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Take It Easy by Eagles

Album: EaglesReleased: 1972Charted:
  • Jackson Browne wrote started writing this song his first album, but he didn't know how to finish it. At the time, he was living in an apartment in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles, and his upstairs neighbor was Glenn Frey, who needed songs for his new band - the Eagles.

    Frey heard Browne working on the song (he says that he learned a lot about songwriting by listening to his downstairs neighbor work), and told Jackson that he thought it was great. Browne said he was having trouble completing the track, and played what he had of it. When he got to the second verse, Frey came up with a key lyric: "It's a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me."

    Browne turned the song over to Frey, who finished writing it and recorded it with the Eagles, who used it as the first song on their first album, and also their first single. Frey says that Browne did most of the work on the song and was very generous in sharing the writing credit. He described the unfinished version of the song as a "package without the ribbon."
  • Glenn Frey's changes to this song included stretching out the "E" in "Easy." He considered the song one of the most important Eagles tracks, and a great introduction to the group on their first album. In an interview with Bob Costas, he said the song represented "America's first image of our band with the vistas of the Southwest and the beginnings of what became Country-Rock."
  • The Eagles played this live long before they recorded it. It was one of the songs they played when they were doing four sets a night at a club in Aspen, Colorado. By the time they recorded it, the song had more of a Country feel.
  • Thanks to the line, "Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," music lovers have made this Southwest town a popular stop on their road trips. Winslow is on Route 40 in northern Arizona, making it a great place to stop if you're traveling from California to New Mexico.

    While it might not be the actual corner Jackson Browne was standing on, the city designated the corner of West 2nd Street and North Kinsley Avenue in downtown Winslow as "Standin' On The Corner Park." Officially opened in 1999, the park has become a popular tourist destination and hosts a festival every year. A mural with the name of the town, and with a statue of a guy standing on the corner have filled many Flickr feeds. When the mural was damaged by fire in 2004, the Eagles donated a signed guitar that was raffled off to help repair it.
  • According to Glenn Frey, the message of this song is, "You shouldn't get too big too fast."
  • During the Eagles 1994 Hell Freezes Over tour, Frey would intro this song by saying, "And here's how it all started. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ricky - Los Angeles, CA
  • Travis Tritt recorded this for the 1993 Eagles tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. According to The Country Music Encyclopedia, he asked the record company to arrange for the 1980 Eagles lineup to be in the video with him, something he didn't think would happen because of conflicts within the group. To his surprise, the band joined him and appeared in the video. Said Tritt: "I saw a bunch of guys who got together and really seemed to realize that they didn't hate each other as bad as they thought they did." The video shoot took place on December 6, 1993, and led to the Eagles Hell Freezes Over album and tour. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Browne recalled to Uncut magazine August 2010 the story of the song: "During a break in the middle of recording the first album, I took a road trip in this old beat-up Willys Jeep and I went to Utah and Arizona. On that trip I started to write 'Take It Easy', and when I came back, I played it for Glenn Frey, and he asked if the Eagles could cut it when it was done. So I said, 'Just finish it,' and he wrote the last verse and turned it into a real song. It was their first single, and what those guys did with it was incredible."
  • With Jackson Browne on lead vocals, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2016 as a tribute to Glenn Frey, who died a month earlier. The Eagles never performed at the Grammys, and skipped the ceremony completely when "Hotel California" won for Record of the Year at the 1978 ceremony.
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Comments: 60

