Glenn Frey was an American singer, songwriter and actor, who enjoyed success as a solo artist and as frontman in the rock band, The Eagles.
Born in 1948 in Detroit, Glenn showed an interest in music from an early – he was particularly inspired by the Beatles. Although he began learning to play the piano at just five years old, it was soon apparent that the guitar was his true passion. After brief stints in bands such as The Mushrooms and Subterraneans, Glenn moved to Los Angeles to further his music career.
In 1971, Glenn met drummer Don Henley, and along with guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner, the foursome were asked to play as a backing group for Linda Ronstadt. Following this gig, they decided to form their own group, The Eagles.
The hits came quickly for The Eagles, with the likes of Take it Easy, Lyin’ Eyes and Peaceful Easy Feeling. Their album Hotel California, released in 1976, earned them a Grammy for Record of the Year, while their Greatest Hits compilation became the first album to ever achieve platinum certification.
Despite the popularity of The Eagles, the band split in 1980. However, they reformed in 1994, spawning a new album, Hell Freezes Over, and a tour. As one of the most successful rock bands of all time, earning six Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards, The Eagles were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
While Glenn enjoyed success as The Eagles’ frontman, when the band took a hiatus, it was his solo career that started to blossom. He released his first solo album in 1982, No Fun Aloud, and achieved a string of popular hits, including The One You Love, Smuggler’s Blues, True Love and You Belong to the City. However, Glenn’s most famous solo hit came in 1985, with The Heat is On.
The Heat is On
Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey are credited for writing the song The Heat is On, a track included in the 1984 Beverly Hills Cop movie and soundtrack album. Glenn auditioned for the singing role, unsure if it was the kind of track rock stars did and was duly surprised to get the gig. He recorded vocals for the track in one day, returning the next day to record backing vocals and guitar, earning himself $15,000 for his efforts.
The track was a massive hit and became Glenn’s most successful solo effort. In 1985, it reached number two in the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 12 in the UK singles chart.
The accompanying music video was also a smash on MTV, where it was the first of its kind to show clips from a movie mixed with footage of the music performers. Interestingly, the saxophone player seen in the video was not the same as the one who originally recorded the part. The song was also included in Glenn’s albums, Glenn Frey Live and Solo Collection.
Although The Heat is On was one of the biggest hits of the 1980s, it is still a popular choice of tune at sporting events today, helping to pile pressure onto visiting teams.
Following this chart success, Glenn went on to record another soundtrack, You Belong to the City, for the hit TV series, Miami Vice. He also contributed to vocals on soundtracks for the films Ghostbusters II and Thelma & Louise.
He also enjoyed a brief acting career, making guest appearances in Miami Vice and Nash Bridges, as well as pivotal roles in Let’s Get Harry and Jerry Maguire.
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