You (I Can’t Tell You Why) [April A2Z]

Couple silhouette romance

Look at us baby, up all night
Tearing our love apart
Aren’t we the same two people
Who lived through years in the dark?

Every time I try to walk away
Something makes me turn around and stay
And I can’t tell you why

Welcome to my April A-Z! Iโ€™m exploring songs by the fabulous Eagles and todayโ€™s feature is “I Can’t Tell You Why,” a single from their 1979 album The Long Run. There are a couple distinctive aspects to this song. One, it was the first Eagles’ song to feature Timothy B. Schmit on lead vocals; and two, it was the Eagles’ last top 10 hit on Billboard Hot 100. Aww.

Nothing’s wrong as far as I can see
We make it harder than it has to be
And I can’t tell you why
No baby, I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why

ICTYW did well. It reached 8 on Billboard Hot 100 and 3 on Adult Contemporary. Schmit wrote the title and the main lyrics; Don Henley and Glenn Frey (RIP) are also given writing credit. Henley considered it an R&B number and predicted it would be a hit for Schmit. Indeed, Cash Box was highly complimentary of Schmit’s vocals (Frey and Henley provided backing vocals) and Billboard ranked ICTYW it as No. 6 on the 15 greatest Eagles’ songs. Rolling Stone ranked it as 11 on the 40 greatest. Frey did the guitar solos on the song, Don Felder provided electric guitar, Walsh was on the organ and keyboards, and of course Henley played the drums. Live versions are on Eagles Live (1980) and Hell Freezes Over (1994).

Every time I try to walk away
Something makes me turn around and stay
And I can’t tell you why
No, no baby, I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why, no

E-trivia: The Long Run‘s 1980 tour was fraught with problems for the band. Henley kicked it off by attacking music critics, as per usual, which didn’t win the group any new friends in the press. Instead of trying to show that the group was still relevant (a major criticism was that the ’70s were over, man), he simply bullied the critics. The public still loved the Eagles (with a few exceptions, ahem), but that wasn’t good enough for Henley, who always had a chip on his shoulder about the press. Besides that, the guys argued about everything from restaurants to politics, and their former camaraderie was pretty much shot. Frey said, “Everything changed for me during The Long Run.” The end came at a benefit in Long Beach, CA, on July 31, 1980, with political differences being the final straw. Hey, they were actually ahead of their time because now we’re always ending friendships over politics!

The source for the above and many other tidbits is another fabulous book gift from my friend Mark G: The Eagles, An American Band by Andrew Vaughan. Thanks again, Mark!

OK, peeps! Only one more song to go and I bet everyone can guess what it is! Return tomorrow for the greatest Eagles song ever and my favorite song of all time!

~*~
ยฉ๏ธ2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

17 responses to “You (I Can’t Tell You Why) [April A2Z]

  1. The only Eagles song that I know with a Z in it is Hollywood Waltz.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. awesome song! Cant believe the AToZ is coming to an end! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is one of my favorite songs ever. I used to have a few albums and cds if the Eagles and your posts make me miss them๐Ÿฅน๐Ÿ˜ซ

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  5. Yet another classic Eagles song!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tomorrow…๐Ÿค” Z for Zenith? It can only be their bestest ever song๐ŸŽถ
    I do love ICTYW. The “You” works but it could be “I Can’t Tell U Y” also, right?๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ This has been really fun, Paula! Great idea!!๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ’

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  7. Oh wow! I’ve heard this song a lot of times on the radio, but never realized it was the Eagles singing it. Such a super song! โค

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I heard this on the radio yesterday and wondered if you were going to feature it And here it is!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a beautiful, tender song, and one if the few ballads (by any artist) I have as a fave.

    Liked by 1 person