Open main menu

Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles

Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles is a tribute album to American rock band the Eagles. It was released in 1993 on Giant Records to raise funds for the Walden Woods Project. The album features covers of various Eagles songs, as performed by country music acts. It was certified 3× Platinum in the United States by the RIAA on June 27, 1994.[3]

Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles
Compilation album by
various artists
ReleasedOctober 12, 1993 (1993-10-12)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic -2/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[2]

The video for the cover of "Take It Easy" by Travis Tritt featured the former members of the Eagles, the first time that the group had appeared together in 13 years. Two months after recording the video, Glenn Frey and Don Henley decided on the formal reunion of the Eagles.[4]

Several other tracks later appeared on greatest hits albums by a few of the contributed artists: Vince Gill's version of "I Can't Tell You Why" appeared on his 1995 album Souvenirs, Little Texas' "Peaceful Easy Feeling" appeared on the band's Greatest Hits album that same year, and Clint Black included a live version of "Desperado" to close out his 1996 Greatest Hits album.

Common Thread won all of its performers a Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year at the 1994 ceremony.


The album was initiated by Eagles co-founder Don Henley with help from the band's manager, Irving Azoff.[5] It was intended as a charity album to raise funds for the Walden Woods Project that Henley founded in 1990 to buy the land around Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.[6][7] On the back cover of the album, it states:

A portion of the royalties from the sales of this collection will go to the Walden Woods Project, a non-profit organization founded in 1990. The purpose of the Walden Woods Project is to purchase, and thereby preserve, environmentally sensitive and historically significant forestland located near Henry David Thoreau's famed retreat at Walden Pond.

The idea for a charity album with country musicians came after a Walden Woods benefit concert in Los Angeles in May 1992 where several country artists also appeared. Later in the year at the 1992 Country Music Awards show, where Henley appeared with Trisha Yearwood in a duet, a number of artists told Henley how the Eagles’ music had inspired them. Henley and Azoff then decided that the project may be feasible, and with the help of record producer James Stroud, a number of country musicians were chosen for the album.[7] The Eagles themselves were not involved as a band in this project, however, and none of its members played on the album,[5] although Timothy B. Schmit provided harmony vocals for Vince Gill's rendition of "I Can't Tell You Why".[8]

"Take It Easy"Edit

The most notable track in the album was the cover of "Take It Easy" by Travis Tritt. In March 1994, the song reached No. 21 on the US Country chart,[9] and No. 12 on the Canadian RPM chart.[10] For the music video of his rendition of "Take It Easy", Tritt requested that Eagles join him for the filming, and the resulting video featured the full Long Run-era lineup of the Eagles (Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, and Schmit).[11] It would be the first time since disbanding in 1980 that the five members of the band appeared together (Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit, however, had all united for a benefit concert in 1990).[12] Their appearance on the video subsequently led to the band being officially reformed. Both Frey and Henley met with their management over lunch two months later and agreed to a reunion. A new album, Hell Freezes Over, was released and a concert tour launched the following year.[4] Frey, who had previously been reluctant to reunite with the band, later said of the making of the video: "After years passed, you really sort of remember that you were friends first ... I just remembered how much we genuinely had liked each other and how much fun we'd had."[5]

Track listingEdit

1."Take It Easy" (Travis Tritt)Jackson Browne, Glenn FreyJames Stroud3:32
2."Peaceful Easy Feeling" (Little Texas)Jack TempchinChristy DiNapoli, Doug Grau4:19
3."Desperado" (Clint Black)Don Henley, FreyJames Stroud3:51
4."Heartache Tonight" (John Anderson)Henley, Frey, Bob Seger, J. D. SoutherJames Stroud4:23
5."Tequila Sunrise" (Alan Jackson)Henley, FreyKeith Stegall2:53
6."Take It to the Limit" (Suzy Bogguss)Randy Meisner, Henley, FreySuzy Bogguss4:32
7."I Can't Tell You Why" (Vince Gill)Timothy B. Schmit, Henley, FreyTony Brown4:04
8."Lyin' Eyes" (Diamond Rio)Henley, FreyMonty Powell6:30
9."New Kid in Town" (Trisha Yearwood)Henley, Frey, SoutherGarth Fundis5:07
10."Saturday Night" (Billy Dean)Meisner, Henley, Frey, Bernie LeadonLynn Peterzell, Billy Dean3:25
11."Already Gone" (Tanya Tucker)Tempchin, Robb StradlundJerry Crutchfield5:00
12."Best of My Love" (Brooks & Dunn)Henley, Frey, SoutherDon Cook, Scott Hendricks4:38
13."The Sad Café" (Lorrie Morgan)Henley, Frey, Joe Walsh, SoutherRichard Landis4:45


Compiled from liner notes.[13]


