You’ve Never Heard This Version Of Eagles’ “Take It Easy” Before – Or HAVE You?
Eagles / Facebook
Eagles In The Studio
Recorded in 1972 by the Eagles, “Take It Easy” has roots as a Jackson Browne original. This catchy, country tinged tune that warns against getting too big, too fast was originally meant for Browne’s debut album, Jackson Browne until Browne ran into the problem almost every songwriter runs into: he didn’t know how to finish it.
Until neighbor and friend Glenn Frey of the Eagles came in, that is. Frey finished the second verse, beginning with:
“…such a fine sight to see, it’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford…”
Jackson loved the arrangement Frey came up with; so much, in fact, that he decided to let Frey have it for the Eagles’ debut studio album, released later that year.
“During a break in the middle of recording the first album, I took a road trip in this old beat-up Willys Jeep and I went to Utah and Arizona. On that trip I started to write ‘Take It Easy’, and when I came back, I played it for Glenn Frey, and he asked if the Eagles could cut it when it was done. So I said, ‘Just finish it,’ and he wrote the last verse and turned it into a real song. It was their first single, and what those guys did with it was incredible.” – Jackson Browne
Of course, no Eagles song would be complete without a few demos to work out the kinks and really define the track’s sound, so before “Take It Easy” took flight it began as a serious country rock tune played at a higher octave that featured deliciously twangy guitar work from Bernie Leadon as well as a slightly quicker pace, sounding like the boys were almost there – as if they had the general idea for where it was they wanted to go but still needed to play with it a little more to get to the final result you hear on their debut album.
We all know that perfection isn’t a realistic expectation, but when it comes to the Eagles and the way they knocked out demos, this is as close as it gets!