Tucked away near the end of Hotel California is the last song Randy wrote during his tenure with the Eagles, “Try And Love Again.” Today, the song is considered a deep track, but in 1976, it was a hit with contemporary critics, who felt it was the highlight of the album. What sets it apart from Randy’s signature song, “Take It To The Limit,” in my opinion, is that it is all Randy. There are no Don Henley/Glenn Frey co-credits here. The lyrics are sweet, pure, and hopeful. The song deserved to be a hit, but perhaps it’s best that it has remained in obscurity and wasn’t overplayed on the radio, like the title track. Today, there are fans and music enthusiasts who prefer Side Two of Hotel California to the more hit-heavy Side One. There is a reason for this. Side Two has the deep tracks and those are always the best songs.
“There’s one song on the album that we joke about being our Buffalo Chi-Lites track; half the Chi-Lites, half Buffalo Springfield. It’s a track of Randy’s, ‘Try And Love Again.'”Don Henley, Zigzag magazine, December 1976
What the critics said:
“Randy Meisner’s lead vocal on ‘Try And Love Again’ is hypnotic.”
–Boston Globe, April 17th, 1977
“Bassist Randy Meisner sings the album’s finest cut, ‘Try And Love Again.’ Walsh again stands out musically here (on Gretsch guitar), and Meisner coos in an excellent vocal performance.”
–Sacramento Express, March 3rd, 1977
Meisner’s ‘Try And Love Again’ is one of the album’s strong points–a wonderfully constructed ballad.”
–Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 2nd, 1977
“In ‘Try And Love Again,’ with its eerie ‘These Days’ opening hook, the spotlight is on Randy Meisner and it is definitely one of the album’s highlights.”
–Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY), January 29th, 1977
“‘Try And Love Again’ is bassist Randy Meisner’s only written contribution to Hotel California, and even though it’s a far cry from his ‘Take It To The Limit,’ it’s one of the few typical things on the new LP. Containing elements of folk, country and rock music, it’s another semi-bitter love song served up in a convincing manner. Meisner’s vocals, as always, are perfectly tailored to the lyrical message.”
–Daily Record Sun (Morristown, NJ), January 2nd, 1977
“‘Try and Love Again’ is the album’s most hopeful, upbeat song with Randy Meisner vowing to forget a lost love for a new one.”
–Atlanta Constitution, January 8th, 1977
“Randy Meisner’s ‘Try And Love Again’ is a nicely designed ballad with an outwardly romantic theme.”
–Los Angeles Times, December 12th, 1976
“Bassist Randy Meisner adds one of the most appealing tunes, the Buffalo Springfield-ish ‘Try And Love Again.'”
–Wichita Falls Record-News, April 16th, 1977
“‘Try And Love Again’ is ambitiously conceived and executed with polish, Glenn Frey’s guitar cruising in counterpoint against a euphonious vocal arrangement.”
–San Diego Union, January 9th, 1977
“There’s a nice recovery on the next cut, ‘Try And Love Again,’ thanks largely to Randy Meisner’s strong vocal and Walsh’s guitar. Again, it’s another traditional Eagles tune, but with some added incentive.”
–Simi Valley Star, February 2nd, 1977
“It’s not until the next-to-last cut on the LP, ‘Try and Love Again’ by the underestimated Randy Meisner, that we have a song of any real urgency. Aided by some ringing guitar resonance, it’s the only cut with any ‘lift’ to it.”
–Circus, March 17, 1977
Some critics felt that “Try And Love Again” was the only song that represented the Eagles signature sound:
“Traditionally, the Eagles have come to be known for fluid, upbeat country with a pinch of rock and a dash roll now and then. For the dyed-in-the-wool fan, there is plenty of that on the album, too. “Try And Love Again,” and the title cut, ‘Hotel California’ are very good examples of what has helped the Eagles feather their nest.”
–The Times (Shreveport, LA), January 9th, 1977
“There are remnants (as in ‘Try And Love Again’) of the strong lead vocals backed by a sweet chorus [of the early Eagles].”
–Green Bay Press Gazette, January 2nd, 1977
In an interview with Zigzag magazine in December 1976, Don Henley was asked if he agreed with Neil Young’s assessment that the Eagles were the Buffalo Springfield of the seventies. His response:
“Well, there’s one song on [Hotel California] that we joke about being our Buffalo Chi-Lites track; half the Chi-Lites, half Buffalo Springfield. It’s a track of Randy’s, ‘Try And Love Again.'”
There are two documented live performances of “Try & Love Again” with the Eagles: March 19th, 1977 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Rochester, New York, and March 21st, 1977 the Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland. The latter concert was filmed, but the footage of “Try & Love Again” has never been released.
After Randy left the Eagles, “Try And Love Again” became a regular part of his setlists as a solo performer and with subsequent bands.
One such performance was at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach in 1978, only one year after Randy had left the Eagles. It is perhaps the closest, voice-wise, to how he may have sounded when he performed the song live with the Eagles the previous year. Personally, I don’t like the saxophone, but it’s possible the addition of it was an attempt to make this version his own.
Below is a video recording of a performance with Meisner, Swan and Rich at Wise Guys in Pasadena on April 2nd, 1994 (recorded by Stephen Duncan). Watch another performance with Meisner, Swan & Rich at the Palomino Club in June 1995 here.