CSX Classic Cuts

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 16: the Eagles perform during "History Of The Eagles Live In Concert" at the Bridgestone Arena on October 16, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Eagles: “I Can’t Tell You Why”

The Hook: Bassist Timothy B. Schmit brought it to Don Henley and Glenn Frey and Henley finished the lyrics when Schmit got lazy.

Album: The Long Run

Year: 1971

Writers: Timothy B. Schmit, Glenn Frey and Don Henley

Stats: Peaked at number-eight on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: “I Can’t Tell You Why” is arguably bassist Timothy B. Schmit’s finest hour as an Eagle, both as a lead vocalist and a songwriter. Schmit recalls how the song evolved and tells why his songwriting contribution could have been even better.

Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit on the writing of “I Can’t Tell You Why,” OC:…being lazy. :29

“I remember that I came up with the initial idea and I played it for Don and Glenn and they liked it. It’s kind of foggy as to what the process was. We has a few sessions together and Don wrote a lot of the lyrics. I remember him showing me these ideas he had – or actually it was more like, ‘This is it.’ And I remember saying, ‘How come you didn’t show me that sooner?’ and him saying, ‘I was waiting for you to show me something.’ It was kind of a good lesson for me about being lazy.”

I Can't Tell You Why (Los Angeles Forum, 1980)

Recorded from the soundboard at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood, California, on March 4, 1980.