Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tune Time - Hotel California

An absolute classic, "Hotel California" is the title song from the Eagles' album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for one week in May 1977. Three months after its release, the single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America representing 1,000,000 records shipped. The Eagles also won the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "Hotel California" at the 20th Annual Grammy Awards in 1978. In 2009, the song was certified Platinum (Digital Sales Award) by the RIAA for sales of 1,000,000 digital downloads.

The lyrics describe the title's establishment as a luxury resort where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about hedonism and self-destruction in the Southern California music industry of the late 1970s; Don Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles" and later reiterated "it's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about. (Info from Wikipedia)


Lyrics:

On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
"This could be heaven or this could be hell"
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
She got the Mercedes-Benz
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
That she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard
Sweet summer sweat
Some dance to remember
Some dance to forget

So I called up the captain
"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "We haven't had that spirit here
Since 1969"
And still those voices are calling from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They're living it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, "We are all just prisoners here
Of our own device"
And in the master's chambers
They gathered for the feast
The stab it with their steely knives
But they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax," said the night man
"We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave!"

7 comments:

  1. One of the all-time top tens, along with Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven.

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  2. Sigh..I still remember it well.
    A friend and I made a play to this song, in Drama class.

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  3. I had heard the explanation of the song before but I still don't get it in the lyrics... must be a musician thing. Great song though.

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  4. @Debra: It sure was. Still very popular.

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    @Jane: Ah yes, who can forget Stairway to Heaven! One of my favourites.

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    @LaelShine: Really? That must have been very interesting with such a cool song.

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    @WebDebris: I don't really get it either, so you're certainly not alone.

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  5. It's a song that can make anyone feel nostalgic, even when played decades past it's release, it's magic really.

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  6. It sure is, Tatiana. It's one of those songs that lives forever.

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