Sunday, November 22, 2015


Artist: The Eagles
Album: Hotel California
Label: Asylum
Catalog: 7E 1084
Year: 1976

Genre: rock
Grading: VG+ cover / VG+ LP
Quantity: 1
Cover Designer: Don Henley and John Kosh
Photo: David Alexander
Grade: **** stars

I'd really planned to avoid the obvious picks - the ones that show up on all of the top-100 lists, but my older son has been trying to learn the lead guitar chords for 'Hotel California' and after hearing weeks of practice I figured I needed to pull the album out and given a spin for the first time in a decade.  Since I own the original vinyl (complete with the poster insert), I couldn't help but gaze at the David Alexander cover - it's a classic.

I saw an interview with Henley where he described wanting a cover that captured "Faded glory, loss of innocence and decadence," "I was trying to use California as the microcosm for the rest of the nation."

Henley approach designer John Kosh with the project and Kosh and photographer David Alexander went to shoot the sun sinking behind the elegant Beverly Hills Hotel. To clear the trees surrounding the hotel, they had to clamber aboard a sixty-foot cherry picker and dangle over rush-hour traffic on Sunset Boulevard.

The cover art ended up costing $60,000 - a small price given the album's massive sales.


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