Those of us who grew up in the 1970s recognize “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It was a haunting song that stalked the radio waves, and more than a few discussions erupted about what the lyrics meant and what the references were. The song was, in a word, hypnotic, both musically and lyrically.
The band burned bright and then burned out with members going their own way. But the music continued to be an important legacy for musicians who followed in their footsteps.
Over the years, artists took to creating their own renditions of “Hotel California.” Some were traditional while others were more adventurous.
NOTE: This video is misattributed to Bob Marley. The vocalist is actually Majek Fashek.
Recording artist TQ grabbed the song and pulled it into the 2010s with his version of “Hotel California” that still had The Eagle’s signature sound stamped all over it.
Musicians from Cuba and South America decided to infuse the song with their own arrangements. The Gipsy Kings brought an energetic, spicy passion to their version in Spanish.
The Cubans Acapella brought vocal heat with their version in English.
Even Marc Anthony did homage to The Eagles with his rendition.
But when all is said and done, one of the most beautiful renditions is the acoustic version by The Eagles from 1994 with new ideas woven into the well-known arrangement we’ve loved over the years.
Nearly thirty years after the song was first released, the song still inspires and fires up audiences around the world, proving once again that a well-crafted song is a song that speaks to music lovers across the generations as it is embraced the world over.