On Aug. 2, 1975, the Eagles soared into the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100, securing the second No. 1 hit of the career with a song that proved the band’s ability to write hit songs outside of the country-rock ballad range that had served them well up to that point.
Written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, “One of These Nights” was the title track to the Eagles’ fourth studio album, and given how much airplay it continues to secure on album rock radio even now, it’s somewhat startling to think that it was actually described as “disco” at the time of its release. Indeed, the word was even featured in the headline of a 1975 Rolling Stone article about the tune: “Eagles Fly High with Disco ‘Night.’”
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“We wanted to get away from the ballad syndrome with ‘One of These Nights,’” Henley said in that Rolling Stone piece. “With Don Felder in the band now, we can really rock. He’s made us nastier and done a great guitar solo on the single.”
“I’d been listening to Spinners and Al Green records when I started writing it at the piano,” Frey added, explaining the sound of the song. “We wanted ‘One of These Nights’ to have a lot of teeth, a lot of bite - a nasty track with pretty vocals. Our producer, Bill Szymczyk, is a real R&B freak. He was a freelance engineer in the Sixties on Aaron Neville’s ‘Tell It Like It Is’ and B.B. King’s ‘The Thrill Is Gone.'”
Speaking of Frey, he had more to say about the song - and the album from whence it originated - in the liner notes for the Eagles’ The Very Best Of collection, and you can hear his highly understandable pride in the text:
We had Don Henley's voice, which allowed us to go in a more soulful direction, which made me exceedingly happy...A lot of things came together on One of These Nights - our love of the studio, the dramatic improvement in Don's and my songwriting. We made a quantum leap with "One of These Nights." It was a breakthrough song. It is my favorite Eagles record. If I ever had to pick one, it wouldn't be "Hotel California"; it wouldn't be "Take It Easy." For me, it would be "One of These Nights."
And given that it was a No. 1 hit to boot, can you blame the guy?