I've always liked the song and after my father shared with me a little something not everyone knows about is that Jackson Browne was arrested in Winslow, Arizona by my father who was under sheriff at the time. He even mentioned the old Jeep just like the story tells not for certain why he was arrested who knows I just thought I'd share that.Christopher - Hugo, Oklahoma
It was 1977 I had a beat up old unreliable car, it broke, a friend gave me his Oldsmobile, that broke, I bought myself a 1973 Challenger. I had always blasted this song "Take it Easy" on each of these cars. Just memorable times. I don't think many songs can take that easy feeling of driving and passing beautiful sceneries, and including pretty women walking by.Ron - Mt Rainier, Wa
On June 18th 1972, the Eagles were performing their 6th show of their 'Eagles LP Tour'; and about 33 miles west of Dallas, Elvis Presley was performing in concert at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX...
At the time the Eagles' debut record on the Top 100, "Take It Easy", was at position #35, eventually it would peak at #12 (for 2 weeks) on July 16th, 1972...
And Elvis' covered version of "An American Trilogy" had just dropped off Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart the day before, it was the 26th song he performed that night in Fort Worth...
R.I.P. to The King (1935 - 1977).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Steve, a gear head girl. Too sexy. This was my first decent taste of country / rock. I liked the faint banjo in the background. This was some of the best harmonizing by an American band ever. BTW, before I joined the U.S. Navy , 1976. I travelled to "a corner in Winslow Arizona". I could visulaize a total '10' "in a flat bed Ford'...P.a - Co. Spgs., Co
Well, I learned a lot checking in to Songfacts about this song. I've always been a Travis Tritt fan, so I love that he was instrumental (no pun intended) in getting hell to freeze over and the Eagles reunited, to the delight of countless fans the world over. I didn't realize "Take It Easy" was The Eagles first hit. Oh, and my first Songfacts "visual", loved that. I believe my husband and I drove thru Winslow last year on a trip from Las Vegas to see the Grand Canyon. Tonight, we see The Eagles in concert for the first time at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. We're in our mid-50s, husband has always loved The Eagles...I have recently become a fan.Camille - Toronto, Oh
This song just energizes me everytime I hear it. When it was on the charts moving upward, I was an unruly youth in grade school. This song is what got me more focused on rock & roll. Before, I just had a passing interest in rock. Then I took the time, by high school, to learn about the roots of rock & roll and the giants like Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Elvis, and others. So this song is personal to my learning about rock & roll. Neat, huh? The Eagles rock!Bubblesk - Memphis, Tn
Notice the delightful 9/8 bar at the end of the intro (bar 8). Nice touch.Dave - Auckland, New Zealand
I heard an interesting rumour regarding the standing on a coner line. Legend has it that Jackson Browne was actually standing on the corner of Route 66 and Switzer Canyon Drive which is in Flagstaff, not Winslow. Could it be true? Perhaps. It's fun to think about little tidbits like that.Gordon - Lake Havasu City, Az
Jackson Browne concert lastnight in Phoenix, "Probably the most popular song I've ever had any thing to do with...." He did this in acoustic it sounded GREAT!Carli - Pheonix, Az
I purchased the 45 in 1972 and the b side was not Witchy Woman it was Get You in the Mood.Dan - Winthrop, Ma
One of my favorite songs as well. I finally got a chance to see the Eagle live in Winnipeg on June 22 2010, it was the first large concert I had ever been to and my seat was centre stage second row! These guys can still rock!Rob - Fort Frances, On
I found the "standing on the corner" on Google Earth last spring while planning a vacation to Pinetop AZ. My wife said she wanted a picture of it with her in it. While driving into Winslow on old route 66, not knowing where the statue was, you'll never believe what song came on the Sirius radio. It was still playing when we found the corner. Well worth the stop and the people there were very nice to us. One lady related the story about Jackson Browne and how he broke down and was taken in for vagrancy. All newly renovated with the red flat bed ford up the street. As we used to say, "It was COOL". TAKE IT EASY!Scott - Escalante, Ut
An Indian TV commercial (perhaps for Kinetic scooty) adopted a variation of this song, also starting with "Well I was running down the road trying to loosen my load" and ends with "Take it easy, cool and easy".Mayank - Ranchi, India
I love this song because if I have seven women on my mind Four That want to own me, my four daughters
2 That want to stone me, my mother and the mother of my wife, One says she's a friend of mine, my wife, this song comes to me like a glove, besides that on one occasion a girl beats me after I spent some weeks taking flowers to her house, just signed the cards with my initials and after all that sent me flying after that I had to go to a driving side and my best friend said that I do not do crazy depressed and right there began to sing, Take It easy, take it easy Do not let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy, that's why I love this song and I go crazy every time I hear it
Zury - Mexico, Mexico
I wish so badly i was an 80s 70s teenager insted of a 00s teenager. what am i suposed to grow up with Eminem? Nelly? F that. I choose classic rock instedFrank - Rochacha, Ny
This song came out in the summer when I was 16 having a blast. Now I'm 54 but hearing this song always puts right back there. It also reminds me of the time I seen the Eagles at the "Day on Green concert" presented by promoter Bill Graham in Oakland, CA in the mid 70s.Randy - Houghton Lake, Mi
One of my favorite songs ever. I actually went to Winslow Arizona to stand on the corner.Craig - New Castle, Pa
I wish I had a dollar for every time I sang this song at a gig...I'd be almost as rich as Jackson & Glenn! Great tune - always gets the crowd going!

