Joe Walsh is known for his work as a member of the Eagles and when he joined the Eagles in 1975, he bought new energy that changed the Eagles. The sound of the Eagles was influenced by Walsh’s distinctive guitar playing, which combines aspects of rock, blues, and country. Walsh also influenced many other rock guitarists. He also introduced a sense of humor and irreverence to the group, which gave their music a fresh perspective.
Before all this, Bernie Leadon, a founding member of The Eagles, departed the group a few months after the release of their seminal album “One of These Nights,” upset that they were leaning more towards rock and roll than country music.
As a result, they hired guitarist and singer Joe Walsh in 1975 to take Leadon’s position. Walsh was far from a nobody at this time; he had already joined a number of popular bands and enjoyed a very successful solo career. Walsh changed the game despite the other members’ doubts that he would be a suitable fit for them.
Walsh assisted in restructuring the Eagles, giving a band better known for easygoing country-rock songs a gritty rock edge. 1976’s Hotel California, his debut recording with the Eagles, became one of their best-selling records. There was something accidental about the whole affair.
While talking with Guitar World, Walsh spoke about his first experience. He said, “When Bernie [Leadon] decided that he just wasn’t interested very much in continuing, Don [Henley] and Glenn [Frey] thought I would plug in really well with where the Eagles were eventually going to go. And at the time, I was going, ‘Aw fuck, it’s time to do another solo album. Oh, shit. Anybody got any ideas?’ You know? So, it all just kind of came together. I joined the Eagles, and the result, of course, was Hotel California.”
Even though the combination initially appeared to be incompatible, Walsh wasn’t a surprise. He had actually shared some performance expenses with the Eagles, and Irving Azoff, their manager, was the same. But they also experienced some difficulties. It took more than a year to complete “Hotel California,” and when combined with their tour, it was demanding. Nevertheless, everything worked out in the end because it peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and became a huge success overseas.
Walsh infused the group’s music with aspects of rock, funk, and blues, giving it a fresh energy and sound. The success of the band was also greatly influenced by his guitar playing because he gave it a distinctive and modern tone. Some of the Eagles’ most well-known tracks, such as “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” and “The Long Run,” feature Walsh’s work. Overall, Walsh’s addition to the Eagles heralded a new period that was characterized by a more expansive and daring musical vision.