New Kid In Town

Album: Hotel California (1976)
Charted: 20 1
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  • "We were writing about our replacements."

    That's what J.D. Souther told Songfacts about this song, which he wrote with Eagles members Glenn Frey and Don Henley. Souther was part of the flourishing Southern California music scene, and often collaborated with the Eagles, also cowriting their hits "Best Of My Love" and "Heartache Tonight."

    Souther explained: "'New Kid' emerged from our whole fascination with gunfire as an analogy. The point was at some point some kid would come riding into town that was much faster than you and he'd say so, and then he'd prove it. That's the story of life. That's the story of aging, especially coming out of your teenage and young man years and as you approach 30, you begin to see that things don't stay the same forever. And that there's a lot other guys like you and gals like you that want the same thing that are coming up, and they want their moment, too, and they're going to get it. And it's fine. It's as it should be."
  • Don Felder, who was the Eagles guitarist at the time, told us that once they came up with the concept of the "Hotel California," some other songs fell into place, including this one. Said Felder: "Once you arrive in LA and you have your first couple of hits, you become the 'New Kid in Town,' and then with greater success, you live 'Life In The Fast Lane,' and you start wondering if all that time you've spent in the bars was just 'Wasted Time.' So all of these other song ideas kind of came out of that concept once the foundation was laid for 'Hotel California.'"
  • This was the Eagles' third #1 hit in the US. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This song is referenced in Don Henley's solo debut "Johnny Can't Read," which ends with the line, "There's a new kid in town..."