I read something once "making fun" of the statue in Winslow,AZ refering to "a throw away line" from a song...it's a great line and apparently saved the song!
Johnnys Cousin Steve - Villas, Nj
Being a Jackson fan (Eagles too) I was happy to see the comments about the song being written 90% by JB. Lots of people don't even know that he had anything to do with the song. He graciously says he co-wrote the song.Carolyn - St Pete, Fl
Instantly recognizable right from the opening chord. Always thought it was a great song!Adam - Los Angeles, Ca
I bought the 45 single when it first came out in 1972. A new song by a new band,"The Eagles". Witchy Woman was on the B-side. A great song! Listen for Bernie Leadon on the banjo.Wayne - Salem, Va
I think i can definately relate to this song, as it reminds me of how i attract a lot of woman to me, yet i don't want to date any of the woman i attract! Reminds me to take it easy and let things work outanthony - North Cape May, Nj
oh man... I love this song. and I LOVE Jackson Browne too. The Eagles sing it perfectly and Glenn Frey is the best at singing lead in this song.Liz - Smallville, Ks
hahaha I thoght it was "Don't let the sound of your own VOICE drive you crazy"Nady - Adelaide, Australia
I like this song! I thought it was by the Fogertys. ooops!Jennifer Harris - Grand Blanc, Mi
Ahh, the typical experts are making their usual expert '70s hits. Oh, and how interesting. One unique thing about this song is that the Eagles are using somewhat of a country sound to it - a discofied country sound. Long live the Eagles!Andrew - Birmingham, United States
During one of my cross country road trips, I spent a night in Winslow, Arizona but I don't think I went anywhere near that famous corner though!Michael - San Diego, Ca
Their first and definitely their best!Alana - Xx, United States
First Eagles song I ever heard. It started it all for me too. " Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy" How cool is that line ?Especially when you are behind the wheel while it's playing.Mike - Hueytown , Al
Okay...as far as Winslow and what Rod said about the Mural that has the history of the song... They are still trying to get it repaired and are asking for donations. If you're interested, go to www.standinonthecorner.com You can send a donation or donate online.Mary - Phoenix, Az
The Eagles are awesome! Def one of my favorite bands. I heard this interview on this radio station BIG 100.3. They interviewed Timothy B. Schmit about their experiences with the new CD, as well as when it?s coming out and their experiences with Poco. Its def worth checking out. www.idigbig.com is the website.Big100.3 - Rockville, Md
My wife and I have been to Winslow, AZ every year since 1987. We happened to be there the on the day that the "Standing On The Corner" memorial was being dedicated and were able to witness those members of the Eagles who returned to honor the dedication of the Standing On the Corner site. Yes, the one wall still stands and perhaps Winslow's Mayor Alan Affeldt will be able to restore the burned out site. As a Country Pedal Steel Guitarist, I would have cherished meeting "Sneaky Pete" Kleinow of the Eagles.Bob - New York, Ny
This song turned me on to the music of the Eagles, after staying in Winslow, Arizona in the spring of '72 for a few weeks. I returned to Canada and started hearing this song everywhere and on all the radio stations. Even today when I hear "Take It Easy" I think of the great times I had with new friends I met in Winslow. What a fantastic little town. I can see why this place inspired Jackson Browne to include it in his song. I only hope to make it back there sometime in the near future...Kevin - Toronto, Canada
Awesomest Eagles song ever! Better than Hotel California!Joe - Bellingham, Wa
Update on the Corner in Winslow Arizona as of 12/1/2006: The building that the mural is on burned down about 2 year ago, though that wall behind the statue is intact--so far. The Girl "window" is OK, but the paint is burned on the "window" to the right. Talked to a guy running a nearby souvenir shop; the city of Winslow is trying to figure out what to do about the wall.Pat - Albuquerque, Nm
true...jackson browne DID get stuck in winslow, car broke down and he based that on his song "take it easy". also, frey only contributed the line "it's a girl my lord in a flat-bed ford slowing down to take a look at me" for "take it easy" and browne proclaimed that they co-wrote it.Sara Mackenzie - Middle Of Nowhere, Fl
This song is probably my second favorite Eagle song next to Hotel California and i usually don't like country but this song is rock and country so it's even cooler and Glenn Frey is a really good singer.Ray - Stockton, Nj
I heard a story (perhaps apocryphal) that Jackson Browne wrote the song after he had broken down in Winslow on his way to a show in Flagstaff.Don - Phoenix, Az
J.D. Souther is a magnificent writer, but he had nothing to do with this song. He and Frey were roommates (they were also in a duo called Longbranch Pennywhistle that recorded an album in 1969) and their buddy Jackson Browne lived above them, in Silver Kake (an artist-hangout part of L.A.). Jackson compsed about 90 % of the song, but everyone thought it was mediocre until Frey added his magic 10 percent.
Incidentally, Souther was very close to being the 5th Eagle, but wasn't interested in joining the band.
Garrett - Nashville, Tn
I had thought the "7 women" were the days of the week. The 4 that tried to own him - Monday through Thursday, The two that tried to stone him...Saturday & Sunday. And one says she is a friend of mine .."thank God it's Friday"

