Hotel California – The Eagles – Lyrics
Enjoy This Video of “Hotel California” – Lyrics are Below – Sing Along if you Like
Hotel California Lyrics
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
’this could be heaven or this could be hell’
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here
Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget
So I called up the captain,
’please bring me my wine’
He said, ’we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty-nine’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis
Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said ’we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
’relax,’ said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!
Facts About the Song “Hotel California” by The Eagles
“Hotel California” is the title track from the Eagles’ Hotel California album, released as a single in February 1977. They song lyrics were written by Glenn Frey.
The song is considered the best known recording by the band, and in 1998 its long guitar coda was voted the best guitar solo of all time by readers of Guitarist. It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978.
The lyrics for the song have been interpreted by fans and critics alike, the Eagles themselves describing the song as their “interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.” In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, Henley said that the song was about “a journey from innocence to experience … that’s all.”
The Eagles have performed “Hotel California” well over 1,000 times live, and is the third most performed of all their songs, after “Desperado” and “Take It Easy”.
Don Henley and Glenn wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into L.A. at night. Nobody was from California, and if you drive into L.A. at night … you can just see this glow on the horizon of lights, and the images that start running through your head of Hollywood and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of about that … what we started writing the song about.
Henley decided on the theme of “Hotel California”, noting how The Beverly Hills Hotel had become a literal and symbolic focal point of their lives at that time. Henley said of their personal and professional experience in LA: “We were getting an extensive education, in life, in love, in business. Beverly Hills was still a mythical place to us.
In that sense it became something of a symbol, and the ‘Hotel’ the locus of all that LA had come to mean for us. In a sentence, I’d sum it up as the end of the innocence, round one.”
Frey came up with a cinematic scenario of a person who, tired from driving a long distance in a desert, saw a place for a rest and pulled in for the night, but entered “a weird world peopled by freaky characters”, and became “quickly spooked by the claustrophobic feeling of being caught in a disturbing web from which he may never escape”.
In an interview with Cameron Crowe, Frey said that he and Henley wanted the song “to open like an episode of the Twilight Zone”, and added: “We take this guy and make him like a character in The Magus, where every time he walks through a door there’s a new version of reality. We wanted to write a song just like it was a movie.”
Frey described the song in an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas as a cinematic montage “just one shot to the next … a picture of a guy on the highway, a picture of the hotel, the guy walks in, the door opens, strange people”. Frey continued: “We decided to create something strange, just to see if we could do it.”
Henley then wrote most of the lyrics based on Frey’s idea, and sought inspiration for the writing by driving out into the desert as well as from films and theater.
Part of the lyrics, such as “Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends / She got a lot of pretty pretty boys she calls friends”, are based on Henley’s break-up with his girlfriend Loree Rodkin. According to Frey’s liner notes for The Very Best Of, the use of the word “steely” in the lyric, “They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast”, was a playful nod to the band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric “Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening” in their song “Everything You Did”.
Frey had also said that the writing of the song was inspired by the boldness of Steely Dan’s lyrics and its willingness to go “out there”, and thought that the song they wrote had “achieved perfect ambiguity.”
“Hotel California” first entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated February 26, 1977, and topped the Hot 100 singles chart for one week in May 1977, the band’s fourth song to reach No. 1 on that chart. It peaked at number 10 on the Easy Listening chart in April 1977. Billboard ranked it number 19 on its 1977 Pop Singles year-end chart.
Three months after its first release, the single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), representing one million copies shipped. In 2009, the song was further certified Platinum (Digital Sales Award) by the RIAA for sales of one million digital downloads, and has since sold over 3 million downloads.
The Eagles won the 1977 Grammy Award for Record of the Year for “Hotel California” at the 20th Grammy Awards in 1978. Cash Box said that “the luxuriant harmonies are here, of course, along with muted rhythm guitars and vocal inflections that add a West Indian flavor” and “the multi-tracked guitar harmonies…end the cut with melodrama”.
The song’s guitar solo was voted the best solo of all time by readers of Guitarist magazine in 1998, and was ranked 8th on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar Solos. The song was also included in the music video game Guitar Hero World Tour. It was ranked the number 1 in the list of the best 12-string guitar songs of all times by Guitar World magazine in 2015.
Although the Eagles were noted for their reluctance to license their songs for use in shows, the song has been used in a number of films and television shows, such as The Big Lebowski (performed by the Gipsy Kings), Absolutely Fabulous, American Horror Story, The Sopranos, and the end credits of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
On July 13, 2022, three individuals were charged after allegedly conspiring to sell Henley’s handwritten lyrics to the song “Hotel California” and two other songs from the same album that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office claims were improperly obtained. Prosecutors claim the lyrics could be worth over $1 million at auction. The three men pleaded not guilty and were released without bail pending trial. Eagles manager Irving Azoff said the case exposed “the truth about music memorabilia sales of highly personal, stolen items hidden behind a façade of legitimacy”.