Album: Desperado (1973)


  • This song tells the story of the infamous Wild West gang, The Dalton Gang. Formed in 1888, the gang consisted mainly of train robbers in what was the Oklahoma Territory and included the Dalton brothers, Bill Doolin, Bittercreek Newcomb and many other famous outlaws. In 1892, after many members of the gang had already been killed, 5 members including 3 of the Dalton brothers were ambushed and killed in Coffeyville. Bill Doolin, Bill Dalton, Bittercreek Newcomb and Charlie Pierce, the last surviving members, recruited 7 more outlaws and formed the Doolin-Dalton Gang to exact revenge on the deaths and continue on with their lives of crime. The song ends here, leaving what happens afterward unknown, but in real life, by 1898, every member had been killed. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brent - Moosic, PA
  • Glenn Frey, J.D. Souther, Don Henley and Jackson Browne are the writers on this song. Frey, Souther and Browne lived in the same apartment complex in Los Angeles before the band formed, which is when they started writing this song. After they wrote the song "Desperado," Henley and Frey decided to work on this one to go with their Old West theme, which also included the song "Tequila Sunrise." It marked one of the first songwriting collaborations for Henley and Frey, who didn't write together on the Eagles first album. "Doolin-Dalton" was used as the first track on their second album.
  • Don Henley and Glenn Frey share the lead vocals on this song. Frey also played the harmonica on the track.

Comments: 9

  • Bonnie from BonitaBill Doolin was my husband's great great great uncle. They didn't talk about him much as the black sheep. More about Uncle Luke Doolin who had a more respectable career as a gambler. Lol
  • Mayank from Ranchi, IndiaUnder-rated song, it is a very good country classic with great dual-vocals by Henley and Frey.
  • Rob from Woodbridge, VaI agree with Shelia.The Desperado album was more or less a story of the Old West.The Dalton Gang,Bittercreek,Coffeyville,ect.I have always thought that it would be cool if The Eagles would do a concert themed on this album some how.Mabye acting out each song in full costume or something like that.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InWonderful lyrics, and a nice country influence that does not overwhelm a rock band soul.
    The album it is on is fantastic, and it is definitely a proper concept album.
    Plenty of great songs, such as "Bitter Creek," "Desperado," and this one, among others.
    I just love the line "Two brothers lying dead in Coffeyville/Two voices spoke to you from where they stood/Lay down your law books, boy, they're no damn good"
    btw...the beating the Dalton's took at Coffeyville was handed out by...the town's citizens.
    It turns out that there NEVER was such an incident as depicted in the movie "High Noon" in the west.
    It turns out that the average residents of the old west were tough enough not to be pushed around by some thugs riding into town.
  • Robert from Glasgow, United KingdomI really love the reprise of this and Desperado at the end of the album. It's so lyrical and evocative. The Eagles are really underrated as lyricists. The lines "the queen of daimond let you down, she was just an empty fable. The queem of hearts she said you never met." is such an awsome reference to the metaphor in the song desperado. J. D. Souther's acoustic version is fantastic too, I wish he had sung on the eagles version he has such a great voice.
  • Emily from Valencia, CaI am related to the "original" Dalton Gang and am actually named after one of them. The Dalton brothers are my distant cousins and although I do appreciate the fact that people are still talking a out them (and writting songs)I would just like to point out that one of the facts stated above is wrong. Emmett Dalton who participated in the Raid of Coffeyville, Kansas was shot 23 times, however, he did not die. As a matter of fact he survived until 1937 and even wrote a book in 1931 about his adventures with his brothers (don't believe a word you read though)!
  • David from Longview, TxBill Dalton and Bill Dooling formed a gang and tried to rob the bank of Longview in East TX. One member of the gang killed and hanged and the others chased as far as OK before the posse gave up. In 1894
  • Sheila from Canada, KyThis is one of my all-time favorite songs. To really appreciate it you have to listen to the entire album. I think the Desperado album was one of the first "theme" albums, where every song is part of a larger story.
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Flnice sad though. that western theme is nice.
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