Hotel California (song)

Hotel California (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Hotel California

Artist = Eagles
from Album = Hotel California
B-side = "Pretty Maids All in a Row"
Released = February 22, 1977
Format = 7" single
Recorded =
Genre = Rock
Length = 6:31| Label = Asylum
Writer = Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley
Producer = Bill Szymczyk
Chart position =
* #1 (USA Hot 100, United World Chart)
* #8 (UK)
[ Reviews = ] *
Last single = "New Kid in Town" (1976)
This single = "Hotel California" (1977)
Next single = "Life in the Fast Lane" (1977)
"Hotel California" is the title song from the Eagles' album of the same name and was released as a single in early 1977. It is one of the best-known songs of the album-oriented rock era. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week in May 1977.

History and recognition

"Hotel California" won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978.

The song is rated highly in many rock music lists and polls. "Rolling Stone" magazine, for example, placed it as the forty-ninth greatest song of all time. [cite news
title = The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
publisher = Rolling Stone
date = 2004-12-09
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-13
] It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song's guitar solo is ranked 8th on Guitar Magazine's Top 100 Guitar Solos.

As one of the group's most popular and well-known songs, "Hotel California" has been a concert staple for the band since its release; performances of the song appear on the Eagles' 1980 live album and, in an acoustic version, on the 1994 "Hell Freezes Over" reunion concert CD and video release. The "Hell Freezes Over" version is performed using eight guitars in total, and has a decidedly Spanish feel to it - with Don Felder playing a flamenco style intro. During the band's Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne the song was performed in a manner closer to the original album version, but with a trumpet interlude in the beginning.

The song has been confirmed as a playable track on the upcoming video game Guitar Hero World Tour []


The song's lyrics describe the title establishment as a luxury resort where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." On the surface, the song tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish hotel that at first appeared inviting and tempting. The song is generally understood to be an allegory about hedonism and self-destruction in the Southern California music industry of the late 1970s; Don Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles" [ [ "Hotel California"] , "Rolling Stone", December 2004] and later reiterated " [i] t's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about." [ [ The Long Run ] ]

During a July 17, 2008 appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio, Don Felder described the origins of the lyrics:cn|date=September 2008

"Don Henley and Glen wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into LA at night. Nobody was from California, and if you drive into LA at night... you can just see this glow on the horizon of lights, and the images that start running through your head of Hollywood and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of about that... what we started writing the song about. Coming into LA... and from that "Life In The Fast Lane" came out of it, and "Wasted Time" and a bunch of other songs."

The abstract nature of the lyrics has led listeners to their own interpretations over the years, including some claims, spread by word of mouth and internet, of Satanic aspects. Other rumors suggested that the "Hotel California" was a mental hospital, a real hotel run by cannibals, or a metaphor for cancer. These claims have been consistently refuted by the band. [ [ "Hotel California" discussion] at]

The term "colitas" in the first stanza of the song is a desert flower, also known as Antelope sage or Colita de Rata [ [ Grasses and Herbs of the Park ] ] . Both Don Henley and Don Felder have repeatedly and publicly stated that Colitas are "heady desert flowers."Fact|date=June 2008 Others assert that "colitas" is a Spanish term for "little tails." This is a reference to the buds of the Cannabis plant. [ [ Lyrics discussion] at The Straight Dope]

The use of the word "steely" in the lyric (referring to knives) was a playful nod to band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" in their song "Everything You Did", according to Glenn Frey's liner notes for "The Very Best of Eagles".

Cover versions and parodies

Many cover versions of "Hotel California" have been released:
*A flamenco version by the Gipsy Kings was released in 1988 and later featured in the film "The Big Lebowski".
*Majek Fashek has also done a reggae cover of the song, which is often incorrectly credited to Bob Marley.
*Australian band The Cat Empire recorded a version of the song in French ("L'Hotel de Californie"), for Triple J's Like a Version segment and subsequent CD compilation.
*Brixton (England)-based band Alabama 3 also covered the song on their 2000 album "la peste."
*The American band SkaDaddyZ released a ska version of the song in 1999.
*In 1990 Al B. Sure! included a version on his album "Private Times...and the Whole 9!"
*In 1997 The Moog Cookbook included a version on their album "Ye Olde Space Bande".
*Romanian band Vama Veche covered the song in Romanian on their debut album, although the lyrics are entirely different; they deal with the dreadful living conditions in Romanian student dormitories in the late nineties.
*In 2004, it was recorded by "American Idol" reject William Hung.
*Country group Rascal Flatts performed their own version of the song at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
*A German version was recorded in 1977 by Schlager singer Jürgen Drews.
*Part of the solo is incorporated into the 1995 song "All Of The Damned" by German Power metal band Gamma Ray.
*K-Pop Group Roo'Ra recorded a version of the song for their second album.

Parodies include:
*Country music parodist Cledus T. Judd parodied the song as "Motel Californie" on his 1995 debut album "Cledus T. Judd (No Relation)".
*In 1983 the band Big Daddy recorded a comedic cover version, mixing the original lyrics with the music of Del Shannon song "Runaway".
*Australian parody artist Steven Cavanagh parodied the song as Hotel of the Emperor, telling the climactic scenes of Return of the Jedi.
*Christian parody band Apologetix Redid this song called "Hotel Can't Afford Ya."


External links

* [ Soldes d'hiver : Pack Hotel California A collection of versions of the song]

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