Whether co-writing and singing those peaceful, easy ditties with the Eagles or embracing his rock 'n' soul side on bombastic '80s hits, Glenn Frey always managed to find popular-music's sweet spot. Here are five songs with which any old or new fan should start as the mourning for the legend continues. Scroll down to listen to them all via Spotify:
TAKE IT EASY (1972): This was the Eagles' debut single and the opening tune on their self-titled album. And because it later held the same kickoff slot on the band's first blockbuster greatest-hits compilation, one of the biggest selling albums of all time, "Take it Easy" became the Eagles' calling card. A free-wheelin' road anthem that practically demands a singalong, it was co-written by Frey with Jackson Browne. Actually, he helped Browne finish the tune. But it was Frey's lead vocal on the Eagles' recording of it that sealed the deal for his burgeoning band.
DESPERADO (1973): This Wild-West-inspired loner's ballad stood out as the finest track on its album of the same name, a record on which the Eagles expanded their sound and lyrical concepts. Frey co-wrote "Desperado" with Henley, whose dulcet tones are still the best ever applied to it. But that hasn't stopped countless artists from covering the tune. That's why it's one of the most important of the Eagles' tracks co-written by Frey.
NEW KID IN TOWN (1976): Sure, we could have easily named the game-changing hit "Hotel California" as a signature Frey song, since he co-wrote it. But "New Kid In Town," also from the '76 album Hotel California, was a No. 1 on which Frey sang lead. And it's a solid example of how his vocals could be as soothing and effortless-sounding as Henley's. And just listen to those harmonies.
HEARTACHE TONIGHT (1979): This stomp-and-clap rocker was born during a jam session between Frey and singer-songwriter J.D. Souther. They finished it with contributions from Henley and Bob Seger, and Frey lent a growling, defiant lead vocal to the Eagles' recording. "Heartache Tonight" was the Eagles' last No. 1 song, selling a million copies.
THE HEAT IS ON (1984): Glenn Frey's first solo smash found him incorporating some '80s saxophone sizzle, which made sense seeing that it was a soundtrack standout from Beverly Hills Cop. Although Frey didn't write this one, he did co-write his next soundtrack-associated hit, the song "You Belong to the City" from Miami Vice.