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28 July 2023

Randy Meisner, the Eagles’ Founding Bassist, Dies at 77

Randy Meisner of American group Eagles performs live in 1972
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Randy Meisner, the founding bassist of the Eagles and the vocalist on their 1976 hit Take It To The Limit, has died. The Eagles confirmed the news, noting his cause of death as complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 77.

In a statement shared on Facebook, the Eagles said, “Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band. His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, Take It To The Limit.”

Born in 1946 in Nebraska, Meisner sang and played bass in Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band and helped found the influential country rock band Poco before forming the Eagles in 1971 with Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Bernie Leadon. Meisner had met Frey and Henley when producer John Boylan brought him in to join them as backing musicians for Linda Rondstadt.

Meisner recorded five albums with the Eagles—their self-titled debut, Desperado, On The Border, One Of These Nights, and Hotel California — before leaving the group in 1977, after which he was replaced by Timothy B Schmit (notably, Schmit also replaced Meisner when he left Poco). Meisner went on to release three solo albums: 1978’s Randy Meisner, 1980’s One More Song, and another self-titled project in 1982. Alongside his Eagles bandmates, Meisner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Meisner is best known for his part in Take It To The Limit. One of These Nights track, which Meisner also co-wrote, spent 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100; it currently stands as the Eagles longest-enduring hit on the chart.

Randy Bachman of fellow US rock group, the Bachman Turner Overdrive, paid tribute to Meisner, saying: “Sorry to hear Eagles musician Randy Meisner has left us.

“He was an incredible singer, songwriter and bassist. Peace to his friends and family.”

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