Life's Been Good

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"Life's Been Good"
Single by Joe Walsh
from the album But Seriously, Folks...
B-side "Theme from Boat Weirdos"
Released May 1978
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1978
Genre Hard rock, blues rock, reggae fusion
Length 8:04 (album version)
4:35 (single version)
Label Asylum
Writer(s) Joe Walsh
Producer(s) Joe Walsh, Bill Szymczyk
Joe Walsh singles chronology
"Rocky Mountain Way"
(1977)
"Life's Been Good"
(1978)
"All Night Long"
(1980)

"Life's Been Good" is a 1978 song by Joe Walsh, which first appeared on the soundtrack to the film FM. It was released as a single and appeared on Walsh's album But Seriously, Folks.... It peaked at #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[1] remaining his biggest solo hit.

In the song, Walsh satirically reflects “I lost my license, now I don’t drive.” In fact Walsh explains that he simply lost his wallet and the driver’s license[2] ("My Maserati does 185 (mph) / I lost my license, now I don't drive"). Also he adds the antics of all rockers of the era are reflected, such as the nod to Keith Moon and others: "I live in hotels/Tear out the walls."

The 1979 Rolling Stone Record Guide called it "riotous", and "(maybe) the most important statement on rock stardom anyone has made in the late Seventies."

Content[edit]

"Life's Been Good" has a mid-tempo, reggae-like groove marked by bedrock guitar riffs, synthesizers, and humorous lyrics. Walsh's ARP Odyssey synthesizer riff accompanies the lead guitar in the middle of the song. The lead guitar in the outro is accompanied by the main riff. Bill Szymczyk and Jody Boyer perform the backing vocals.

The pre-chorus section uses a call and response pattern.

Joe Walsh: "Lucky I'm sane after all I've been through"
Call: Bill Szymczyk: "Everybody says, "I'm cool""
Response: Jody Boyer: "He's cool"
Joe Walsh: "They say I'm lazy but it takes all my time"
Call: Bill Szymczyk: "Everybody say, "Oh, yeah""
Response: Jody Boyer: "Oh, yeah!"

At the end of the LP, there is a clip of an inside joke stating "uh-oh, here comes a flock of wah wahs", recorded from inside the studio. After the music has faded away into silence, there's a 10-second gap before the inside joke. That inside joke would also be included at the end of disc one of the Eagles' box set, Selected Works: 1972–1999. Made after Walsh had joined the Eagles, "Life's Been Good" was incorporated into that group's concert repertoire, appearing in shows at the time as well as reunion tours. It remains a staple of classic rock radio playlists.

Samples[edit]

In 2013 this song is sampled on Eminem's "So Far..." off of The Marshall Mathers LP 2, produced by Rick Rubin.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[1] 12
Canadian RPM Top Singles[3] 11
Irish Singles Chart[4] 13
New Zealand Singles Chart[5] 32
UK Singles Chart[6] 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Joe Walsh > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved January 29, 2010 (2010-01-29).  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good (Live Spoken Word Version) - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "RPM Volume 29 No. 22, August 26, 1978". RPM. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "charts.org.nz - Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good". Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Chart Stats - Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good". Retrieved January 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]