Top 10 Don Henley Songs

Don Henley SongsOur Top 10  Don Henley Songs list looks 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 band’s run in the 1970s 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 StillThe 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 album, 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 HeartbreakersBuilding 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 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 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell once again. 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.  As of this writing, Don Henley’s last solo album, Cass County, was released in 2015. The album 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 considers only the Don Henly songs recorded on Don Henley’s solo albums. It’s 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 excellent 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 great Danny Kortchmar wrote the song. You heard this one or saw it on MTV probably a million times in the 1980s. “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” was the second single released from the album. It became a top 10 hit on the US Billboard Top 10 in 1984. It also topped the US Billboard Rock Charts, settling in the number one slot. It had such a perfect groove and melody that you just could not stop singing

# 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. Mike Campbell’s guitar riff at the song’s start set the tone for a track that defined a very successful collaboration between core members of the Eagles and The Heartbreakers.

# 8 – For My Wedding

The beautiful song “For My Wedding” was released on Don Henley’s 2000 album Inside Job. Larry John McNally wrote the song. It was never released as a single, but it became a popular first dance song for brides and grooms throughout the 2000s. Dean Park’s guitar work in the song is just stunning. The Inside Job album was Don Henley’s first solo album in eleven years.

# 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, 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. Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, and Benmont Tench wrote the song. We love the opening percussion that is soon surrounded by a dominant minor chord keyboard riff that sets an adventurous tone. The bass playing sounds a little like Jaco. Of course, it’s all driven by excellent singing and vocal harmonies typical of anything Don Henley touches.

# 5 – New York Minute

Don Henly put his jazz shoes on for this one, or at least for the introduction. He has always been one for epic songs, and “New York Minute” fits that bill. The song was released on the also epic album The End Of The Innocence. “New York Minute” was the second single released from the album. The song was composed by Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, and Jai Winding. It also featured a few members of Toto on the recording, with Jeff Porcaro playing drums and David Paich on keyboards. Pino Palladino who toured with the Who played bass.

# 4 – Everybody Knows

“Everybody Knows” is a song 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 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, reaching 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 were one for the ages. This is about as good as it gets. It’s just such a beautifully written and performed song.

Don Henley Songs

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