The Eagles' first newly recorded album in 14 years gets off to a good start with the rocker "Get Over It," a timely piece of advice about accepting responsibility, followed by the tender ballad "Love Will Keep Us Alive," the country-styled "The Girl from Yesterday," and "Learn to Be Still," one of Don Henley's more thoughtful statements. Unfortunately, that's the extent of the album's new material. Essentially, Hell Freezes Over contains an EP's worth of new material followed by a live album. The Eagles, known for meticulously re-creating their studio recordings in concert, nevertheless released an earlier concert recording, Eagles Live, in 1980. Six songs from that set reappear here, and only one is in a noticeably different arrangement, with "Hotel California" receiving the acoustic treatment. As was true on Eagles Live, the group remains most interested in their later material, redoing five songs from the Hotel California LP and two from its follow-up, The Long Run, but finding space for only three songs from their early days: "Tequila Sunrise," "Take It Easy," and "Desperado," the last two of which were also on Eagles Live. As such, Hell Freezes Over is hard to justify as anything other than a souvenir for the Eagles' reunion tour. That, however, did not keep it from topping the charts and selling in the millions.
Hell Freezes Over Review
by William Ruhlmann