"Take It Easy"
"Peaceful Easy Feeling"
  • Denny Dadmun-Bixby — bass guitar
  • Del Gray — drums
  • Porter Howell — 6-string bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Dwayne O'Brien — lead vocals, background vocals
  • Duane Propes — background vocals
  • Tim Rushlow — background vocals
  • Dane Bryant — keyboards
  • Dick Gay — drums
  • Dann Huff — electric guitar
  • Hayden Nicholas — electric guitar
  • Nashville String Machinestrings
  • Jeff Peterson — steel guitar
  • Jake Willemaim — bass guitar
  • Martin Young — acoustic guitar
"Heartache Tonight"
  • John Anderson — background vocals
  • Larry Byrom — acoustic guitar
  • Dann Huff — electric guitar
  • Paul Leim — drums
  • Gary Smith — keyboards
  • Glenn Worf — bass guitar
  • Curtis Wright — background vocals
  • Curtis Young — background vocals
"Tequila Sunrise"
"Take It to the Limit"
"I Can't Tell You Why"
"Lyin' Eyes"
  • Gene Johnson — mandolin, background vocals
  • Jimmy Olander — acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Brian Prout — drums
  • Marty Roe — lead vocals
  • Dan Truman — keyboards
  • Dana Williams — bass guitar, background vocals
"New Kid in Town"
"Saturday Night"
  • Billy Dean — background vocals
  • Dan Dugmore — steel guitar
  • Rob Hajacos — fiddle
  • John Barlow Jarvis — keyboards
  • Brent Rowan — electric guitar
  • Biff Watson — acoustic guitar
  • Lonnie Wilson — drums
  • Glenn Worf — bass guitar
"Already Gone"
  • Eddie Bayers — drums
  • Gary Burr — background vocals
  • Larry Byrom — acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Carol Chase — background vocals
  • Steve Gibson — electric guitar
  • John Barlow Jarvis — keyboards
  • Michael Rhodes — bass guitar
  • Dennis Wilson — background vocals
"Best of My Love"
  • Bruce Bouton — steel guitar
  • Mark Casstevens — acoustic guitar
  • Bill LaBounty — keyboards
  • Brent Rowan — electric guitar
  • John Wesley Ryles — background vocals
  • Dennis Wilson — background vocals
  • Lonnie Wilson — drums, percussion
  • Glenn Worf — bass guitar
"The Sad Café"
  • Michael Black — background vocals
  • Larry Byrom — acoustic guitar
  • Paul Franklin — steel guitar
  • Dann Huff — electric guitar
  • Paul Leim — drums
  • Gary Prim — keyboards
  • Dennis Wilson — background vocals
  • Glenn Worf — bass guitar
  • Curtis Young — background vocals


  • Carl Gorodetzky — string contractor on "Desperado"
  • Joe Layne — string copyist on "Desperado"
  • Jim Ed Norman — string arrangements on "Desperado"

Production The 1994 Country Music Association (CMA) award for Album of the Year was awarded jointly to Suzy Bogguss, Tony Brown, Don Cook, Jerry Crutchfield, Billy Dean, Christy DiNapoli, Garth Fundis, Doug Grau, Scott Hendricks, Richard Landis, Lynn Peterzell, Monty Powell, Keith Stegall, and James Stroud for their contributions in producing the album.[14]

  • Executive Production: James Stroud
  • Production Assistants: Lisa Bradley, Allison Brown, Ginny Johnson, Scott Paschall, Doug Rich, Roxanne Stueve, Jane West
  • Engineers: Mike Bradley, Mike Clute, John Kelton, Tim Kish, Gary Laney (also mix assistant), Steve Lowery, Steve Marcantonio, Mike McCarthy, Lynn Peterzell (also overdub engineer), Csaba Petocz, Marty Williams
  • Assistant Engineers: Derek Bason (also assistant engineer for overdubs), Pasquale Delvillaggio, Mark Hagen (also mix assistant), Ken Hutton (also assistant engineer for overdubs), Julian King (also assistant engineer for overdubs & mix assistant), Russ Martin, Herb Tassin, John Thomas II (also mix assistant), Craig White
  • Mixing: Mike Bradley, Garth Fundis, John Guess, John Kelton, Lynn Peterzell, Marty Williams (also mix assistant)

Charts and certificationEdit


  1. ^ "AllMusic review". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  2. ^ Browne, David (October 15, 1993). "Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
  3. ^ a b "American album certifications – Various – Common Threads". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  4. ^ a b Gayle Thompson (May 27, 2015). "21 Years Ago: The Eagles Reunite for Hell Freezes Over Tour". The Boot.
  5. ^ a b c Andrew Leahey (December 17, 2014). "Flashback: See Feuding Eagles 'Take It Easy' With Travis Tritt". Rolling Stone.
  6. ^ "Home | Walden Woods". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  7. ^ a b Bob Cannon (October 15, 1993). "Don Henley's Walden Woods Project". Entertainment Weekly.
  8. ^ Whitaker, Sterling. "Remember When Vince Gill Covered the Eagles?". Taste of Country.
  9. ^ "Hot Country Songs: March 12, 1994". Billboard.
  10. ^ a b "RPM Country Track". RPM. March 14, 1994.
  11. ^ "Eagles biography". CMT. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  12. ^ "Eagles biography". MTV. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014.
  13. ^ Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles (CD insert). Various artists. Giant Records. 1993. 24531.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ "Past Cma Awards Winners" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-20.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "RPM Country Albums/CDs - Volume 59, No. 3" (PDF). RPM magazine. February 7, 1994.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2311". RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  17. ^ "Billboard 200: November 13, 1993". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Country Albums: November 6, 1993". Billboard.
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  20. ^ "Country Tracks: Volume 58, No. 24" (PDF). RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 25, 1993.
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Various Artists – Common Thread". Music Canada.