Desperado (Eagles album)

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Studio album by Eagles
Released April 17, 1973 (1973-04-17)[1]
Recorded 1973 at Island Studios, London, England[2]
Genre Rock, country rock, folk rock
Length 35:40[1]
Label Asylum
Producer Glyn Johns[2]
Eagles chronology
On the Border
Singles from Desperado
  1. "Tequila Sunrise"
    Released: April 17, 1973
  2. "Outlaw Man"
    Released: August 6, 1973
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau C[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]

Desperado is the second studio album by the Eagles. It was recorded at Island Studios in London, United Kingdom and released in 1973. Desperado is a concept album, based on the Dalton gang and the Old West.[citation needed]

The band members are featured on the album's cover dressed like an outlaw gang; Desperado remains the only Eagles album where the band members appear on the front cover.

Although the title track is one of the Eagles' signature songs, it was never released as a single. The song "Desperado" was ranked #494 on Rolling Stone '​s 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The album did yield two singles, though: "Tequila Sunrise" and "Outlaw Man". Those two singles reached #64 and #59 respectively. The album reached #41 on the charts and sold 2 million copies.

Desperado was the last Asylum Records album to be distributed in North America by Atlantic Records (catalog no. SD 5068), prior to Asylum's mid-1973 merger with Elektra Records by Asylum's, Elektra's and Atlantic's parent company, Warner Communications.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Doolin-Dalton" (Glenn Frey, J. D. Souther, Don Henley, Jackson Browne) – 3:26
    • Lead vocals by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Harmonica by Glenn Frey
  2. "Twenty-One" (Bernie Leadon) – 2:11
    • Lead vocals, Dobro and Banjo by Bernie Leadon
  3. "Out of Control" (Henley, Frey, Tom Nixon) – 3:04
    • Lead vocals and Lead Guitar by Glenn Frey
  4. "Tequila Sunrise" (Henley, Frey) – 2:52
    • Lead vocals and Acoustic Guitar by Glenn Frey, Lead Guitar and Mandolin by Bernie Leadon
  5. "Desperado" (Henley, Frey) – 3:36
    • Lead vocals by Don Henley, Piano by Glenn Frey
Side two
  1. "Certain Kind of Fool" (Randy Meisner, Henley, Frey) – 3:02
    • Lead vocals by Randy Meisner, Acoustic guitar and Mandolin by Bernie Leadon, Lead guitar by Glenn Frey
  2. "Doolin-Dalton (Instrumental)" (Frey, Souther, Henley, Browne) – 0:48
  3. "Outlaw Man" (David Blue) – 3:34
    • Lead vocals, Acoustic guitar, and piano by Glenn Frey, Lead Guitar by Bernie Leadon
  4. "Saturday Night" (Meisner, Henley, Frey, Leadon) – 3:20
    • Lead vocals Don Henley, acoustic guitar by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, second lead vocal by Randy Meisner, Mandolin by Bernie Leadon
  5. "Bitter Creek" (Leadon) – 5:00
    • Lead vocals by Bernie Leadon
  6. "Doolin-Dalton / Desperado (Reprise)" (Frey, Souther, Henley, Browne) – 4:50
    • Lead vocals by Don Henley, Banjo and Dobro by Bernie Leadon

Song information[edit]

Certain Kind of Fool[edit]

"Certain Kind of Fool" features bassist Randy Meisner on lead vocals, with Don Henley performing the main harmony vocal and Glenn Frey providing backing vocals. Frey also plays the electric guitar part and solo; Bernie Leadon plays the acoustic guitar. It was released as the b-side to Outlaw Man.

The song depicts the progression of a criminal from his meager beginnings as a "poor boy living in a small family", to his mastery of the gun as an adult, and ending with his stance as a "wanted man", constantly on the run from the law.

This song could also be taken as a view of the life of a musician. The phrase, "he saw it in a window" is unclear whether he is speaking of a gun or guitar, the same with "he took it to the country and practiced for days without rest," being a "wanted man" can also mean that he is wanted by his fans. "Running every day" can also mean either running from the law, or constantly being on the road, touring with the band. Furthermore, the line "it wasn't for the money, at least it didn't start that way" could be a cautionary line that most bands end up dissolving over money disputes, ironically which ended up happening in the Eagles.




Chart (1973) Peak
US Billboard 200[6] 41
Canada RPM 100 Albums[7] 35
UK (The Official Charts Company)[8] 39
New Zealand (Top 50 Albums)[9] 40
  • "Tequila Sunrise"/"Twenty-One" - released April 17, 1973
  • "Outlaw Man"/"Certain Kind of Fool" - released August 6, 1973
Year Single Chart Position
1973 "Outlaw Man" Billboard Pop Singles 59
1973 "Tequila Sunrise" Billboard Pop Singles 64


  1. ^ a b William Ruhlmann. "Desperado - Eagles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Desperado (CD liner). Eagles. Asylum Records. 1973. 5068-2. 
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Desperado". Allmusic. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Eagles: Desperado". Robert Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). Eagles. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Desperado > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  8. ^ "Eagles - Desperado". Chart Stats. 1976-04-24. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eagles - Desperado". Retrieved 2012-01-05.