Fairly random postings today, I've got some time on my hands so I'm trawling through Youtube and I dragged up an incredible live version of The Eagles' Take It To The Limit. Not sure there is a band that causes so much divided opinion than The Eagles, Keith Richards once said give me anything but The Eagles, don't give me complacency. I think that may have been a bit harsh from old Keith, The Eagles were a unique band, no single lead vocalist each member of the band more than capable songwriters. Success tends to blur the lines of critical perception, the fact is they wrote some great songs about isolation and life in the fast lane and the changing fortunes of America, they were the purveyors of success and excess.
Take It To The Limit was the third single released from the One Of These Nights album in 1976, this was the album that really established them both in the U.S and internationally. Bass player Randy Meisner sings on the track and co wrote it with Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Meisner's unique falsetto is beautifully displayed. It's a tale of loneliness and isolation, something that Meisner was struggling with during his time in the Eagles. Married when he was only 18 he had three young children and yearned for more time at home with his family, he eventually left the band after the Hotel California tour.
Meisner sings of being alone at the end of the evening, after the bright lights have faded away, it's an insight into the fleeting nature of success and the difficulties of relentless touring, and in the 1970's over indulgence. The song also represents the lure of the rock and roll lifestyle and how difficult it is to break away, one more time on the stage and that's it. It's the question that if all the money and fame leave will your true friends be there, money and success are fleeting, relationships are more lasting and fulfilling. If you want to see this performed live check out the performance they did on their 1977 U.S tour, apparently during this tour Frey was unhappy with Meisner's performance of the song and it resulted in clashes backstage. This performance is superb surely Glenn would have been happy with this perfomance!