The L.A. Long Run (Refine Masters)
L.A. Forum, Los Angeles, CA – March 4th, 1980
Disc 1 (42:42): Hotel California, Already Gone, In The City, The King Of Hollywood, The Sad Cafe, Lyin’ Eyes, I Can’t Tell You Why
Disc 2 (45:00): Those Shoes, Heartache Tonight, One Of These Nights, Turn To Stone, The Long Run, Life’s Been Good, Life In The Fast Lane, Carol (fades out)
By 1980 The Eagles were in such a state that during their last show on July 31st in Long Beach Glenn Frey and Don Felder were describing to each other how they planned to beat each other backstage after the show. These shows were recorded for the Eagles Live album to fulfill the terms of their contract. After these shows they wouldn’t play together for another fourteen years.
The L.A. Long Run, although devoid of the drama of the Long Beach, is no less imbued with tension. Refined Masters uses the soundboard recording from the “RS Archives” which is a selection of live recordings from the master cassette made by one of the best sound engineers in the business who passed away in 2005. So the sound quality on The L.A. Long Run is uniformly well balanced, clear, and superior to many other soundboard recordings from the era.
The recording is not complete, however. It is missing “Desperado” played after “I Can’t Tell You Why,” “Rocky Mountain Way” (with guest Dan Folgelburg), “Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks,” and “Take It Easy” were played after “Life In The Fast Lane,” and the final encore “The Best Of My Love” was played after “Carol” (which fades out on the soundboard). It is absurd to think RS chose not to record these songs, but it isn’t clear why they aren’t present. Despite the incompleteness Refined Masters did an excellent job and this is worth having.
The performance is what we expect from The Eagles: a slick, highly produced product beginning with the first song of the set “Hotel California.” The soundboard recording is very good at capturing the guitar duels in that and “Already Gone.” They have several guests joining them including David Sanborn to play alto saxophone in “The Sad Cafe” and “The Long Run” and Joe Vitale to play flute on “Turn To Stone.”
Interestingly one of the highlights of the second half is Joe Walsh’s solo song “Life’s Been Good.” Walsh ran for President of the United States in 1980 on top of his music career as a mock campaign and promised to make this song the new national anthem and he makes a short speech beforehand. The L.A. Long Runis packaged in a tri-fold digipack with several photographs on the artwork for the era. Given the scarcity of Eagles releases of late this is a welcome release in great packaging and in excellent sound quality.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)