Life's Been Good

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"Life's Been Good"
Joe Walsh Life's Been Good single cover.jpg
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
Songwriter(s) Joe Walsh
Producer(s) Joe Walsh, Bill Szymczyk
Joe Walsh singles chronology
"Rocky Mountain Way"
"Life's Been Good"
"All Night Long"

"Rocky Mountain Way"
"Life's Been Good"
"All Night Long"

"Life's Been Good" is a song by Joe Walsh, which first appeared on the soundtrack to the film FM. The original eight-minute version was released on Walsh's album But Seriously, Folks..., and an edited 4 1/2 minute single version peaked at #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[1] remaining his biggest solo hit.

In the song, Walsh satirically reflects on the antics and excess of the era's rock stars, with nods to Keith Moon and others: "I live in hotels/Tear out the walls", and "My Maserati does one-eighty-five/I lost my licence, now I don't drive". The Maserati Walsh himself owned at the time was a 1964 5000GT model, and while fast, could only manage 170mph with tall gearing.[2]

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".


"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 on the second and third verses uses a call and response pattern.

Joe Walsh: "Lucky I'm sane after all I've been through"
Call: Bill Szymczyk: "Everybody say 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. A live version of the song with the Eagles appears on the 1980 album Eagles Live, where some of the lyrics are changed.


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

Chart performance[edit]


External links[edit]