Comments: 42

  • Rob from TexasBeautiful chord progression on the key change for the last verse. Very, very well written.
  • Isaac Dan. Wolf from Columbus Sometimes people would act like Glenn Frey.
    Don't tell me that. II. times, +" Ah! Hoo"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1977 {January 16th} the Eagles' "New Kid In Town"* peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} on Billboard's Top 50 Easy Listening Tracks chart, the three weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for those three weeks was "Evergreen (Theme from 'A Star Is Born')" by Barbra Streisand...
    The rest of the Easy Listening Top 10 on January 16th, 1977:
    At #3. "Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary MacGregor
    #4. "Weekend In New England" by Barry Manilow
    #5. "I Like Dreamin'" by Kenny Nolan
    #6. "Lost Without Your Love" by Bread
    #7. "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
    #8. "Beautiful Noise" by Neil Diamond
    #9. "After The Lovin'" by Engelbert Humperdinck
    #10. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" by Elton John
    Glenn Frey passed away at the age of 67 on January 18th, 2016...
    May he R.I.P.
    * Interestingly, the Eagles next release, "Hotel California", peaked at #10 on the Top 50 Easy Listening Tracks chart???
  • Heidi from IndianaI once read that that this song was about how when the Eagles came out, they were the talk of the town (Hollywood/Los Angeles). They were the new best thing. They were the ones getting all the hype. Then along comes (according to the article) Bruce Springsteen - "The New Kid in Town" - and now they've "forgotten" the Eagles. They are old news now. The fans are the restless hearts and they always want the newest thing. I only read this in one article therefore it's likely untrue but kind of an interesting take nonetheless.
  • Kenneth from North IdahoEagles songs often hide the audience as the lover in the song. For example, "You look in her eyes, the music begins to play. Hopeless romantics here we go again..." Those restless hearts that never mend is the fickle audience who is always looking for some new thing. So Don and Glenn many times (After the thrill is gone, and Waiting in the Weeds, to name just two) use the love interest in the song as a metaphor for their audience. Very clever and very insightful, which is why I love their lyrics so much.
  • Neil Spagna from Fairfield, Ct UsaAccording to the documentary "History of the Eagles" the title of the song came from a late night stop at a Los Angeles diner that Henley, Frey and some other Eagles visited after seeing Bruce Springsteen play a club show. Frey, at some point, says to the other Eagles "Well, there's a new kid in town". I think they liked the sound of that as a title for a song and took it from there. Dont think the song has any other relationship to Springsteen than that. As for the meaning, I believe what ever Frey, Henley, and Souther say about it. Three amazing songwriters.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaMy second fav Eagles tune. Dt this reminds me more of leaving a place I really loved and thought of as home and knowing that your memory only lasts so long and someone else will replace you.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 12th 1976, "New Kid in Town" by the Eagles entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 t position #48; and ten weeks later on February 20th, 1977 it peaked at #1 {for 1 week} and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was the 3rd of the group's five #1 records; and all five of them remained in the top spot for one week, while "Lyin' Eyes" only reached #2 but it did stay there for two weeks.
  • Frank from Toronto, OnI see this from my own experience. You can be just an average Joe, and some very popular woman, or celebrity, or even the public, takes an interest in you, and people who have known you a long time see you completely differently now, expecting you to become special or famous as well and maybe a little fame rubbing off on them. After a while, if you are not comfortable with the relationship, for any reason, break it off, with tears from the other. Then, even tho' you broke if off, once you are replaced, you feel jealous, envious, betrayed, and maybe thinking that maybe you shouldn't have split. Can relate to many situations, especially romance and fame.
  • Dt from Gulf Breeze, Fl"They will never forget you 'til somebody new comes along "- great line. This song can apply to so many things in life... athletics, career, but most compelling in romantic relationships. The absolute hurt and pain when you see the girl you thought was absolutely infatuated with you now showing the same affection to another guy, The New Kid in Town.
  • Rod from Santa Cruz, CaThis song is about youth, making your last stand, and refusing to go quietly into the night!
  • Amanda from Melbourne, AustraliaIt's could also be about life in general ever evolving - the next big thing becomes a has been and someone takes his place.
  • Travis from Fairfax, CaI agree with Sara and similar comments above. Definitely about Hollywood and fame. I personally can't really see another meaning from the song-writer point of view...especially since they've all said it themselves. I do find it interesting that many have adapted different interpretations, that's what art is all about.
  • John from Princeton, KyThis song makes perfect sense!!!! I knew what it meant the first time I heard it.....back in 1977. I've owned this album in practically every media starting with an 8 track.
  • Jack from Mesa, AzIt does makes sense...the girl in the song is Fame and you can kind of figure out the symbolism from there. Eagles gettin all cerebral.
  • David from Youngstown, OhI agree with PeterM. It's a great song. But the lyrics make no sense at all. It's not about being a new kid in town.
  • Mayank from Ranchi, IndiaWith so many people out here saying rumours that the song was about Bruce Springsteen and who not - how about this song being about Joe Walsh himself, since he was the newcomer in the Eagles back then ;-) ? Just kidding.
  • Peterm from Birmingham, United KingdomGreat comments, but I still don't understand it! No problem it's a real creative song, I like to listen to the Eagles in the car on a long journey. Relaxing.
  • Mayank from Ranchi, IndiaThis song is great, I related to it when I had changed cities while I was a kid, and some of the people I knew earlier had forgotten me (even your old friends treat you like you're something new). The lines "You look in her eyes the music beings to play" and "Will she still love you when you're not around" blew me off.
  • Dan from Woodinville, WaThis is a greatly-written song. "There's so many things you should have told her/But night after night you're willing to hold her...Just hold her, tears on your shoulder" Really powerful.
