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Friday, August 7, 2015

The Eagles: "Hotel California" Isolated Vocals

Hotel California image
The Eagles had already risen to star status when the album Hotel California was released, but thanks to the title track as well as 2 other hits from the album, they were rocketed ever higher to become one of the biggest bands in the world. "Hotel California" still holds up well today as a terrifically crafted song in all aspects, and that's what we'll listen to in our weekly Isolated Tracks/Song Analysis post.

The Eagles have always been known for their meticulous tracks, and "Hotel California" is no exception as we listen to the isolated vocals. Here's what to listen for (the vocal doesn't begin until 0:55).

1. Check out how long the reverb tail is on the vocals. The verb consists of mostly lower mids that blends in with the track so much that you hardly hear it in the final mix.

2. You can hear all of singer Don Henley's breaths in between phrases. This is something that we might get rid of today in many cases.

3. The background vocals are all doubled but are in the center of the mix.

4. The lead vocal is heavily compressed, but there's only a few times when you can hear it really work, like on the harmony section at 2:55.

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