“Seven Bridges Road” by Eagles
The Eagles are a band whose most-successful single is 1977’s “Hotel California“, and relatedly they are in fact from Los Angeles. So it may seem kinda weird that they dropped a song like “Seven Bridges Road” based on Down South. But the fact of the matter is that the individual who penned this track, Steve Young, was a straight country musician and very much a southerner. And this road that he wrote about is actually one situated in Alabama.
The name of the said street is, in actuality, Woodley Road. And reportedly, it earned the titular moniker due to the fact that if you remain on Woodley long enough, you will in fact traverse seven bridges along the way.
But the lyrics aren’t really about the road itself. Rather, they are based on a type of magical evening the vocalist is having thereupon, being enraptured by the beauty of the natural environment. And evidently, being caught up in this mood compels him to reminisce on a lost love.
The implication is that “Seven Bridges Road” is part of the singer’s hometown, and accordingly being on it makes him relive certain, in this case apparently romantic emotions. And he also states, in more traditional small-town fashion as far as the music industry goes, that there’s ‘a part of him’ which sometimes feels the need to flee from the ‘hood. Again, the allusion is that the said fleeing may have something to do with a failed romance that he is unable to fully recuperate from.
But that said, the song more or less concludes with the vocalist encouraging listeners to one day head down to “Seven Bridges Road” for themselves, as the place is just so naturally compelling.
Facts about “Seven Bridges Road”
This song was written by the late Steve Young (1942-2016), a country musician of whom “Seven Bridges Road” is considered his signature work. And Young formally came out with this tune in 1969.
The Eagles’ cover of “Seven Bridges Road” came out on 7 November 1980. Their version was actually based on another artists’ rendition of the tune i.e. the version Iain Matthews released in 1973. And it was the only single issued from the band’s first live album, which itself is entitled “Eagles Live”.
The Eagles’ version of Seven Bridges Road was produced by Bill Szymczyk.
“Seven Bridges Road” proved to be a mild hit by Eagles’ standard, barely missing out on breaking the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.
This is a song the Eagles originally used to harmonize amongst themselves before rendering a live performance. And for a time, before the release of “Hotel California”, they actually used it as the opener of their shows.
The Eagles may not be a musical act that has earned a lot of press in the last few decades really. But they currently hold the distinction of having dropped the top-selling album in American history. And that album is entitled “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)”, which has even sold more copies stateside than Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (1982).
And another project the Eagles dropped in 1976, their studio album “Hotel California”, is third on the list after MJ. So in a way, even though they’ve only come out with one studio album since 1979, the Eagles may be considered the most commercially successful band in US history.
Five official members of the band participated on “Seven Bridges Road”. The following three members are still active in the group as of the writing of this post:
- Don Henley
- Joe Walsh
- Timothy Schmit
The aforenoted trio have actually remained so throughout the years, except when the Eagles went on hiatus from 1981 to 1993. Glenn Frey remained down for the cause up until his death in 2016. And guitarist Don Felder was dismissed from the group, under very less-than-ideal circumstances, in 2001.