  • Mark from Sierra Madre, CaOne of the great 'story songs'. In the span of 5 minutes you go from being the cool new thing to a has been. Genius. Loaded with cool guitar parts to boot.
  • Julia from Dallas, TxI always thought this song was about a guy who moved away from his small town but came back and is surprised to be treated like some sort of hero for being new. He becomes popular and wins the heart of the local beauty but he starts to feel trapped so he breaks up with her or cheats on her. It reminds me of the speech Lee gives Francie in "A Tree Grows in Brookyln" when he was talking about how he ended up engaged. He says something about how there's not much to do in small towns so people pairs each other off and you feel obligated to stay with the person you were paired off with just because. The guy in the song quickly loses his popularity after breaking it off with the local beauty and people begin to gossip about him. Then, a new kid comes into town who is treated the same way the guy was when he first came in, even dating the guy's ex-girlfriend. His friends forgive him because they all want to fawn over the new kid in town but he refuses, remembering how much he was gossiped about and is relieved to have the pressure off of him. He watches the cycle repeat from afar.
  • Kurtis from Portland, Or"hold her,just hold her....tears on your shoulder,one of the sweetest lines of lyrics ever written.
  • Paul from Detroit, MiI either detest Eagle songs or absolutely love them. There seems to be no in between. This is by far the best song they ever recorded. The harmonies are beautiful.
    This song is on my all time top 5 list.
  • Erica from Nairobi, KenyaI think this song is based on the concept of a fad.when something new hits town everyone wants to be associated with it 'johnny come lately the new kid in town,everbody loves you so don't let them down'but soon the fad fades and a new one comes along and people forget about the last and embrace the new'johnny come lately the new kid in town everybody loves you,and he's holding her but your'e still around'i LOVE it.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn Don Henley's 1st solo LP "I Can't Stand Still" there's a track called "Johnny Can't Read". As the songs fades to it's end Henley states 'There's a new kid in town'...
  • Daniel from Mexico City, MexicoActually, I don't think this song's about a new comer... exactly. After trying to put the pieces together... well, I believe this song is rather interesting for it presents you with something of a paradox: the protagonist of the song is not the "new kid", but rather a local boy who, all of a sudden, discovers that everybody (even old friends) is looking at him as if he was a stranger or something. And what's the reason? It's just that the word's around that her girlfriend has been making friends with... you bet it: a kid that's new in town, of course!
    By the way, the local boy seems to be some kind of a notoriety in the neighborhood; for example, his case have risen "great expectations" --and a helluva gossip to boot--, which "expectations" revolve, naturally, around the question of wether (or not) our troubled hero will be able to protect the local pride ("so don't let them down!"), and show the newcomer some manners.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis song went against the grain of the Hotel California album. The album was intended to be a move away from the Eagles "country-rock" image into a more "hard-rock" sound (especially with their then-new lead guitarist Joe Walsh). This is the only track on the album that has the Eagles' country-rock sound.
  • Beck from Columbus, OhI agree with Ray...a little rock and country...good song though.
  • Bob from Southfield, MiI heard Glen Frey talk about this song on Mitch Albom's radio show a few years ago. He remarked that the song was about Steely Dan whom the band saw as a new and upcoming group that was possibly taking over the spotlight from the Eagles.
  • Chris from Lake Texoma, TxI read somewhere recently that this song was about Tony Dorsett coming to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
  • David from Youngstown, OhGreat song from one of rock's most overrated bands. But the lyrics make little sense. Maybe it's just me.
  • Leigh from Melbourne, AustraliaI once heard a rumour that the Eagles wrote this song about Bruce Springsteen!!! They saw him play as gig in L.A around '75, and were both impressed and scared.Bruce was called "the saviour of rock and roll" around that time too.
  • Tim from Denver, CoThis one of many songs co-written by J.D. Souther.
  • Karl from Akron, , Oh I like to think of this song as being about someone who became somewhat famous for something, and people who didn't even know him personally felt like they did because he was from their community, which gave all of them some sort of "ownership" and pride in him. I think we all feel sometimes that we have some sort of relationship with someone from our own hometown. I personally don't know LeBron James, but seeing how we are both from Akron I feel some sort of connection with him, which is how I inturpret this song. And later in the song the "New kid in town" is letting his ego take over, soon he forgets those around him. Eventually he gets thought of as just another person who no longer is put in the limelight, and gets easily replaced
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlThe Eagles have a way of piecing together lyrics that other bands can't quite pull off...
  • Huong from Hcm City(vn), OtherTis song very excellent and nice. I very like The Eagles. that is a good band.Not only that song but I like other song of The Eagles
  • Dylan Kimberlin from Melbourne,australia, AustraliaI think at one point we can all relate to this song.
  • George from Baltimore, MdI love this song because I WAS "the new kid in town" when I moved to Lancaster Co., PA from Baltimore when this song was released. Landing in a country setting from a "big city" made me the new kid - and boy, was I in for an education! I still LOVE this one!
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Flyea, i agree with pete there...being new = tough for a while, but at the same time, being "new" and "hot" in the music/acting industry SUCKS badly. i mean, look at the stupid shows that they take on tv that dedicated itself to STARS and their personal lives. it SUCKS, and their money can't make up for the happiness.

    anyways...if i remember right, this song was written because, i think glenn frey said something about "you'll forget about the eagles, and then you'll get to know some other cool band." how interesting and fickle.
  • Ray from Stockton, NjI can't relate to this song but it is a very good song, some people consider it country but some consider it rock i consider it a little bit of both.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiai relate this one , to being a new kid in school, gees it'd be tough, for a short while at least
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