The Eagles vs. Jethro Tull

December 9th, 2009 by


Submitted by Dave

Great comparison of The Eagles‘ mega hit “Hotel California” and Jethro Tull‘s 1969 track “We Used to Know”. The inspiration is also mentioned on the official Jethro Tull website.

Jethro Tull - "We Used to Know" (1969)

The Eagles - "Hotel California" (1976)

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20 Responses to “The Eagles vs. Jethro Tull”

  1. avatarhebgb says:

    Sounds nothing alike!


  2. avatardxman says:

    They don’t sound that much alike except the chord progression, though you cannot deny the Eagles were influenced by Tull.


  3. avatarMP says:

    They don’t sound alike tho that chrd progression is dead-on, exactly the same. We’re not talking about 3 chords in sequence, but 8!!


  4. avatarUriolus says:

    Well, I came to this page because they sounded very alike to me. I’m not musician, but I have ears…


  5. avatarAl says:

    The Eagles were the opening act for Jethro Tull in the 70’s. The chord progession is a total rip-off


  6. avatarpaulmarkj says:

    I am astounded that peope cannot hear the similarity. The melody is very similar and the timing and sentiment are also similar. In fact, I played the JT track for the first time ever this morning and though it sounded like Hotel California, hence I googled it and found this page. Listen again to the first mnute of each song.


  7. avatarKief says:

    The Eagles toured with Jethro Tull in 71 and 72, but Don Felder wasn’t with the band yet and he supposedly wrote the music for Hotel California before he joined The Eagles in 74.

    Inspired or influenced, don’t matter much to me, I think they are both great tunes, but I certainly notice those same 8 chords in a row that MP mentioned.


  8. avatarelkabong says:

    Ripoff or not… certainly they sound VERY alike.
    Those 8 chords are everything but little.


  9. avatarTravis says:

    ive also seen tulls song get compared to moody blues “nights in white satin” released 2 years prior to “we used to know”


  10. avatarGod Save the Kinks says:

    Exactly what I did ;) Happens from time to time, don’t blame anyone though. Must be hard not subconsciously adding bits and parts you’ve heard over the years.
    People where way groovier on the whole borrowing thing back in the days, when music was alive.

    God save the Kinks


  11. avatardthree says:

    Descending 5ths progressions like these go back at least to Bach.


  12. avatarLK says:

    Oh my god! Both use the same music notes – A B C D E F and G! What a rip off!

    Get a grip people.


  13. avatarMike says:

    Even though the chord progression is the same, the base line and tones over that progression are not, so they only sound vaguely similar, however the melody in the first measure sounds very similar in both songs.


  14. avatarLee says:

    It’s not JUST the chords that sound alike! Listen to the accenting of the solos, and ‘feel’ of the solos……it’s beyond coincidence, especially as they toured together…I don’t care if it was supposedly written before Don Felder was in the band. OK, they’ve done some catchy tunes the Eagles, but I have to agree with what Tom Waits once said after they blandified one of his songs with their session musician approach…the best thing about an Eagles album is that it keeps the dust off your turntable.


  15. avatarAndrew says:

    I was once ask by a work colleague what bands I liked – I’m not ashamed to admit I answered that I liked The Eagles. Like Lee, he was scoffingly distainful of my music choice. In his next breath he commented to someone else about how great the new Morrissey album was (You Are the Quarry). I mean, I was looking for the irony and then I found the irony. Nothing to do with the subject, just wanted to share.


  16. avatarJeff says:

    I just bought the album that had this jethro tull song on it and i couldn’t help noticing it sounded familiar but couldn’t quite remember why. it took me a few days to realize it sounded like hotel california. I won’t call a rip off but they certainly sound the same



    klaus jansen Reply:

    As a favour in return.I propose,the Eagels shoud give some materal support to Jethro Tull´s ocological
    projects.Perhaps “in cognito”.So the world also would have an advantage of being a milionar with the help of a somehow stolen song.


  17. avatarBassman53 says:

    Hello all,
    last Thursday a was guest of the birthday of my old school friend, Guess how old ;)
    A duett of marvellous guitar players presented songs, also “we used to know”.
    First thing i said to my friend was: “now i know, where the eagles got hotel califonia from!”
    And so it is! not more, not less!
    Regards from the Jurassic Parc! (Germany, Schwaebische Alb)



    Keith Reply:



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