Randy Meisner, the co-founding Eagles bassist whose soaring voice powered their massive hit “Take It To the Limit,” died Wednesday night from complications caused by chronic pulmonary disease, a statement from the band said. He was 77.
“Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band,” the band said in the statement. “His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Limit.’”
The RIAA ranks the band ranks fifth for all-time album sales with 101 million, including 13 platinum discs. The 1976 hits compilation Their Greatest Hits (1971-75) for a while was the top-selling album in U.S. history.
Meisner sang lead vocals on songs for each of Eagles’ first five albums and wrote a number of the band’s tunes including “Try and Love Again,” “Take the Devil” and “Certain Kind of Fool.”
Before he founded the band, Meisner played with Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band and was the original bass player for country-rock group Poco in the late 1960s.
Born on March 8, 1946, in Scottsdale, AZ, Meisner was part of Eagles from their self-titled 1972 debut album through 1976’s Hotel California, quitting the group in 1977. He was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit, who also had succeeded Meisner in Poco when he had departed the group to form Eagles.
Meisner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Eagles in 1998.
Meisner released three solo albums after leaving Eagles. His self-titled 1978 set failed to chart in the U.S. but was a hit in Canada. One More Song reached No. 50 on the Billboard 200 in 1980 and spawned the singles “Deep Inside My Heart,” with Kim Carnes on backing vocals.
Also “Hearts on Fire,” which hit the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 20 and was an FM hit. A third solo effort, also titled Randy Meisner, was a lesser hit in 1982, and its single “Never Been in Love” made the pop Top 30.