Eagles – Hotel California

The Eagle’s fifth studio album, Hotel California, was recorded between March and October 1976 before being released on the 8th of December in 1976. The album contains three singles that each managed to do well in commercial charts, reaching high numbers in the Billboard Hot 100. ‘New Kid in Town’ managed to reach number 1 in the US, ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ managed to hit number 11, and ‘Hotel California’ also managed to reach number 1. The album is currently their second highest-selling album, behind their compilation album, Their Greatest Hits (1971 – 1975). In total, the album has managed to sell more than 42 million copies across the world and has been certified 26x Platinum in the United States.

Recording Chief Bill Szymczky helped to bring the album about at both the Criteria and Record Plant studios between March and October 1976, with the album being released in December of the same year on the Asylum record label. The album was the first to feature the guitarist Joe Walsh, who was brought on board to replace guitarist and founding member Bernie Leadon. Walsh’s guitar style added much to the album, with many critics pointing this out as a critical component of the album’s success.

The title song of the album, Hotel California, was written as a warning about the excesses of fame and success within America, particularly related to the failing of the American dream, as it was believed at that time that the American dream was unattainable for most Americans.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

The fourth studio album from acclaimed British rock band Led Zeppelin followed the naming convention set by their previous album and was titled Led Zeppelin IV. The album was released on the 8th of November in 1971 under the record label Atlantic Records. The album only took three months to record, which was done between December 1970, and February 1971, mostly in the country house Headley Grange. Jimmy Paige served as the album producer, helping to ensure that the sound quality remained high, although some have speculated that this was also to ensure that his guitar solos were considered loud enough according to his own tastes.

The album was a huge hit amongst fans, as well as commercially, as the band had been more experimental when compared to some of their previous albums due to their financial freedom that the success of their previous albums allowed them. One of Led Zeppelin’s most well-known songs, Stairway to Heaven, was released on the album. Breaking with their tradition of not including cover songs on their albums, Led Zeppelin did include one cover, a rock reinterpretation of the blues song ‘When the Levee Breaks’.