The Eagles' excellent debut indicated that they were quickly on their way to becoming one of America's leading country-rock acts. DESPERADO, their second release, ostensibly a concept album about an outlaw figure of the Old West, furthered their claim. Recorded in London under the aegis of Glyn Johns, the set was marked by the quartet's highly measured playing, distinctive, high-flown harmonies, and accessible folk and country-flavored pop-rock. DEPERADO may not be as cohesive as its predecessor, but the different styles it encompasses mirror the Eagles' many strengths. "Twenty-one" is Flying Burrito Brothers-style country-rock, "Out of Control" is amped-up blues-rock, whereas the title track is a plaintive, melancholic piano ballad (abetted by a string section). Don Henley plays a bigger part on DESPERADO, lending vocals and co-writing much of the material, including the opener "Doolin Dalton" and the lazy, beautiful "Tequila Sunrise," the record's single. The Eagles' sophomore album showed them developing their signature style, and achieving the radio-friendly sheen they would refine over the next two albums, then perfect on 1976's HOTEL CALIFORNIA.
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