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CSX Classic Cuts

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 05: Glenn Frey of the Eagles performs during the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Day 6 at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 5, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Eagles: “Ol’ ’55”

The Hook: Bernie Leadon calls their version “a brilliant transformation” of a Tom Waits song into a country ballad, though Waits himself once called it “antiseptic.”

Album: On the Border

Year: 1974

Writer: Tom Waits

Stats: Released as the B-side of “Best of My Love,” it got plenty of FM rock radio airplay at the time.

Background: Tom Waits once used the word “antiseptic” to describe the Eagles’ cover version of his “Ol’ ’55,” but the band’s guitarist Bernie Leadon, who played on it, disagrees with that assessment.

Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon on their version of Tom Waits’ ‘Ol’ ’55.” OC:…great tune. :21

“I heard a lot of reviewers say they didn’t like it nearly as well as Waits’ version. I think Waits is amazing. The guy is a national treasure. He’s got incredible depth. I don’t know if he’s very happy or not, but he sure sings from his gut, you know? I thought that ‘Ol’ ’55”s transformation from a Tom Waits song to a sort of a country ballad was really quite brilliant. I thought it was a great tune.”