The Long Run: Which version is going to make it?

We’ll find out in this Eagles shootout review: 2 CD’s versus OG vinyl

Jim Esch
7 min readOct 20, 2023


The Long Run, the Eagles’ sixth studio album, is a little like “those debutantes in Houston” mentioned in the title track. It couldn’t hold a candle to its predecessor, Hotel California. That album was so huge, so iconic, that anything in its wake was bound to suffer in comparison. Add to this the fact that The Eagles totally loathed one another by this point in their career, and you can see why The Long Run felt shallow and moribund.

Its plain black cover was prescient of impending doom. The Eagles would disband and not make a new studio album for 28 years.

It wasn’t a flop, though. For a swan song, The Long Run was commercially successful. It topped the US charts for 9 weeks and spawned three top 10 singles: “Heartache Tonight,” “I Can’t Tell You Why,” and “The Long Run.”

Much as some listeners malign this record, it’s a good sounding album — suffused with deep, warm, late 70’s production values, dampened dry drum and bass grooves, trademark Eagles harmonies, and sizzling, snarling guitar work from the triumvirate of Don Felder, Joe Walsh, and Glenn Frey. Underneath the polished production finish, there’s a world-weary snark and cynicism that is a continuation of themes…