Limited to 7,500 numbered copies, pressed on dead-quiet MoFi SuperVinyl at RTI, and mastered from the original analog master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's ultra-hi-fi UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP collector's edition pays tribute to the record's merit and enhances the intimate program for generations to come. Playing with reference-setting sonics that elevate an effort forever been prized by audiophiles, this spectacular version provides a clear, clean, transparent, balanced, and intimate view of an album that permanently made California-style rock a style of its own.
The premium packaging and gorgeous presentation of the UD1S Eagles pressing befit its extremely select status. Housed in a deluxe box, it features special foil-stamped jackets and faithful-to-the-original graphics that illuminate the splendor of the recording. Aurally and visually, this UD1S reissue exists as a curatorial artifact meant to be preserved, touched, and examined. It is made specifically for discerning listeners that prize sound quality and production, and who desire to fully immerse themselves in the art – and everything involved with the album, from the iconic photos to the meticulous finishes.
Speaking of the imagery, the front cover brilliantly captures the fundamentals of the Eagles' aural essence. Photographed at Joshua Tree National Park, it portrays a seemingly endless blue sky arched over the hovering copper glow of a sunset. In the foreground, shadow-bathed cacti hugs a slice of desert, both illuminated by nature above and beyond. Peaceful, easy, breezy, organic, laidback, cohesive, warm yet cool: The picture parallels the tone and timbre of the content lurking in the vinyl grooves, and helps elevate Eagles to that rare place where every single aspect (and participant) is united in theme and purpose.
As just one of two Eagles albums created by the original quartet of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, and Bernie Leadon, the record remains unique in the band's history for the shared songwriting and vocal performances. Each member takes the lead on at least one track, extending to Meisner on "Most of Us Are Sad," "Take the Devil," and "Tryin'" as well as Leadon on "Train Leaves Here This Morning" and "Earlybird."
The mellifluous blending of the Eagles' distinctive voices, the very aspect that drew Johns to the project, lingers throughout. Such harmonizing – in combination with textured sonic tapestries stitched with acoustic guitars, steady bass lines, banjo notes, folk constructs, and edgy rock elements – informs arrangements bolstered by golden melodies and brilliant craftsmanship. Nowhere is that approach more evident than on "Take It Easy," an opening tune that quickly became a signpost of the collective's mentality, technique, and philosophy. Rambling, and related themes of traveling or returning home, resurface in "Train Leaves Here This Morning" and the restless "Take the Devil."
Women, another of the Eagles' other long-running inspirations, occupies much of the album's other focus. Frey's opportunistic "Chug All Night," the Top 25 smash "Peaceful Easy Feeling," and Jackson Browne's devotional "Nightingale" continue the light-streaked vibes. In contrast, Henley's cautionary "Witchy Woman" portends the darker concepts the band would explore going forward even as the song maintains a voodoo-kissed, feel-good mood. Indeed, few albums of the era felt better in both scope and spirit.