Don Henley’s Darkest Hour With The Eagles

Many music acts in the music scene have their ups and downs. They enjoy great success for a time during their career, but it’s not a surprise for a new album to be a failure. Moreover, the band members might experience creative exhaustion, resulting in a reluctance to work on new projects.

Feeling under the pressure of fame due to an endless tour schedule or simply not wanting to work on new material are not unusual factors for a rock band to experience. According to Don Henley, the Eagles also had a dark period at one point during their career due to these reasons.

Don Henley Said The Eagles Struggled Recording ‘The Long Run’

In 1977, the Eagles went into the studio to begin working on their album titled ‘The Long Run.’ It took them two years to complete. They intended it to be a double album, but they couldn’t write enough songs. The band then released ‘The Long Run’ on September 24, 1979, and it turned out to be a huge commercial success.

Following the album’s release, tensions began to grow within the band. Although the band members planned to split, they had to make a live record due to a commitment with Elektra Records. The Eagles released their album, ‘Eagles Live,’ in 1980 and left the music scene until 1994.

In an interview with Journal Sentinel in 2013, Don Henley revealed they had the happiest days after the 1994 reunion, but their darkest days belonged when they recorded ‘The Long Run’ in Miami. Though their release brought them commercial success by selling eight million copies, Henley said the creation was hell.

Speaking to Journal Sentinel, Don Henley said the following in 2013:

“For us, there were no times of sustained happiness. Happiness came in waves and then disappeared. We could have periods of great joy and deep despair, all in a 24-hour day. That’s the nature of a group. I think our happiest times have occurred since the 1994 reunion, or ‘resumption,’ as Glenn likes to call it.

Things don’t go smoothly all the time, but there’s much less drama now. The darkest days were when we were in Miami working on the ‘Long Run’ album in 1978 and early 1979. Making that album was hell, but it went on to sell 8 million copies.”

Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2016, Henley revealed what happened back then. According to Henley, they were burnt out when they began to record the album. Moreover, they were physically, emotionally, and creatively exhausted due to touring relentlessly. Henley said a one-year hiatus would be great for them, but the industry expected them to release new material.

In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Don Henley explained why:

“When we began the process of recording that album, we were completely burned out. We were physically, emotionally, spiritually, and creatively exhausted. Our collective tank was empty. We’d been touring relentlessly, even in between recording sessions. We should have taken a one-year hiatus, but the big machine demanded to be fed. Momentum had to be maintained.

There were big bucks at stake, the corporate stockholders had expectations, and jobs were on the line. We were exhausted and burned out mentally, physically, spiritually. Homesick. We were not happy campers. But the beast needed feeding. Momentum had to be maintained, or so we were fooled into thinking.”

You can listen to the Eagles’ album below.