Step into the captivating world of one of rock music’s most influential and revered artists, Don Henley.
As the founding member and driving force behind the legendary band, the Eagles, Don Henley’s contributions to the landscape of contemporary music are immeasurable.
In this article, we embark on a musical odyssey, exploring the 13 best songs ever crafted by this iconic singer, songwriter, and drummer.
With his soulful voice, profound lyrics, and masterful musicianship, Don Henley has left an indelible mark on generations of music lovers.
From his early solo endeavors to his enduring classics with the Eagles, each song on this curated list showcases Henley’s ability to evoke emotions, paint vivid stories, and delve into the complexities of life and love.
So if you’re a fan of Don Henley, get ready to be taken back in time with these timeless classics.
Enjoy our list of the best Don Henley songs!
1. “Taking You Home”
You’ll be taken away by the melodic beauty of Don Henley’s classic hit, “Taking You Home”.
This song is a powerful ballad that showcases Henley’s moving vocals and his signature country-influenced sound.
Lyrically, Henley tells a story of love and longing, with a chorus that is both passionate and emotive.
The song’s instrumentation is simple yet effective, featuring subtle strings, a twangy guitar, and a steady beat.
Overall, “Taking You Home” is a timeless classic that will continue to resonate with fans for generations to come.
2. “Sunset Grill”
“Sunset Grill” captures the feeling of yearning for simpler times and brings a wave of nostalgia with its catchy melody.
Don Henley’s smooth and soulful vocals, layered over an acoustic guitar strumming a bluesy rhythm, evoke an emotion that is both bittersweet and reflective.
The song’s lyrics detail the singer’s longing for a simpler life and the comfort of past memories.
The subtle organ flourishes combined with the bright electric guitar solo add a texture that brings the song to its nostalgic climax.
It’s a song that is sure to stay in your heart for years to come.
3. “The Last Worthless Evening”
A classic from Don Henley’s solo career, “The Last Worthless Evening” is a longing ode to simpler times.
It is complete with bluesy rhythms, soulful vocals, and an electric guitar solo.
The song’s verses are filled with nostalgia and regret.
Henley’s lyrics are reflective and poetic.
He sings of a time when everything was seemingly better.
The nostalgic atmosphere of the track is amplified by the electric guitar solo.
It is a perfect complement to the lyrics.
Overall, “The Last Worthless Evening” is a timeless classic.
It will leave listeners yearning for the past.
4. “New York Minute”
Delving headlong into the fast-paced urban whirlwind, “New York Minute” pays homage to the relentless hustle and bustle of life.
Don Henley’s distinctive bluesy-rock style takes center stage, highlighted by the compelling combination of compelling guitar riffs and resounding drums that propel the track forward.
True to Henley’s artistic vision, “New York Minute” exemplifies his commitment to intertwining the essence of rock with blues and folk influences, creating a genre-defying musical fusion.
A powerhouse of a song, “New York Minute” stands as a testament to Henley’s remarkable talent, leaving an indelible impression with its powerful and dynamic delivery.
5. “Dirty Laundry”
With its biting lyrics and iconic chorus, “Dirty Laundry” is a classic Don Henley track that packs a punch.
Henley penned the song in 1982 as a commentary on media sensationalism, using his own experiences as lyrical inspiration.
The song was a major commercial success, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Despite its success, “Dirty Laundry” remains a polarizing track, with many people divided on its message.
6. “The Heart of The Matter”
The melancholic “The Heart of The Matter” explores the aching truth of personal struggle and regret.
Henley’s insightful lyrics examine the complex nuances of moral decisions and the power of redemption.
His evocative imagery and emotive voice paint a vivid picture of a world where no one is immune to the consequences of their actions.
The song’s thoughtful lyrics and timeless melody make it an enduring classic and one of Henley’s most beloved songs.
7. “Not Enough Love In The World”
“Not Enough Love In The World” is Don Henley’s stirring reminder that we all have a responsibility to care for and support each other.
This song lyrically paints a picture of a broken world where love is not plentiful.
Its sorrowful melody reflects the tragedy of a world where people have forgotten how to love.
With its simple yet powerful message, Henley’s song reminds listeners that if we all work together, we can make the world a better place, one act of love at a time.
8. “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”
Bust a move and groove to Don Henley’s feel-good party anthem, “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”.
This classic single from Henley’s 1985 album Building the Perfect Beast is an upbeat, infectious track with a catchy chorus and a vibrant rhythm.
The song is a celebration of life and the joys of dancing, conveying a positive message about living in the moment.
An expertly crafted song, “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” is a testament to Henley’s skill as a musician and composer.
9. “The End of The Innocence”
Departing from the lively beats of “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”, “The End of The Innocence” presents a poignant contemplation of bygone days.
Don Henley’s soulful voice conveys a profound sense of sorrow, as he delves into the tough lessons life teaches us.
Through its lyrics, the song conveys the notion that innocence is ephemeral and life is replete with poignant and challenging moments.
Delivering a straightforward yet impactful message, “The End of The Innocence” is certain to strike a chord with its audience, leaving a lasting impression on their hearts and minds.
10. “The Boys of Summer”
You can feel the nostalgia in Don Henley’s voice as he sings about the bittersweet memories of summer in his hit song, “The Boys of Summer”.
The track, released in 1984, finds Henley reflecting on a past relationship and how it has changed over time.
His lyrics are full of yearning and regret, while the driving, synth-pop beat perfectly captures the mood.
Henley’s delivery is masterful, as he conveys a deep sense of longing and sorrow.
With its timeless message, “The Boys of Summer” remains a classic track and a reminder of the beauty of summer love.
11. “Who Owns This Place”
Don Henley’s song “Who Owns This Place” is a reflection of the power of the few to keep many from achieving their dreams.
It highlights the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots and questions about who really has the power to determine the fate of a town.
The lyrics are a stark reminder of the reality of class struggle and the power of the few.
With its biting lyrics and powerful message, it is no wonder “Who Owns This Place” is considered one of Henley’s greatest hits.
12. “You Can’t Make Love”
Don Henley’s song “You Can’t Make Love” speaks to the heart, exploring the nature of love and relationships.
With a haunting melody and heartfelt lyrics, the song captures the nuances of the journey of love.
The song speaks to the difficulty of letting go and how love is not enough to keep a relationship alive.
Henley’s soulful voice brings the message home, emphasizing the fragility of love and the power of letting go.
It’s a powerful reminder that love can be found and lost, but it’s the journey that matters most.
13. “Talking To The Moon”
“Talking to the Moon” is a classic song by Don Henley that captures the emotion of a difficult goodbye.
It is a slow, melancholic tune that uses a combination of Henley’s strong vocals and simple lyrics to create a poignant mood.
The song is a reflection of a lover’s inner turmoil as they come to terms with a failed relationship.
Henley’s poetic phrasing and haunting melody convey a sense of sorrow and despair.
The imagery of the moon as a metaphor for the emotions associated with parting ways adds an added layer of depth to the song.
As a timeless classic, “Talking to the Moon” is an emotional masterpiece that will live on for generations.
Best Don Henley Songs – Final Thoughts
Don Henley’s career has been a successful one, with many great songs that have gone down in history as classics.
Some of his best works include “Taking You Home”, “Sunset Grill”, “The Last Worthless Evening”, “New York Minute”, “Dirty Laundry”, “You Can’t Make Love”, and “Talking To The Moon”.
All of these songs showcase Henley’s unique sound and impressive songwriting capabilities, making them some of the best songs of all time.
Henley’s success as a musician is undeniable, and his songs will continue to be enjoyed by generations of music fans.
You may also like: Best Rock Songs of All Time