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December 8, 1976: The Eagles Release 'Hotel California'

If The Eagles’ first four albums helped make their case for being one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s, then the release of their fifth album, Hotel California, helped cement the band’s status as one of the biggest rock bands of all time.

Released on December 8th, 1976, Hotel California would usher in a more mainstream rock sound for the band, a stylistic departure from the country-rock they were known for, as well as be the debut of Joe Walsh to the band’s lineup.  The album also yielded three of the band’s biggest hits:  “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California,” which both hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Life In The Fast Lane,” which topped off at number 11.

Hotel California would go on to sell 16 million copies in the U.S. alone.  The only release in their catalog to surpass those sales is Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975), which has sold an astounding 29 million copies.




Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter who never leaves home without her iPod, because to her, there’s something very comforting about carrying around every piece of music she’s ever owned in her life.