The Eagles, America’s Greatest


When I found out about Glenn Frey’s death, I thought about this web site, because I always think of this site when someone mentions the Eagles.  Because, believe it or not, the Eagles had a pretty significant hand in its birth and growth.

I got to know the rest of the NoTicket brain trust watching soccer around a bar on early weekend mornings.  And while we watched, we drank and ate and talked.  About anything and everything.  But mostly, I guess, about my theory that the Eagles are America’s greatest rock band.

So when I heard about Frey’s passing, I figured I’d search the NoTicket archives for one of our past published debates on the topic and repost it.  But to my shock, I found that we had never actually written it before – and we’re not going to tonight.

I’ll spare you the full back and forth, and instead, just say this:

There is no American group like the Eagles.  No group has crossed genres – from straight ahead rock, to country, to easy listening, to ballad – succeeded commercially, and sustained for decades like the Eagles.

And no other American band has done for songwriting what the Eagles did – what Frey and Henley did, as the American equivalent of Lennon and McCartney.

Try to think of another.  You can’t.

No, they’re British.

And so are they.

And so are they.

And so are they.

There are contenders, sure.  The Beach Boys and the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead and others.  And sure, Pet Sounds may be better than anything the Eagles ever did, and the Dead may be better instrumentally, but when you look at the great American bands with the widest lens possible, evaluating everything – songwriting, singing, instrumentals, lyrics, sales, longevity, etc. – I think the Eagles come out on top.

Sometime down the line, I’m sure we’ll go into much greater depth, and others on this site will fight me tooth and nail, and maybe one day I’ll even give you a thousand more words. But not tonight.

Tonight, I’ll just say take it easy, Glenn.

Author: Joseph White

Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at