Glenn Lewis Frey was born in 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. From the age of five he studied piano and later switched to guitar. At high school, he formed the Subterraneans then after graduation in 1966, he was invited to join another local band called The Four of Us. It was with The Mushrooms in 1967 he got his first recording break when Bob Seger, arranged a recording contract with his Hideout Records. Seger also wrote and produced the band's first single, "Such a Lovely Child".
Glenn put together another band called Heavy Metal Kids in 1967, before he moved to LA , where he formed a duo with J. D. Souther, called Longbranch Pennywhistle. They were signed to Amos Records and released a self-titled album in 1969.
In 1970, Linda Ronstadt wanted a backup band for her tour, and Frey was hired by John Boylan (Ronstadt’s manager) to play rhythm guitar and sing. The bother band members were Don Henley (drums), Randy Meisner (bass) and Bernie Leadon (guitar), ampmg others. The backing band personnel changed through the tour but Frey and Henley decided to form a band after the tour. They performed their first show in 1971 under the name of Teen King and the Emergencies at a club in Aspen. Eagles, as a name came from a drunken visit to the Mojave Desert. David Geffen signed Eagles and Glyn Johns produced their first country rock album Eagles (1972). Ironically, it was made in Lonodn and was an immediate success reaching No. 22 on the charts and going platinum. Three singles were released from the album, each reaching the Top 40: "Take It Easy" (No. 12), "Witchy Woman" (No. 9), and "Peaceful Easy Feeling" (No. 22).
In 1973, the band released their second album, Desperado. The concept album of rockers and outlaws, was recorded at Island Studios in London. The album was less successful and only reach number 41 on the album charts. Despite Desperado becoming one of the band’s signature songs, it was never released as a single. "Tequila Sunrise" (No. 64) and "Outlaw Man" (No. 59) failed to reach the higher end of the singles charts.
On the Border (1974) was a more rock based album produced by Bill Szymczyk (who replaced Glyn Johns). Szymczyk asked Don ‘Fingers’ Felder to play slide guitar on "Good Day in Hell". The band was so impressed they invited him to join the group as the fifth Eagle. The album generated two top 40 singles: "Already Gone" (No. 32 ) and their first number one, "Best of My Love".
One of These Nights (1975), made them international superstars with the now dominant songwriting partnership of Henley and Frey. Despite their success, Bernie Leadon was disenchanted with the direction the band were taking, and disgusted with his treatment by his fellow bandmates. He left and was replaced by Joe Walsh (James Gang). The record would become their first number one album and yielded three top 10 singles came from the One of these nights album: "One of These Nights", (no. 1) ,"Lyin' Eyes", (no. 2) and "Take It to the Limit", (no.4) The band launched a huge worldwide tour in support of the album.
Hotel California (1976) was their fifth album and under the influence of the wilder Joe Walsh, saw the group move closer to a hard rock sound. Hotel California was a concept album detailing the dark desperation felt by those who had lived out their every decadent fantasy and still remained unsatisfied. It took a year and a half to complete, and when released topped the album charts. There were three singles from the album both "New Kid in Town", and Hotel California topped the singles charts. "Life in the Fast Lane" reached number 11 in the singles charts. A huge worldwide tour in support of the album drained the band members and strained their personal and creative relationships.
The band had been living the high life (literally), and their substance abuse exacerbated tensions in the studio and on the road. The long tour meant Randy Meisner was struggling to hit the crucial high notes on "Take It To the Limit". When he decided not to sing the song as an encore at the Knoxville concert, he and Frey fell out. As a result, Meisner was frozen from the band and abruptly left after the 1977 tour. Meisner was replaced with Timothy B. Schmit (Poco). The band went into the recording studio in 1977 to begin work on their next album, The Long Run. The album took two years to complete and was originally intended to be a double album, but the band members were unable to write enough songs. The Long Run (1979) topped the charts and had three top 10 singles: "Heartache Tonight" (No.1 ), "The Long Run" (No 1), and "I Can't Tell You Why" (No.8).
Eagles broke up after Glenn Frey and Don Felder fell out over political differences on stage at a benefit show in Long Beach for Senator Alan Cranston in 1980. The band had a commitment with Elektra Records to make a live record from the tour. Eagles Live was released in late in 1980. "Seven Bridges Road" reached number 21 on the charts.
The former members all produced solo careers. Don Henley achieved arguably the greatest commercial solo success with several hit albums. Joe Walsh also released a successful album in 1981, There Goes the Neighborhood. Glenn Frey also achieved solo success in the 1980s with several album sand hit singles including the "The Heat Is On" from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack.
Don Felder, Timothy B. Schmit and Rand Meisner also had prolific solo careers during the 80s.
In 1993, the band (Frey, Henley, Walsh, Felder, and Schmit ) made a return to record Hell Freezes Over (1994). It debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard album hart. The tour made them more money than anticipated, so they continued as a band until 1996. "Get Over It" and "Love Will Keep Us Alive" became Top 40 hits.
In 1999, Eagles performed again at a couple of "Millennium" concerts. This was the last Don Feder appeared with the band. The shows were recorded and released as Selected Works Box Set (2000), Eagles [Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit, along with Steuart Smith (replacement for Don Felder)] resumed touring in 2001. In 2005, the band released Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne, featuring two new songs: "No More Cloudy Days" and "One Day at a Time".
Long Road Out of Eden, (2007) was the first full studio album in 28 years and their sixth number one album. The album produced two singles, "How Long" and "Busy Being Fabulous". The band toured the world to support the album for several years, until, Glenn Frey passed away in 2016.