Our Top 10 Don Henley Songs list takes a look at the solo work of the legendary member of the band The Eagles. With one of the most distinctive voices in rock and roll, Don Henley was responsible for singing lead vocals on some of The Eagles most memorable tracks. Songs such as “Hotel California, The Last Resort, The Long Run, One Of These Nights, The Best of My Love,” and the unforgettable vocal on “Desperado.” Don Henley was a member of The Eagles throughout the bands run in the 1970’s from 1971 to 1980. When The Eagles broke up for the first time in 1980, Don Henley began work on his solo career.
Don Henley released his first solo album in 1982 entitled I Can’t Stand Still. The album featured the hit “Dirty Laundry.” Only a year earlier, Don Henley recorded a very successful duet with Stevie Nicks entitled “Leather and Lace.” The Stevie Nicks penned song was released on Stevie Nicks’ first also album entitled Bella Donna. The incredible combination of the voices of Stevie Nicks and Don Henley earned the duo a top 10 Billboard hit in 1981.
Don Henley followed up his first solo album with the release of Building the Perfect Beast in 1984. Five singles were released from the album. The record featured Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and members of Tom Petty’s fabulous band The Heartbreakers. Building the Perfect Beast was an outstanding album that elevated Don Henley’s status as a solo artist who had now long left The Eagles behind.
In 1989, Don Henley released the album of his career with The End Of The Innocence. It was a stunning album representing an artist at the peak of his creative ability firing on every cylinder and then some. The lineup of guest musicians on the album was staggering. The album featured once again, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. The album also featured Patty Symth, Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose, Melissa Etheridge, Steve Jordan, Stanley Jordan, Edie Brickell, Bruce Hornsby, Ivan Neville, Wayne Shorter, a pre-fame Sheryl Crow and so many more brilliant musicians. It was an artistic statement that ended the 1980’s on a high note not just for Don Henley, but for the entire rock and roll scene.
Eleven years would pass before Don Henley would release another album. In 2000, Don Henley released the album entitled Inside Job. The album featured an even larger line up of guest musicians than The End Of The Innocence. Close to fifty musicians appeared on the album Inside Job. Don Henley’s last solo album as of this writing was released in 2015 entitled Cass County. It was an album that featured guest appearances from The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Ashley Monroe and Trisha Yearwood.
Our Top 10 Don Henley songs list takes into consideration only the Don Henly songs recorded on Don Henley’s solo albums. Its a subjective list aimed to turn on fans who may not be aware of the great material Don Henly composed and recorded outside of his work with the band The Eagles.
# 10 – All She Wants To Do Is Dance
We start out our Top 10 Don Henley Songs list with the great track “All She Wants To Do Is Dance.” The song was released on the Geffen Records issued album Building the Perfect Beast in 1984. The song was wrtten by the great Danny Kortchmar.
# 9 – The Heart Of The Matter
The song “The Heart of The Matter,” was released on our favorite Don Henley album The End Of The Innocence. The song was written by Don Henley, Mike Campbell, and J.D. Souther. The Heart Of The Matter was the third single released from the album. The song reached the number 21 position on the Billboard music charts.
# 8 – For My Wedding
The beautiful song “For My Wedding,” was released on Don Henley’s 2000 album Inside Job. The song was written by Larry John McNally. It was never released as a single but it became a popular first dance song for brides and grooms all through the 2000’s.
# 7 – Dirty Laundry
Continuing with our top 10 Don Henley songs we turn to one of Don Henley’s most popular songs. Dirty Laundry was released on Don Henley’s first solo album entitled I Can’t Stand Still. The album was released in 1982. The song “Dirty Laundry,” was written by Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar. It was released as a single and reached the number three position on the Billboard Hot 100.
# 6 – Sunset Grill
“Sunset Grill,” was one of Don Henley’s coolest songs. The song was released on the Building The Perfect Beast album. The song was written by Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, and Benmont Tench.
# 5 – Who Owns This Place
This great little know track was released in the Paul Newman Tom Cruise film The Color Of Money. The song was the opening track on the soundtrack CD. The song was written by Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, and J.D. Souther.
# 4 – Everybody Knows
“Everybody Knows,” is a song written by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson. The song was recorded by Don Henley and released on Don Henley’s greatest hits album entitled Actual Miles: Henley’s Greatest Hits. The song did not appear on any of Don Henley’s solo albums. Actual Miles: Henley’s Greatest Hits was the first of two greatest hits packages that Don Henley has released during his career. The album was released in 1995. It featured three new songs. The song “The Garden of Allah” was a new song featured in the album that was also released as a single.
# 3 – The Boys Of Summer
The perfect song written about summer actually takes one back to the fall of 1984 when “The Boys Of Summer,” was released as the first single from the great Building A Perfect Beast album. The song was a huge hit for Don Henley as it reached the number five position on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. It was the first of five singles released from the album.
# 2 – The Last Worthless Evening
Our last two songs on our top 10 Don Henley songs list both stem from the brilliant album The End of the Innocence. The song was written by John Corey, Don Henley, and Stan Lynch. “The Last Worthless Evening,” was the third single released from the album.
# 1 – The End Of The Innocence
Bruce Hornsby’s brilliant and beautiful piano work on “The End Of The Innocence,” song stands as one of the highlights of the classic rock era. Don Henley’s passionate and emotionally charged vocals was one for the ages. This is about as good as it gets.