Wasted Time

Album: Hotel California (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • This is Don Henley and Glenn Frey's attempt at a Philly-soul torch song. Frey later explained on the liner notes for The Very Best Of The Eagles: "I loved all the records coming out of Philadelphia at that time. I sent for some sheet music so I could learn some of those songs, and I started creating my own musical ideas with that Philly influence. Don was our Teddy Pendergrass. He could stand out there all alone and just wail. We did a big Philly-type production with strings -- definitely not country rock. You're not going to find that track on a Crosby, Stills & Nash record or Beach Boys record. Don's singing abilities stretched so many of our boundaries. He could sing the phone book. It didn't matter."
  • The strings were arranged by Jim Ed Norman, who was an old college buddy of Don Henley's in Texas and later the keyboard player for the Eagles founding member's very first band Felicity. In the late '90s Norman rose to the position of president of Warner/Reprise Records Nashville.
  • "Wasted Time" closes side one on your old vinyl copy of the Hotel California LP. After you've flipped the record over to side two, the first piece of music you'll hear is an instrumental reprise of the same track.
  • Hotel California was taped in Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida. Black Sabbath were in the next room recording Technical Ecstasy and were so loud that the Eagles had to stop recording on a number of occasions.

Comments: 9

  • Eugene Kierans from IrelandIn one of the Eagles books it says it is about the child Stevie Nicks lost to him, hence the words your babys gone and your all alone
  • Catherine from IndianaAfter many years, I listened to this recording again this weekend, It still has the power to bring me to tears even at the age of 76. Thank you.
  • Don from Vancouver Bc This song stands the test of time , we are all home with this virus going on , nice to have great songs to make us all look back and appreciate super lyrics @ composing
  • Amypala from Virginia Beach, VaI was driving home from grocery shopping, sad because it was my mother's birthday, our first without her; Hotel California was in my disc drive, and this song came on; I really noticed very sharply how very sad this song is; how Henley's voice captures that sadness, and then the rise of the music at the end that says it will get better. I cried all the way home.
  • Jeannie from KyOne of my many Favorite Eagles songs.
  • Dude from FloridaI've listened to this song about 10 times today and it has to be about one their romances gone bad. On Wikipedia, it says the song was inspired by Don Henley's breakup with Loree Rodkin, so you there have it.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJul 2014,

    1. I Love this song.
    2. And though they may have been aiming for the "Blue Eye'd" Soul Philly sound and Henly has the chops for it,..this has more a Kenny Rogers (type) Country Pop (or Pop Country) Vibe.
    3. Again, a great song.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe song is Henley's message that while it is hard not to be despondent and bitter about the end of a romance, it is important to not to let that overwhelm you. Don would revive that theme with his 1989 solo hit "Heart Of The Matter".
  • Ken from Louisville, KyAlthough the song is about the end of a romantic relationship, it was chosen to end Part One of the History Of The Eagles doc. It covered the 1980 break up of the group with the closing line of the song "So you can get on with your search, baby/And I can get on with mine/And maybe one day we will find/That it wasn't really wasted time".
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