Eagles is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California during the early 1970s. The group chose the name Eagles as a nod to The Byrds (as founding member Bernie Leadon had been in Dillard & Clark with former Byrds singer Gene Clark and in The Flying Burrito Brothers with former Byrds Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke). Comedian Steve Martin records in his autobiography, Born Standing Up, that Frey was very particular that the name was Eagles and not The Eagles. The band played initially as Linda Ronstadt’s backing group.
The seeds for the band were planted when Linda Ronstadt and then-manager John Boylan recruited session musicians Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner to back Ronstadt. Ronstadt agreed to hire them. They were missing a drummer until Frey telephoned Don Henley, whom he had met at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles. The group auditioned for Ronstadt; she approved, and the band backed her on a two-month tour and on her eponymous 1972 album. After their tenure with Ronstadt and with her encouragement, they decided to form their own band, signing with Asylum Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts also initially managed the band.
With five #1 singles and six #1 albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful recording artists of the decade. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 and Hotel California, ranked among the 20 best-selling albums according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The best-selling studio album Hotel California is rated as the 37th album in the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and the band was ranked #75 on the magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. They also have the best selling album in the U.S. to date with Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975.
In 2007, the Eagles consisted of Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit. On August 20, 2007, "How Long," written by J.D. Souther – who had previously worked with the Eagles co-writing some of their biggest hits including "Best of My Love," "Victim of Love," "Heartache Tonight" and "New Kid in Town" – was released as a single to radio with an accompanying online video at Yahoo! Music and debuted on television on CMT during the Top 20 Countdown on August 23, 2007. The band performed the song as part of their live sets in the early-to-mid '70s, but did not record it at the time due to J.D. Souther's desire to use it on his first solo album.
On October 30, 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their first album of all-new material since 1979. For the first year after the album's initial release, it was available in the U.S. exclusively via the band's website, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. It was commercially available through traditional retail outlets in other countries. The album debuted at #1 in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Norway. It became their third studio album, seventh release overall, to be certified at least seven times platinum. In an interview with CNN, Don Henley declared, "This is probably the last Eagles album that we'll ever make."
The Eagles made their awards show debut on November 7, 2007, when they performed "How Long" live at the Country Music Association Awards.
On January 28, 2008, the second single off Long Road Out of Eden was released. "Busy Being Fabulous" peaked at #30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at #18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.
The Eagles won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "How Long." It was the band's fifth Grammy Award.
On March 20, 2008, the Eagles launched their world tour in support of Long Road Out of Eden at The O2 Arena in London, England. Long Road out of Eden Tour concluded their last currently scheduled American venue on May 9, 2009 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. It was the first concert ever held in the new soccer stadium. The group was touring in Europe, their last tour date scheduled on July 22, 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Eagles broke up in 1980, but reunited in 1994 for Hell Freezes Over, a mix of live and new studio tracks. They have toured intermittently since then, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2007, Eagles released Long Road out of Eden, their first full studio album in 28 years. The next year they launched The Long Road out of Eden Tour in support of their album. The tour continued on into 2009, crossing North America and Europe, with its last date on July 22, 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal.