The 70s, like the 60s, was a decade full of drugs, sexual exploration, emerging new age beliefs, and innovative ideas. Many of these things were expressed and now reflected through the music of the time. One of the most memorable records at the time was "Hotel California" by the Eagles. The album, released in 1976, featured a song by the same title that has become one of the Eagles most popular hits.
Asides from the chorus, the song is most recognizable at it's opening riffs. The song's guitar chord progression follows a noticeable and primarily minor musical scale. "Hotel California" runs nearly six minutes and twenty seconds in length. This was a little more common during the 60s and 70s, but is nearly double the length of the average song that is released on albums today. One of the most memorable musical features of the song is the extended guitar solo. The guitar solo begins at 4:22 and carries through to the fade out end of the 6:31 recording. "Hotel California" brings a unique fusion of the sultry, hot sound of reggae to rock music.
The song's lyrics have been amongst some of the most misinterpreted and controversial lyrical content written to date. The song lyrics were written by Glenn Fry, Don Felder, and Don Henley. Although Henley was the band's drummer, it is he that provided the cold and gritty lead vocals required to present the song as its meaning was to be presented. The lyrics lead up to a weary, desert traveler stopping a hotel for the night. The story soon twists and turns into what most people could view as a nightmare, as visiting a haunted hotel, or as a drug induced hallucinogenic state. Some have went as far to interpret the song as being written about a gutted hotel, purchased by Satanic church leader Anton LeVey, who then turns it into a place of worship.
However, according to Henley, most people interpreting the lyrics have completely missed the metaphors. Henley in fact claims that the song was written about how the band, who is from the mid-west, view the materialism Hollywood life. In addition, Henley claims that the song is also written about certain women that the members of the band knew. Later Henley added that the song was additionally about excess and the dark side of trying to achieve the American dream.