The title track for the Eagles' third album was written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon, but it turned out to be completely different from what Henley had originally envisioned. He commented on the liner notes for The Very Best Of The Eagles compilation: "There was a clash of styles and influences in that song, and I'm not sure it ever became what it could have been, musically."
The lyrics were written at the height of the Watergate scandal and the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. They were penned about the concern there was about the American government overstepping the mark with regard to issues of privacy.
Listen carefully and at the very end of the recording you can hear a voice saying, "Say goodnight, Dick," which was a phrase made famous on the late 1960s show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Henley explained: "We were addressing Nixon, because at that time it was pretty clear that he was on his way out, so that was our little kiss-off to Tricky Dick."
Wanna hear someone really upset by Nixon and the Watergate scandal? Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'
" was possibly the Motown legend's angriest ever song where he really lays into his president.
When the group sings together on the break of this song, they had The Temptations in mind. Glenn Frey says they had to get "completely liberated on gin and tonics" to pull it off. The alcohol assist made them sound like "white, stoned punks, drunk out of our minds," rather than earnest imitators of classic Soul.