Eagles dominated the ’70s, helping to popularize the country rock genre and delivering one of the most revered records of all time with 1976’s Hotel California. But behind the classic songs, there was nearly constant conflict. While clashes were initially between Glenn Frey and Glyn Johns, the producer of their first two records, disputes soon grew between band members on subsequent albums. As Frey and Don Henley became the main songwriters and vocalists of the group, they pushed for a heavier rock sound. This left the other original band members, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner — who were more traditional country musicians — finding their input dwindling and placed under increased scrutiny.
In an effort to further a more rock-and-roll direction, Eagles officially added Don Felder to their lineup. He was first recruited by the band for his slide guitar work, performing on two tracks on the group’s 1974 record, On the Border. With Felder now a permanent member also seeking to establish himself in the band, he teamed up with Meisner to write “Too Many Hands.”
Jason discusses the ways “Too Many Hands” stands out musically from the Eagles catalog. From a driving acoustic guitar in an alternate tuning to a percussive breakdown with a bass solo to dueling solos during the song’s outro, an idea the band would famously revisit in the iconic closing section of “Hotel California,” there is a considerable amount of unique musical flair on this track. At a time of turmoil, as band members sought to be heard and a new guitarist looked to establish themselves, Jason feels “Too Many Hands” lets everyone in the band shine.
Scott and Jason also talk about the lyrics of “Too Many Hands,” in which the narrator spits harsh judgments about an ex’s private life. While the lyrics are problematic, especially by modern standards, Scott explains that the song fits into the themes of an album that explores when relationships take a turn.