"The Heart Of The Matter" - Don Henley
from the album The End Of The Innocence (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8
Today's song of the day comes from Don Henley, whose third album apart from the Eagles, The End Of The Innocence, had granted him a top-10 pop hit with the title track along with a top-40 follow-up in "The Last Worthless Evening". The third single from the record was another bit of thoughtful adult-pop ruminations on romance, "The Heart Of The Matter". Helping himself come to terms with a failed relationship, Henley acts the sage with some meaty lyrics about the true feelings a break-up can produce even years after the love has gone...
"The Heart Of The Matter" became Don's eighth and so-far most recent top-40 solo pop hit in May of 1990. The single also climbed to #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, while it spent two weeks at #2 on their Mainstream Rock radio list. North of the border, the track made it to #9 in Canada.
Three other tracks from the End Of The Innocence album, "I Will Not Go Quietly", "If Dirt Were Dollars" (the B-side of "The Heart Of The Matter" cassingle) and "How Bad Do You Want It?", reached the top-10 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, with the latter coming close to the pop top-40 at #48. Another song, the epic "New York Minute", also reached that rank on the pop chart.
However, even with this success, Henley's career took a turn and got shelved for almost a decade as he legally fought with his record company, Geffen, to release him to seek another label. It was one of the biggest musician-label battles in the rock era, and influenced the signing and managing of music artists for years. He appeared on duets with Trisha Yearwood and Scandal's Patty Smyth, and the result reached the top ten on the country and pop charts respectively, with the latter's "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" going all the way to #2 on the Hot 100.
Finally, after reuniting with the Eagles for an incredibly successful tour and album, he released his fourth solo album Inside Job in 2000. The single "Taking You Home" topped the Adult Contemporary chart, and was his most recent Hot 100 appearance at #58. It would be another 15 years before his next studio release, Cass Country, which had Don delving into country music. "Take A Picture Of This" made the AC chart at #14.
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In 2006, neo-soul artist India.Arie covered "The Heart Of The Matter", and it reached the top ten on Billboard's Smooth Jazz Songs chart at #7. Two years later, thanks to its inclusion on the Sex In The City movie adaptation soundtrack, her version reached the top-40 in Canada at #33.
Lastly, here's a live recording of Don with the Eagles...
Up tomorrow: Boston blue-rock band fulfills its promise.