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One Of These Nights: The Story Behind Eagles’ Aspirational Hit Song
Warner Music
In Depth

One Of These Nights: The Story Behind Eagles’ Aspirational Hit Song

The song that took Eagles in a new, rockier direction, One Of These Nights was, according to Glenn Frey, ‘a breakthrough’ for the group.

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Glenn Frey said that the hit single One Of These Nights was his favourite Eagles song, partly because it demonstrated exactly how he and Don Henley “clicked as songwriters”. The song, which came about when the pair were playing piano and experimenting with lyrics, provided Eagles with their second No.1 single in the US, just five months after Best Of My Love topped the Billboard Hot 100, and was the title track of the group’s hit 1975 album.

Listen to ‘Take It To The Limit: The Essentials Collection’ here.

Who sang One Of These Nights?

Don Henley sang lead vocals on One Of These Nights, and once admitted that the song was incredibly challenging to sing live because of the falsetto part at the end. “My voice has to be just right to hit the high notes. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t,” he said.

The gorgeous harmonies are a key to the song’s success, and Henley was deftly supported by the backing vocals of pianist Frey, bass guitarist Randy Meisner and rhythm guitarist Bernie Leadon. “Don Henley’s voice allowed us to go in a more soulful direction,” said Frey, who revealed that the vocal style of Al Green was an influence on the way the song ended up sounding.

Work on One Of These Nights began at Criteria Studios, in Miami, when Frey devised the melody on piano, starting with “this little minor descending progression”. It was Henley who suggested the phrase that became the song’s title. At the same time the band were rehearsing in Miami, they were sharing the studio with Bee Gees and, according to Henley, the “four-on-the-floor” bass-drum pattern on One Of These Nights was a nod to the disco influence of that hit 70s supergroup.

One of the reasons that Frey describes One Of These Nights as “a breakthrough song” for Eagles is because of the rock sound added by Don Felder’s powerful guitar work. Felder, whose licks and solo were added in Los Angeles, under the supervision of producer Bill Szymczyk, had previously worked with Crosby And Nash. As well as his blazing electric guitar solo, Felder also sang lead vocals on One Of These Nights’ B-side, Visions, the only Eagles song to feature him in that role.

“We like to be a nice little country-rock band from Los Angeles – about half the time,” Henley said in 1975. “We wanted to get away from the ballad syndrome with One Of These Nights. With Don Felder in the band now, we can really rock. He’s made us nastier and did a great guitar solo on the single.”

What year did One Of These Nights come out?

One Of These Nights was released as a single on 19 May 1975, on Asylum Records. The single edit was three minutes and 28 seconds long, shortened from the five-minute album version, removing most of the song’s introduction and a part of its fade-out. The song was a trailer to the parent album, which came out on 10 June that year.

What album was One Of These Nights on?

One Of These Nights was the title track of the band’s 1975 album that also yielded two other Top 10 singles, Lyin’ Eyes and Take It To The Limit.

The One Of These Nights album was a massive hit for Eagles. It sold four million copies, going platinum in the UK and Canada as well as the US, and earned the band a Grammy nomination for Album Of The Year.

What is the meaning of the song One Of These Nights?

The lyrics of One Of These Nights are all themed around the pursuit of a mysterious woman but also serve as a wider metaphor for chasing your dreams. “It’s about putting things off,” Frey once explained. “We’ve all said, ‘One of these nights I’m gonna do something – get that girl, make that money, find that house.’ We all have our dreams – a vision we hope will come true someday. When that ‘someday’ will come is up to each of us.”

Henley admitted that “the search” is an overarching subject of many of the best Eagles songs, with the group exploring how, although the whole of life is a journey, “getting there is more important than the journey’s end”. Many Eagles fans are drawn to the beguiling imagery of One Of These Nights, in which Henley sings “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”.

Who else sang One Of These Nights?

Tim McGraw’s One Of These Nights is an entirely different song, but Eagles’ iconic hit has been covered by California country band Fairground Saints, Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist Theo Katzman and, most famously, by five-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’, on his 2011 album, The Reflection.

Buy ‘Take It To The Limit: The Essential Collection’, plus Eagles box sets, vinyl and more at the Dig! store.

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