Year Released: 1989

Notable Songs: “The End of the Innocence”, “Heart of the Matter”, “Last Worthless Evening”, “New York Minute”

Album MVP: “Heart of the Matter”

Why I Loved It: If I were to create my own Mt. Rushmore of male vocalists, Don Henley would be a prime contender to make the cut.  Obviously beginning from his Eagles day but equally as much his solo career, Henley’s long been one of my favorite male singers of all-time.  That’s not because I like the sound of his voice but also because I feel like I’m getting a story from him with nearly every tune.  That’s certainly the case on his End of Innocence album. “Heart of the Matter” is one of those heartbreaking tunes that became a go-to to mine on several occasions during the rough times and/or ending of relationships I cared about. Man, that tune still hits me today. The only reason it wasn’t ranked and ranked very high on my Top 100 Songs of the 80’s countdown last year was because the single didn’t come out until early 1990.  “The End of the Innocence” is another thought provoking track that may lead you back to places and people from your past that shaped your life. “The Last Worthless Evening” is a great song about moving on from a painful breakup.  As for “New York Minute”—I’m a New Yorker, enough said.  Most of these albums on this countdown to this point are on because they’re fun.  Henley’s music could be fun, but mostly it made me feel certain ways that most musicians can’t deliver. I love Henley and especially this amaze-balls album.

Commercial Success:  While this album enjoyed some commercial success it wasn’t nearly the corporate giant I thought it was and should be. It sold eight million copies in the United States but could only rise as high as number-eight on the Billboard Top 200.  The title track “The End of the Innocence” charted the best, reaching one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and eight on the Billboard Hot 100. “The Heart of the Matter” reached two on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, as did “The Last Worthless Evening.”  “New York Minute” maxed out at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.  While the commercial adoration wasn’t among the best albums of the 80’s it was critically acclaimed, as the album earned Henley a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance

Fun Facts: From Wiki: “The song is rumored to be about actress Michelle Pfeiffer. Henley himself tells the story to concertgoers that he was at a Hollywood party in the late 1980s when, from across the room, he spied the beautiful blond “It girl” of Hollywood. She had just broken up with her husband and was sitting on a couch smoking a cigarette next to her recent co-star, Jack Nicholson. Henley says that he, like every man in the room, wanted to meet her. As he tells it, he walked up to the woman and asked if he could bum a cigarette. Without ever looking up at him she thrust a cigarette in his direction. As he slinked away, he says Nicholson chortled, “Well played, Henley.” (Vegas, 2012). Pfieffer separated from her first husband, Peter Horton, in 1988 and co-starred with Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick in 1987. The female protagonist in the music video of this song is played by Clare Michelle Hoak, the daughter of Jill Corey and Don Hoak.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart 

34. Def Leppard – Pyromania 

33. Toto -Toto IV

32. The Police – Ghost In the Machine 

31. Madonna – Madonna

30. New Kids On The Block – Hangin’ Tough

29. Hall and Oates – H20