Life in the Fast Lane

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"Life in the Fast Lane"
Life in the Fast Lane.jpg
Artwork for Spain release
Single by the Eagles
from the album Hotel California
B-side "The Last Resort"
Released May 3, 1977
Format Vinyl record
Recorded 1976
Genre Rock
Length 4:46
Label Asylum
Writer(s) Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Don Henley
Producer(s) Bill Szymczyk
the Eagles singles chronology
"Hotel California"
"Life in the Fast Lane"
"Please Come Home for Christmas"

"Life in the Fast Lane" is a song written by Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley and recorded by the American rock band the Eagles on their 1976 studio album Hotel California. It was the third single released from this album, and peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.


It tells the story of a couple that takes their excessive lifestyle to the edge. On In the Studio with Redbeard, Glenn Frey revealed that the title came to him one day when he was riding on the freeway with a drug dealer known as "The Count".[1] Frey asked the dealer to slow down and the response was, "What do you mean? It's life in the fast lane!"[1] In that same interview, Frey indicated that the song's central riff was played by Walsh while the band was warming up in rehearsals and Walsh was told to "keep that; it's a song." Don Henley recalled that the "song actually sprang from the opening guitar riff. One day, at rehearsal, Joe [Walsh] just busted out that crazy riff and I said 'What the hell is that? We've got to figure out to make a song out of that."[1] Henley and Frey then primarily wrote the lyrics.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

In 2016, the editors of Rolling Stone Magazine rated "Life in the Fast Lane" as the Eagles' 8th greatest song.[1]


Covers and references[edit]

Garth Brooks for the 2013 "Classic Rock" album in the "Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences" compilation.

Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh plays the song on his solo tours.

In 2007, Jill Johnson recorded the song on her album Music Row.[2]

The track "Livin' It Up" on Limp Bizkit's album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water samples the phrase life in the fast lane throughout. Frey, Henley, and Walsh are credited in the "lyrics by" portion of the liner notes.

The song's title was the inspiration for "Life on the Fast Lane", an episode from the first season of the TV series The Simpsons.

Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood sang the song at the 2007 Grammy Awards.

The song was used as the soundtrack for the roller coaster Eagles-Life in the Fast Lane, opened at Hard Rock Park in May 2008. It was SBNO (Standing but not Operating), but reopened on May 23, 2009, as The Iron Horse.[3]

The song is featured on the 1978 FM soundtrack.

In the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High a band covers the song at the graduation dance.

This song is featured as a downloadable song for the video game Guitar Hero World Tour.

The country music group Williams Riley released their version of the song to country radio on August 23, 2010.

The super group Metal Allegiance released a version of the song with vocals by Alissa White-Gluz.


Chart (1977) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[4] 12
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[5] 41
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 11


  1. ^ a b c d e Eagles: The Ultimate Guide. Rolling Stone Magazine. 2016. p. 87. 
  2. ^ "Music Row" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Cherney, Mike (May 13, 2009). "Freestyle Music Park Fills Out Offerings". The Sun News. Retrieved 2009-05-13. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5238a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 5240." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  6. ^ "Eagles – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Eagles.

External links[edit]