The Long 'Road'

Fans who have waited since 1979 for a new studio album from the Eagles surely won't be disappointed with "Long Road Out of Eden," which arrives this week.

Fans who have waited since 1979 for a new studio album from the Eagles surely won't be disappointed with "Long Road Out of Eden," which arrives this week. The two-disc set, which will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart in North America, bears the Eagles Recording Co. imprint.

The album features a wealth of Don Henley/Glenn Frey co-writes and a broad palette of musical styles most representative of the band's "Hotel California" and "The Long Run" eras, a mix of lengthy set pieces and more Cali-rock, radio-oriented gems. The set, which opens with the gentle but foreboding harmony-fest "No More Walks in the Wood," is part social commentary, part examination of the human condition and part re-introduction of the band via new and powerful songs.

"We've always had love songs and we've always had social commentary," Henley says. "I think we've gotten a little bit better at both ends of the spectrum. In fact, I think our love songs have matured a little bit and the social commentary has matured, as well, and gotten maybe a little bolder. But, it's an Eagles album. It's all over the map, both musically and subject-wise."

The Eagles are known for their environmental activism, prompting some questions as to why they'd work with a giant corporation such as Wal-Mart. Frey responds, "I am in the business of selling records and I want to be in a place where we have the opportunity to sell the most records. It's also nice that Wal-Mart pays us a very lucrative royalty; a royalty that no record company could come close to matching. But that's because we are not a loss leader at Wal-Mart. If the Eagles put out a record at Warner or any other major record label, part of the reason they can't pay up is we've got to pay for all of the bad acts they sign and release."