The Eagles - Desperado (1973)
A guy in jazz band used to play this on piano before we'd start practice. Good memories.
A lot of piano and string backing for a rock song, but this slow ballad held the album it was named after together. The Eagles were in transition, with Glenn Frey and Don Henley taking the spotlight away from Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon who had enjoyed the fame following the debut album in 1972. By 1977 Mesiner and Leadon had both left the band and Frey and Henley had been writing the majority of the band's hit songs since Desperado.
Don Henley sings the lyrics almost mournfully. Later, Linda Ronstadt would cover the song and it comes across as a women hoping that a bad boy would settle down and choose a good woman. With a man singing it's not about love or hoping for a last minute romantic ending; its about a broken man whose time is almost over, he's just too stubborn to come inside before it's too late. Glen Fry plays the simple chord based piano part. If it was based on guitar the song would be more of a cowboy ballad, on piano it becomes more of a movie score. A song about someone, but not necessarily sung to someone. The strings really bring the movie score feel to the fore. Then a little more than halfway through the song we get a big drum intro and backing harmony. The harmony is all very high sort of evoking an angelic choir. The end of the song is strings fading out backing Fry's piano. A really well put together song, and a very different track from anything the Eagles would record again.