit. I loved the songs he wrote, the lyrics he wrote. I loved what he stood for, what he believed in, everything about him, really. He was a great influence on me.”

What do you think? Do the Eagles bring up memories of the Fab Four? Or is Joel way off base?

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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