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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.
Buy the music!
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.
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!