Glenn Frey, the great American musician and longtime member of the Eagles, was the lead voice of “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and so many others. He amassed six Grammys and decades of worldwide admiration before his sad passing on January 18, 2016, at the age of 67.
Frey, born in Detroit on November 6, 1948, was a six-time Grammy-winner as a member of the Eagles, with whom he was a co-founder, keyboard player and guitarist in 1971. By then, he had gained local experience singing with Detroit rock hero Bob Seger, who remained a close friend, on his early hit “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” and as a member of Linda Ronstadt’s band. There, he first worked with Don Henley and fellow original Eagles Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon.
He sang lead on three tracks from the Eagles’ self-titled 1972 debut album that was produced in London by English producer Glyn Johns: “Take It Easy,” an early band trademark that he wrote with his friend and room-mate Jackson Browne, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Chug All Night.”
As the group became more and more successful during the 1970s, Frey remained an intrinsic part of their sound, often co-writing with Henley, who was the Eagles’ more frequent lead singer. They wrote such classics as “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take It To The Limit” and the title song for 1975’s One Of These Nights. Frey co-wrote seven of the nine titles on the multi-million-selling Hotel California in 1977, singing on the typically delicate and nuanced “New Kid In Town,” composed with Henley and band confidant J.D.Souther, also an accomplished artist in his own right.
As a solo artist, Frey had a major international hit in 1984 with “The Heat Is On” and further great success with such singles as “You Belong To The City,” “Smuggler’s Blues” and “True Love.” The last of his five solo albums, After Hours, was released in 2012.
Frey built a successful solo career during the Eagles’ hiatus of the 1980s and 90s with the aforementioned singles and others, and such albums as No Fun Aloud and The Allnighter. Frey was then a central figure in the second phase of the Eagles’ success, both on album and on a series of huge-selling US and international tours, from 1994 onwards.
On his death, Glenn’s family, fellow band members and management posted a message on his website that read: “Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.
“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.”
Listen to uDiscover Music’s The Eagles Best Of playlist.