One of These Nights

On Monday, January 18th Glenn Frey passed away from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia while simultaneously recovering from intestinal surgery. Frey leaves behind a legacy as a vocalist, guitarist, and, most importantly, lead songwriter for The Eagles. As one of the most popular bands of the 1970’s, the Eagles eventually sold over 150 million records worldwide with Hotel California being their number one hit. However, Glenn  Frey has confessed that his favorite song is not one of those top hits, but is in fact the track “One of These Nights” from their fourth album of the same name. As the first album by the Eagles to top the charts, this 1975 single helped to launch the band’s lasting popularity in the mainstream. Below are the lyrics  to the song “One of These Nights”:

“One Of These Nights”

One of these nights

One of these crazy old nights

We’re gonna find out

Pretty mama

What turns on your lights

The full moon is calling

The fever is high

And the wicked wind whispers

And moans

You got your demons

You got desires

Well, I got a few of my own

Oo, someone to be kind to in

Between the dark and the light

Oo, coming right behind you

Swear I’m gonna find you

One of these nights

One of these dreams

One of these lost and lonely dreams

We’re gonna find one

One that really screams

I’ve been searching for the daughter

Of the devil himself

I’ve been searching for an angel in white

I’ve been waiting for a woman who’s a little

Of both

And I can feel her but she’s nowhere

In sight

Oo, loneliness will blind you

In between the wrong and the right

Oo, coming right behind you

Swear I’m gonna find you

One of these nights

One of these nights

In between the dark and the light

Coming right behind you

Swear I’m gonna find you

Get ‘ya baby one of these nights

One of these nights

One of these nights

I can feel it

I can feel it

One of these nights

Coming right behind you

Swear I’m gonna find you now

One of these nights..[etc.]

 

 

Frey’s favorite song opens with a rolling bass line accompanied by a syncopated, percussive guitar. Then, after the jazzy background beat repeats 8 times, the guitar crashes in to solidify the downbeat for 4 bars. Finally, after some time, the drums and guitar overlay the rolling beat solidified in the beginning, and the song kicks off into a slight soulful, R&B-injected jam that combines swooning vocals from Don Henly with a punky (percussive guitar) yet mysterious (deep underlying bass) background. Fittingly, the song takes time to roll into its main theme and chorus, just as the main character of the song continually puts off pursuing his life goals and his girl until “One of These Nights” comes to motivate him. Although the Eagles are best known for helping to define the rise of simple, percussive-driven pop genre we know today, this song shows their proficiency at incorporating aspects of blue, souls, and R&B into their music while maintaining a distinct, rocking Eagle’s flavor.

The Eagle’s most famous song Hotel California carries some mysterious tones within, as the chorus contrasts the lovely place of California with the verse’s description of a mysterious, candle-lit setting. Similarly, “One of These Nights” reflects an eerie tone as exemplified by its lyrics “the full moon is calling/ The fever is high/And the wicked wind whispers/and moans.” Although the main character of the song proclaims with confidence that “one of these lost and lonely dreams…will really scream,” the somewhat uneasy syncopation of the background beat and the foreboding setting, which his dreams are portrayed in shows that perhaps the main character’s procrastination may not work as he intended. Despite this mysterious image as the theme of Glenn Frey’s favorite song, he need not worry about the achieving dreams of success and fame — even in death, his legacy continues to influence our present and future generations of music.

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