The songs Eagles wrote with J.D. Souther

The narrative weaving through the Eagles‘ journey is intricate, going beyond the well-documented hedonism and internal conflicts that characterized much of their career. A fascinating facet lies in their collaborative songwriting process, with a significant figure often overlooked – J.D. Souther.

Souther’s musical and personal ties with the band predate their official formation in 1971, dating back to his relocation to Los Angeles in the 1960s. There, he encountered fellow musician and songwriter Glenn Frey, who later assumed the roles of co-lead signer and frontman alongside Don Henley. Souther’s influence on the band’s work proved more substantial than commonly acknowledged.

Before the Eagles’ inception, Souther and Frey embarked on a musical journey as the humorously named folk duo Longbranch Pennywhistle. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1970 under Jimmy Bowen’s Amos Records, marked their initial collaboration. Although it was their sole studio effort, the group disbanded later that year.

In 1972, Souther pursued a solo career with an eponymous album, and the following year, he co-founded the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay. The band released two albums, but creative conflicts led to its dissolution in 1975. Meanwhile, Frey was laying the foundations of the Eagles, occasionally enlisting his old friend Souther to co-write timeless classics.

J.D. Souther played a crucial role in crafting some of the Eagles’ most beloved songs. While not credited on all studio albums, his co-writing contributions are prominent on many, including ‘Doolin Dalton’ from the 1973 album Desperado and the cover of his solo track ‘How Long’ featured on the 2007 album Long Road Out of Eden.

Yet, it’s the more renowned tracks that showcase Souther’s collaborative brilliance with the Eagles. ‘Best of My Love,’ the final single from 1974’s On the Border, the yacht rock classic ‘New Kid in Town’ from the 1976 masterpiece Hotel California, and ‘Heartache Tonight’ from 1979’s The Long Run are just a few examples where Souther joined forces with Frey, Henley, and Bob Seger.

Here is the catalog of songs that emerged from the Eagles’ collaboration with J.D. Souther:

– ‘Best of My Love’
– ‘Doolin-Dalton’
– ‘Doolin-Dalton/Desperado (Reprise)’
– ‘Heartache Tonight’
– ‘How Long’
– ‘James Dean’
– ‘Last Good Time in Town’
– ‘New Kid in Town’
– ‘Teenage Jail’
– ‘The Sad Café’
– ‘Victim of Love’
– ‘You Never Cry Like a Lover’

Leave a Comment