IT was always supremely ironic that the stratospheric success of Hotel California, the Eagles’ chilling warning about the dangers of decadence and debauchery, gave the group a blank cheque to be as decadent and debauched as they wanted. And, boy, did they cash that cheque.

Now, 40 years on, the surviving members of the American band have released an anniversary edition, celebrating that legendary hotel where “you can check out, but you can never leave”.

Well, was it worth all the hype? Almost. The title track remains the perfect soundtrack to a life of careless self-indulgence, as does the coruscating Life In The Fast Lane, while the subtly powerful New Kid In Town is a prescient look at the fleeting nature of fame.

All are trumped, however, by the majestic Last Resort, a haunting look at the emptiness of the American dream. As a bonus, this album includes ten live tracks from a Los Angeles concert, recorded just four weeks before the release of Hotel California. The laid-back versions of classics like Already Gone and Take It Easy suggest that the band had no idea of what they were about to unleash.