About This Episode:
Don Felder spent 27 years with the Eagles, who have sold over 150 million albums worldwide to date and own the fine distinction of recording the top-selling album of all time — Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975), which has sold over 38 million copies (and counting). “I’m honored and blessed enough to have contributed to and been a part of a very talented mixture of voices, writing, guitar parts, and production,” he says of the group. “It was a magical, unique combination that happened in a certain place and time. I’m very proud of that. Every time I hear the work we did on the radio, I go, ‘Oh! You were really good!’”
Don left the band in 2001 and has since forged an impressive career as a top-tier solo artist, having placed the hard-driving “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)” in the pole position of the same-named 1981 animated film (a song that remains one of the most requested staples of his live set to this very day), along with a pair of fully realized full-length albums, 1983’s sonically soaring Airborne and 2012’s multifaceted song-cycle treatise, Road to Forever.
Felder added “best-selling author” to his ever-impressive C.V. when his spellbinding 2008 memoir, Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001), became an instant New York Times bestselling smash. “There’s still a lot of excitement about it,” he observes. “I still get all these posts about it on Facebook and Twitter, and there’s a huge grass-roots thing that goes on every time I play live. As many as 50 people come up to the front of the stage who have the book and want me to sign it at just about every show.”
To that end, Felder finds himself most decidedly back in the driver’s seat with the April 2019 release of his first solo album in seven years, American Rock ’N’ Roll (BMG). American Rock ’N’ Roll covers the gamut of the man’s artistic talents, consisting of 11 high-energy rockers mixed with touching, thoughtful ballads. From the state of the guitar-rock union salute to “American Rock N Roll” to the funky crunch of “Hearts on Fire” to the fierce, unrelenting declaration of “Rock You” to the mutual heartfelt honesty of “Falling in Love” and “You’re My World,” Don Felder has once again tapped into the current music zeitgeist to emerge with an album that represents the peak of his creative prowess.
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