Updated: Aug 27, 2021
“Hotel California” is the fifth studio album released by American rock band The Eagles in 1976. Considered by many as a modern rock masterpiece, “Hotel California” explores themes of illusion vs. reality, the dark sides of fame, and the underbelly of the American dream, which founding member Don Henley describes as a reaction to the fading sentiment of the “peace, love, and understanding” movement of the sixties. The album opens with the title track, setting the stage for the rest of the concept album, and utilizing the inherent mythos and powerful symbolism of California to create a dichotomy of the Hollywood projection of glitz and glamour against a conflicting reality that at the time, placed America both at the height of its bicentennial year while still heavily recouping its loss of the Vietnam War. Henley felt that as a band sharing the name of the national symbol, they were obliged to craft a statement about the country’s direction, ultimately coining the metaphor of “Hotel California” to begin telling that story. The album was nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning two for Record of the Year and Best Arrangement with Vocals. Today, the album is consistently ranked among top albums of all time lists and has been certified 26x platinum. “Hotel California” by The Eagles is the third highest selling album of all time, behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and their own greatest hits compilation at number one. Experience the rock opera for yourself with songs like “New Kid in Town,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “Hotel California” by streaming the 40th anniversary special edition now on Spotify!