Meisner was in the band when they released 'Hotel California' in 1976, one of the most popular songs in rock history, but left a year later to launch a successful solo career.
Randy Meisner, a co-founding member of the hugely successful rock band the Eagles, has died in Los Angeles, aged 77 after a long illness.
Meisner added high harmonies to such favourites as 'Take It Easy' and 'The Best of My Love' and stepped out front for the waltz-time ballad 'Take It to the Limit'.
He was in the band when they released 'Hotel California' in 1976, one of the most popular songs in rock history, but left a year later to launch a successful solo career.
The bassist had endured numerous afflictions in recent years and personal tragedy in 2016 when his wife, Lana Rae Meisner, accidentally shot herself and died.
Meanwhile, he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had severe issues with alcohol, according to court records and comments made during a 2015 hearing in which a judge ordered Meisner to receive constant medical care.
Called “the sweetest man in the music business” by former bandmate Don Felder , the baby-faced Meisner joined Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon in the early 1970s to form a quintessential Los Angeles band and one of the most popular acts in history.
“Randy was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band,” the Eagles’ statement said. “His vocal range was astonishing, as is evident on his signature ballad, ‘Take It to the Limit.’”
Evolving from country rock to hard rock, the Eagles turned out a run of hit singles and albums over the next decade, starting with 'Take It Easy' and continuing with 'Desperado,' 'Hotel California' and 'Life In the Fast Lane' among others. Although chastised by many critics as slick and superficial, the Eagles released two of the most popular albums of all time, 'Hotel California' and 'Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),' which with sales at 38 million the Recording Industry Association of America ranked with Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' as the No. 1 seller.
As a solo artist, Meisner never approached the success of the Eagles, but did have hits with 'Hearts On Fire' and 'Deep Inside My Heart' and played on records by Walsh, James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg among others. Meanwhile, the Eagles ended a 14-year hiatus in 1994 and toured with Schmit even though Meisner had played on all but one of their earlier studio albums.
He did join group members past and present in 1998 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed 'Take It Easy' and 'Hotel California'. For a decade, he was part of World Classic Rockers, a touring act that at various times included Donovan, Spencer Davis and Denny Laine.