The Heart of the Matter (1989) – Don Henley

This is third track by Don Henley (solo) to feature here and the second from his third solo studio album, The End of the Innocence. It is my joint favourite song by Henley along with the title track from the record. Both contain superb lyrics. He even told Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ guitarist and songwriter Mike Campbell when they were cutting the track, ‘that lyric was something he had been trying to write for a long time and it finally came out the way he liked it, something he really wanted to sing. A lot of people like that song. A lot of girls like it‘. Below is an excerpt of the lyrics:

And I thought of all the bad luck
And the struggles we went through
And how I lost me
And you lost you
What are these voices outside love’s open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?

But I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew
I’m learning again

I’ve been tryin’ to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about
Forgiveness, forgiveness
Even if, even if
You don’t love me anymor

  • Written by Henley, Mike Campbell, and J. D. Souther

The album is Henley’s best selling release, selling over 6 million copies in the United States alone, peaking at No. 8. The album featured three Top 40 singles “The End of the Innocence“, “The Heart of the Matter“, and “The Last Worthless Evening“. Those singles reached No. 8, No. 21, and No. 21 respectively. The original studio recording is not available on you tube so I have posted a live version which seems more in keeping with the original.

1. The Heart of the Matter – wikipedia
2. The End of the Innocence – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
5 comments on “The Heart of the Matter (1989) – Don Henley
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    I was breaking up with a girl in the late 80s and this never left my car cassette player…Although I don’t care for the Eagles…I do like Henley’s studio solo albums.
    He won’t allow his music out…but sometimes Vimeo has it.

    • Hi Max, I remember you mentioning this when we discussed ‘The End of the Innocence’. You must have very strong memories associated with it. It’s one of my favourite 80’s ballads. Thanks for the link.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        No problem….Vimeo has some things that youtube doesn’t.
        Oh yes…very strong memories.

  2. Connie says:

    Hacia años no escuchaba esta canción que siempre me gustó y me parece super buena. Gracias por hacerme recordar

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