Eagles’ “Take It to the Limit” Lyrics Meaning

“Take It to the Limit” is a track which some may interpret as a love song. That is it can be deduced, specifically based on certain lyrics at the beginning, that the singer is addressing a romantic interest.

Yet according to Randy Meisner, this song is meant to point to a larger, philosophical idea. Or as he explained it, the phrase “take it to the limit one more time” is an encouragement towards persistent effort. He’s basically saying that even if a person is content with his or her experiences and achievements, they should still push themselves to reach an even higher goal.

But again, a listener may not come to this conclusion simply by listening to the song. However, in the first verse the singer does express a general disappointment with life. And in the second verse he sings about certain goals, like “making money” and ‘looking for freedom’, which oft drive human beings. So going back to the aforementioned explanation, in this song Meisner seems to rather be harping on the theme of people being driven by a feeling of discontent. Or let’s say they are taking it to the limit to secure money or freedom.

All in all

So the simplest way of describing “Take it to the Limit” is as it being a motivational piece. That is its intended lesson appears to be that whether an individual is content or still striving to reach specific goals, they should always go strong, i.e. “take it to the limit”.

Lyrics of "Take It to the Limit"

Facts about “Take It to the Limit”

This is the third single from the Eagles’ album “One of These Nights”. The track was released courtesy of Asylum Records on 15 November 1975.

Three members of the band – Randy Meisner, Don Henley and Glenn Frey – wrote this song.

“Take It to the Limit” has a place in Eagles’ history as being the last single released by the band to feature Bernie Leadon. Leadon was actually a founding member of the Eagles.

Randy Meisner, who also co-founded this legendary group, wouldn’t last much longer himself. And this song is said to have specifically contributed to him ultimately leaving the band in 1977. The cited reason being that he had butterflies in his stomach when performing it live (due to the high vocal notes required), yet Don Henley would insist that he do so. In fact “Take It to the Limit” is one of the rare Eagles’ hits in which the band’s usual vocalist, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, passed the responsibility on to someone else.  And interesting to note is that Meisner later dropped his own rendition of this tune on his self-titled debut solo album in 1978, even though he is also the lead vocalist on the Eagles’ version.

“Take It to the Limit” peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 12 on the UK Singles Chart and also charted a few other countries.

The producer of this track is a regular Eagles’ collaborator, Bill Szymcyzk.

A couple of notable artists who have covered “Take It to the Limit” throughout the years are Willie Nelson (1983) and Cher, most specifically during the 1980s.

3 Responses

  1. Sally S. Sullivan says:

    This song is my favorite Eagles’ song. I have listened to it many times and never really understood the mean as I do now and to have Randy explain it is great. I knew that Randy wrote this song but did not know it was in collaboration with Glenn and Don. Keep up the good work Randy, you have so much to give this group.

  2. Tracey L. Riva says:

    This is my momma’s favorite song. She is 83 years old and wants to have this song played at her funeral. Only the Eagles could write this song. I wish they could sing this song at her funeral!! My favorite artists ever!!

  3. Joont says:

    I was in 5th Grade when this song came out. My class buried a time capsule and this Eagles album is one of several artifacts inside!

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