Maybe I think too much.
Rod - Phoenix, Az
I don't know about the J.D. Souther connection. What I read was that Jackson Browne & Glen Frey lived in the same apartments/house/duplex - whatever. Anyway, Jackson Browne was working on this, but could not get it finished. Glen stopped by, and together, they put it together. Jackson then said, "O.K. - We co-wrote it". And, yes, the Eagles recorded it and it became their signature-hit song. The rest is history.John - Kirkland, Wa
This song was actually written by J.D. Souther, a friend of Jackson Browne's. He gave it to both the Eagles and Jackson.Chris - Lynchburg, Va
The Travis Tritt cover version got the Eagles back together. He got them to join him for the video and, well, Hell Freezes Over and the Eagles go back on tour.Allan - Vanderhoof, Canada
Incidentally, the statue at the corner in Winslow AZ (see the Visual above) looks kinda like Jackson Browne, rather than any of the Eagles.Pat - Albuquerque, Nm
In a BBQ place behind my house there is a sign that is a personal ad saying "Wanted: Good Woman. Must be able to cook, clean, sew, change oil, and rotate tires. Must have truck and trailer...please send picture of truck and trailer."Patrick - Tallapoosa, Ga
The first verse is the best thing i ever heardGreg - Erie, Pa
i have had 7 women on my mind, its not a good fealing. and i think women in trucks is kind of sexy. (im from texas)Anthony - Dalles, Tx
I love this song!! I have been to Winslow quite a few times, but have never stood on the corner. And for y'all out there, I would very much like to drive a flat bed ford.Anne - Phoenix, Az
i just have to say i love travis tritt he is actually one of the good country singers. i like to say classic country. lol. and i just also have to say well ive been runnin down the road tryin to losin my load ive got seven women on my mind. thats a good starter for a song. and i love how they fit their music with their songs its great and i could never say it enough TALENT!Meagan - Baton Rouge, La
Homer is rightAj - Cleveland, Ga
If you visit Winslow, Arizona, they have a corner (although it may not be THE corner) marked with a sign, and you can have your picture taken there.Clarke - Pittsburgh, Pa
What kind of girl drives a flat bed Ford?

The good kinds.
Julian - Oakland, Ar
the banjo is bananas in this songSam - Philadelphia, Pa
Jackson Browne had a guitar student named Gabe, who now plays bass in a California band called Ray Ban & The ShadesRay - Portland, Ri
I have never had 7 women on my mind. Thank God!!Jonathan - Oklahoma City, Ok
great song, the opening verse is better than the rest of the song tho, it flows nicely.Natasha - Chico, Ca
Scranton girls drive flat bed fordsAshley - Scranton, Pa
Country singer Travis Tritt sang this on an Eagles tribute album. While the original by the Eagles has a strong country feel, the cover by Tritt was more mainstream pop-rock styled. Huh???Homer - Versailles, Il
What kind of girl drives a flat bed Ford?

Steve - Chino Hills, Ca
Awesome song! I love the country beat to itChantal - Liverpool, Canada
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