Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Going Home Again

Category: 50 Songs to Hear

SONG: One More Song
ARTIST: Randy Meisner
SONGWRITER: Jack Tempchin
ALBUM: One More Song
YEAR/LABEL: 1980, Epic

I look at the Eagles as just good compadres that I've worked with in the past. I have no ill will towards any of them.
(Randy Meisner)

In 1977, in Knoxville, Tennessee, the sometimes tumultuous relationship between members of the Eagles came to a head when Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner went after each other with their fists. Meisner left the band shortly after that. The Eagles replaced Meisner with the same man who had replaced him in Poco, Timothy Schmit, and went on their merry way, releasing one single ("Please Come Home for Christmas" in 1978) and one album (The Long Run in 1979) before breaking up.

Meisner went on his own beginning with a 1978 self-titled album that was mostly covers and mostly not that good. He rebounded in 1980 with a hit, "Deep Inside My Heart" with Kim Carnes, and the album One More Song. The title track remains the highlight of that album, and of Meisner's solo career.

"One More Song" was written by San Diego-based songwriter Jack Tempchin, who was responsible for Eagles songs "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Already Gone." (He also wrote "Slow Dancing [Swaying to the Music].") Tempchin modified his original lyrics to make the song appear more autobiographical for Meisner. The lyrics tell of a man "leaving town for good that night," implying Meisner's departure from the Eagles. The final line before the last chorus belongs in a "great lines" hall of fame: "I was singing this song as the road reached along and the empty night swallowed my car." The world could use more exceptional lines like that in popular songs.

While the song's storyline provides the feeling of the ending of Meisner's career with the Eagles, the recording was a reunion: Don Henley and Glenn Frey sang background vocals on the tune, marking the first time they had performed together since the end of the Hotel California tour when Meisner unceremoniously departed the band. The song's concluding line, "One more song for the road I'm traveling on, one more song for the times to come," show that the wounds had healed.

Randy Meisner, sadly, never got his full due as a solo artist. This exceptional song shows exactly why he deserves those accolades.


The entire One More Song album -- Meisner put everything together on a great recording (including an early recording of another Tempchin song, "White Shoes," that Emmylou Harris would later record as the title track of one of her albums).
"Bad Man" (from Randy Meisner [1978]) -- a song written by Frey and J.D. Souther serves as the highlight of his first solo album.
"Try and Love Again" (with the Eagles, from Hotel California) -- a song recorded a year before his split with the band that sounds as though he almost knew it was coming.

My Book of Memories
Lost to a Stranger
A Little Bitty Heart
Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs
Life is Too Short
I Want a Home in Dixie
I Lost Today
Down to the River to Pray
Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyeballs
A Death in the Family
Dark as a Dungeon
Bottomless Well

New Delhi Freight Train
Long Way Home
Heart of Rome
Harriet Tubman's Gonna Carry Me Home
Entella Hotel
Desperados Under the Eaves
Crossing Muddy Waters
Cliffs of Dooneen
Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)
Baby Mine

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