Don Henley: 10 Best Songs For Your iPod

Don Henley is one of the best songwriters of his generation. Of any generation, really. He's also gifted when it comes to being able to emote via his voice. It's that just-under-the-surface-angst that he's so famous for. You can see it when he stares into the camera, whether on video or in a photo; there's just something in his eyes that sets him apart.

I was not a big Eagles fan, but you will find a few Eagles songs on this list. That is because Henley sang them and at least co-wrote them, and they are songs you need to have on your iPod if you're going to have the best of Henley. You may also notice that his newer songs are not on here. That is not because they're unworthy, it's just that I happen to put the older ones first, for several reasons of which I'd really rather not mention, as it would take forever to explain.

And, yes, I realize there are a number of fabulous songs not mentioned here -- that's what happens when you try to narrow him down to 10 songs.

1. The Last Worthless Evening

There used to a video for this on YouTube but it's no longer there. Shame, really, because it's such a fab video that really fits the song well. It was one of my faves as a kid, and this is the Henley I crushed on as a teenager. Oh my God, did I. The words to this song are so sincere that it's a bit amazing, really. It's actually a relief to know that some men do have meaningful intentions.

2. Desperado

As a kid I used to play this on the piano all the time. I loved it. I still love it, but i rarely hear it anymore. Shame, that. People would rather listen to bubblegum pop sung with zero meaning. I guess it's not too surprising, ignorance being bliss and all.

3. Boys of Summer

What a hook this song has. We all remember the line, "Saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac, a little voice inside my head said, 'Don't look back, you can never look back.'"And the video is excellent -- it still holds up today. See for yourself in the clip below.

Don Henley's Boys of Summer Video

4. Hotel California

I recently played this for a group of 14 year old girls, who were absolutely stunned to know there was an "original". I don't know if you've heard the chick cover of this, but, man, I really didn't need to hear it. There is only one Hotel California, and this is the Eagles' version!

5. Heart of the Matter

Such a good song. If you have ever had trouble getting over someone, or if you have ever had a good relationship go through serious strain, you will probably get something out of listening to this song as he talks about, "how I lost me, and you lost you."

6. The End of the Innocence

The lyrics are so simple, yet so full of meaning. I realize that sounds corny, but you'll have to deal with it, cos that's how it is. "Armchair warriors often fail, and we've been poisoned by these fairy tales." I think of Ollie North every time I hear this song.

7. Life in the Fastlane

Another Eagles song. The riff in Life in the Fastlane is such a turn on, I could listen to it all day. And the lyrics! As with all Henley songs, they're brilliant. "She held him up and he held her for ransom." Great line. Great song. You need to hear this one.

7. The Last Resort

An Eagles song, but so very Henley. This is not your typical rock or pop song, and you should listen to it when you have the time to actually absorb the lyrics, such as "We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and the name of God." As with all of his songs, much of the meaning is conveyed through his delivery. You have to hear it for yourself.

8. Dirty Laundry

Why wasn't this a bigger hit? I dunno, it certainly should have been. Every newscaster should have to listen to this song at least once. So much truth here, it's scary. And, of course, the riff is so catchy you'll be humming it all day. Fantastic intro!

9. All She Wants to do is Dance

If this song doesn't make you want to shake your boo-tay, something is wrong with you. What a classic! "As we taxied down the runway, I could hear the people shout. They said, 'Don't come back here, Yankee!' but if I ever do, I'll bring more money, cos all she wants to do is dance!" He delivers that last line so well, it's the best part of the song. Watch the video!

Don Henley's All She Wants To Do Is Dance

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Comments 13 comments

KF Raizor profile image

KF Raizor 4 years ago

I almost completely agree. The exception is "Life in the Fast Lane." That's four of my five least favorite Eagles songs (and the terrible thing was, both times I saw them, AND when I saw Henley solo, I had to put up with that song). I think "Wasted Time" off "Hotel California" is an infinitely better song.

Voted up -- if for no other reason than it's about Don Henley!


flagostomos profile image

flagostomos 5 years ago from Washington, United States

What I love about Don Henley / the Eagles, is you can pick ANY of their songs, except off their new album, and it's a good song. I have to add For my Wedding. Such a powerful song with nothing but an acoustic guitar and Don's Voice. (and some synthesizer sounds too? maybe?)


Asif Kamran Dar 5 years ago

I want it from the horse's mouth...please tell me if the lyrics posted by I don't know who for the song summer of fun by Don Henley...I can tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone or is it I can tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer of fun!

The Dar Man

___________


John 5 years ago

Wow... u forgot his best song of all time.. "One of these nights" and to be honest Don Henley's has a lot more than 9 great songs between his career with the Eagles and his solo career.. but.. maybe that's just me


Clament 7 years ago

i was only 3 years old when this beautiful song (Boys of summer) is released. Now, 2009 April 27, 25 years or 2 and a half decades after, i hardly found and eventually downloaded this song (as i only remember the rhythm, don't know who is the singer and the song's name but - "...summer has gone...")


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

I've been listening to the Eagles forever, and Don Henley is one of my favourite song writers.

Great Hub.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

Wonderful songs to remember Isabella!! Thank you!! Although I tried the YouTube link and it says "No Longer Available!!??" Will try again later!! Thanks Isabella!! Music is just good for the soul!! Blessings always, Earth Angel!!


Nicole Winter profile image

Nicole Winter 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

Wow, what an awesome walk down memory lane, thank-you so much Isabella!


Sir Princeton profile image

Sir Princeton 8 years ago

Nice! Love those hits!


Pyros profile image

Pyros 8 years ago

Truly one of the greats of all time. Deserving tribute, really.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago Author

James - Thanks! :)

Bizriak - Obviously, I disagree! It's a good song, but not better than any I have listed here!


bizriak profile image

bizriak 8 years ago from Memphis

I don't know how you can leave off Sunset Grill. It is better than #'s 1, 5 ane 6!

I have to agree overall though--Don Henley is great!


JamesRay profile image

JamesRay 8 years ago from Philadelphia

Great List. The Last Resort is particularly awesome.

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