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WikiProject Albums. This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale. This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale. Souther were jamming together after attending a Tim Hardin show at the Troubadour in , and they came up the idea about doing an album about anti-heroes. The album however evolved into a wild-west themed album Desperado which was released in , and "James Dean" was shelved.
When recording began for On the Border , the song was immediately pulled off the shelf and completed. The B-side " Good Day in Hell " is notable for being the first Eagles track recorded with Don Felder , who joined the band midway through the sessions for the album.
Billboard described "James Dean" as "good solid rocker" with "fine vocal harmonies" whose instrumentation is reminiscent of Jackson Browne 's song " Redneck Friend ," on which Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey provided backup vocals. Released as the second single from the band's debut album Eagles , it reached No. The song was conceived while Don Henley was living in an old house near the Hollywood Bowl , with his flat mate, Henry Vine aka 'Blitz'. Henley said of the origin of the song: "[Leadon] came over one day and started playing this strange, minor-key riff that sounded sort of like a Hollywood movie version of Indian music — you know, the kind of stuff they play when the Indians ride up on the ridge while the wagon train passes below.
It had a haunting quality, and I thought it was interesting, so we put a rough version of it down on a cassette tape.
The inspiration for the title and lyrics about a seductive enchantress came from a number of women, although Henley had one particular woman in mind - Zelda Fitzgerald , whose biography he was reading while writing the song. Scott Fitzgerald , was known as a wild, bewitching and mesmerizing " Flapper " of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties , and is sometimes thought to be the model for the character of Daisy Buchanan in his novel, The Great Gatsby.
According to Henley, other influences for the song include books by Carlos Castaneda on shamanism , and a girl he knew who was interested in the occult. The song is the first commercially successful song written by Don Henley, reaching No. InfoDisc in French. Archived from the original PHP on August 20, Danish Charts. Finnish Charts. Music Line in German. Media Control Charts. Italian Charts. Dutch Charts.
Norwegian Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on January 17, Archived from the original PHP on June 21, Bundesverband Musikindustrie in German. Type "Eagles" under Interpret to see search results. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original ASP on June 21, Archived from the original PDF on May 21,Listen to your favorite songs from The Very Best of the Eagles ( Remaster) by Eagles Now. Stream ad-free with Amazon Music Unlimited on mobile, desktop, and tablet. Download our mobile app now.