The Song the Eagles Made While Highly Intoxicated

Even a band like the Eagles needs a little extra encouragement occasionally. Despite their prestige in the rock space, they had stints of their career that felt like a gamble. While making their third album, On The Border, the band struggled in the studio–particularly so on the title track. To strike the perfect chord on this song, the band had a little help from their friends: gin and tonic.

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[RELATED: The Eagles Song Don Henley Thought Unexpectedly Reinvented the Group]

Cruising down the center of a two way street
Wondering who is really in the driver’s seat
Minding my business along comes big brother
Says, son, you better get on one side or the other

“On the Border” is a soulful song that makes the most out of the outfit’s harmonies. Never had the groups’ rich vocals shined as brightly as they did on this song. While most Eagles fans would think harmonies like these would be a cake walk for this group, it took a lot out of the band.

According to Glenn Frey, they needed a little pick-me-up in order to get the harmonies just right. “We decided to get completely liberated on gin and tonics in order to do that little Temptations bit in the break,” he once said. “We had to be totally uninhibited where we didn’t feel like we were going to sing the blues or anything, but like we were white, stoned punks, drunk out of our minds. We were just gonna go out there and have a good time!”

I’m out on the border, i’m walking the line
Don’t you tell me about your law and order
I’m trying to change this water to wine

You can feel that energy on this track and the bridge of this song does indeed feel reminiscent of The Temptations. All in all, the band’s helpful aid seems to have worked. Few of their songs sound as robust and powerful as this one.

Revisit the track, below.

(Photo by RB/Redferns)

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