Eagles Hell Freezes Over

Growing up in Singapore in the '70s, the Eagles were the quintessential American band. I loved their hits and sang them (really out of tune) with the radio: Desperado with its country influences; The Last Resort ballard; country pop that is Lyin' Eyes; soul and R&B influences on One of these Nights; and most of all the harder rocking Hotel California. When the band broke up in 1980, Don Henley famously said that they would play together again "when hell freezes over".

I remember being very sad when I heard that they had broken up - so it's no surprise that my favorite Eagles album is their comeback Hell Freezes Over. The LP features four new studio tracks on Side A - and then Side B starts with Glenn Frey saying "for the record, we never broke up; we just took a 14 year vacation."

The album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and sold 6 million copies (unfortunately most of them digital). A good copy of the original 1994 Dutch-pressed Geffen LP is almost impossible to find - and when you can find it, it would cost well over $100. There was a heavyweight 180gm re-issue in 1997 by Simply Vinyl, and that can be even more expensive.

However, if you don't want to pay the hundreds of dollars for a copy of the vinyl, here are IMO the best versions on digital: One of the DVD re-issues has "This disc is encoded with an uncompressed PCM soundtrack for optimum stereo fidelity" printed on the back. This is the original 24-bit/48kHz master and it sounds fabulous. The next best was the JVC XRCD2 version mastered and pressed at Flair Studios in Japan.

Mono & Stereo friend Gary Koh of Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.