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"New Kid in Town"
Artwork for Spain release
Song by Eagles
from the album Hotel California
B-side"Victim of Love"
ReleasedDecember 2, 1976
GenreSoft rock[1]
Length5:04 (Album Version); 4:49 (Single Version)
Songwriter(s)Don Henley, Glenn Frey, J.D. Souther
Producer(s)Bill Szymczyk

"New Kid in Town" is a song by the Eagles from their 1976 studio album Hotel California. It was written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther. Released as the first single from the album, the song became a number-one hit in the US, and number 20 in the UK. The single version has an earlier fade-out than the album version. The song features Glenn Frey singing the lead vocals, with Don Henley singing main harmony vocals. Randy Meisner plays the guitarrón mexicano, Don Felder plays electric guitars, and Joe Walsh plays the electric piano and organ parts.[2] The song won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices.


J.D. Souther initially wrote the chorus for the song. According to Souther, the band thought it sounded like a hit, but he didn't know what to do with it.[3] About a year later, he, Frey and Henley gathered together for the writing of Hotel California where he played the song for them, and the three then finished the song together.[4]

Souther would later say that the song came about as a result of their "fascination with gunfire as an analogy", and added that "at some point some kid would come riding into town that was much faster than you and he'd say so, and then he'd prove it." He said: "We were just writing about our replacements."[5] Similarly, Don Henley talked about the song's meaning in the liner notes of The Very Best Of:

It's about the fleeting, fickle nature of love and romance. It's also about the fleeting nature of fame, especially in the music business. We were basically saying, 'Look, we know we're red hot right now but we also know that somebody's going to come along and replace us — both in music and in love.'[6][3]

The song was rumored to be about Bruce Springsteen, who was gaining fame when the song was written, but Souther has denied that.[3]

Eagles' biographer Marc Eliot would also state that "New Kid in Town" captures "a precise and spectacular moment immediately familiar to any guy who's ever felt the pain, jealousy, insecurity, rage and heartbreak of the moment he discovers his girlfriend likes someone better and has moved on."[7] He also suggests that it captures a more abstract theme of "the fickle nature of both the muse and the masses."[7]

On Henley's first solo album, I Can't Stand Still, he references the song by singing the line, "there's a new kid in town" over the rideout of "Johnny Can't Read".[8]

Critical reception[]

In 2016, the editors of Rolling Stone Magazine rated "New Kid in Town" as the Eagles 5th greatest song, describing it as "an exquisite piece of south-of-the-border melancholia" and praising its complex, "overlapping harmonies."[3] Those harmonies helped the song win the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices.[3][9]


  • Glenn Frey: Lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Don Henley: Drums, percussion, harmony & backing vocals
  • Don Felder: Lead guitars
  • Joe Walsh: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hammond organ
  • Randy Meisner: Bass guitar, guitarrón mexicano, backing vocals

Chart performance[]


  1. Masley, Ed (September 30, 2014). "10/1: 5 essential Eagles albums- 'Hotel to 'Border'". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  2. "Liner Notes - Hotel California (The Eagles)". Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Eagles: The Ultimate Guide. Rolling Stone Magazine. 2016. p. 86.
  4. Browne, David (January 28, 2016). "Glenn Frey: An Oral History". Rolling Stone.
  5. "J. D. Souther". Song Facts.
  6. The Very Best Of (CD). Eagles. Warner Music Group. 2003. R2 73971.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Eliot, M. (2004). To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles. Da Capo Press. p. 149. ISBN 9780306813986.
  8. "New Kid in Town by Eagles". Song Facts.
  9. "Past Winners Search: Glenn Frey". Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  10. " – Eagles – New Kid in Town" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5172a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  12. "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 5164." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  13. "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 4469." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  14. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – New Kid in Town". Irish Singles Chart.
  15. " – Eagles – New Kid in Town" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  16. " – Eagles – New Kid in Town". Top 40 Singles.
  17. " – Eagles – New Kid in Town". VG-lista.
  18. "Eagles: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  19. "Eagles Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  20. "Eagles Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  21. "Top 200 Singles of 1977". RPM magazine. December 31, 1977.
  22. "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977".
  23. MBAJ&printsec=frontcover Billboard, December 24, 1977.

External links[]

  • Template:MetroLyrics song
Preceded by
"Blinded by the Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 26, 1977 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" by Barbra Streisand