“I dreamed last night
I was on the boat to heaven
…by some chance
I had brought my dice along.
And there I stood
And I hollered someone save me
But the passengers they knew right from wrong.”
Texas native Don Henley has enjoyed a massively successful solo career since leaving the mega selling Eagles in 1980. Dominating radio dials throughout the seventies, the Eagles brought a country flavor to the popular California sound on manager David Geffen’s Asylum Records. Henley had met his fellow Eagles as a member of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band, with other members coming from the critically lauded Flying Burrito Brothers. The core of the Eagles sound came from the songwriting talents of Henley and Glenn Fry, releasing six albums and enduring several lineup changes, including the addition of guitarist Joe Walsh. Henley sang many of the groups biggest hits and served as the drummer in the lineup, much like contemporary Levon Helm. After the breakup of one of the best selling groups in popular music history, Don Henley emerged with the release of 1982’s “I Can’t Stand Still”. The album was a modest hit in relation to his Eagles success, but it was a solid effort highlighted by the hit ‘Dirty Laundry’.
The following two solo albums, 1984’s “Building the Perfect Beast” and 1989’s “The End of the Innocence”, established Henley as a truly durable artist. He was able to continue a streak of releasing classic hit singles, including ‘Boys of Summer’, ‘All She Wants to Do is Dance’ and ‘The End of the Innocence’, while integrating modern production touches into his repertoire of instrumentation. He also established a reputation as a conservationist through his work with the Walden Woods Foundation and a record industry activist, heading the Recording Artist’s Coalition. On the heels of his greatest commercial success came several soundtrack appearances, including a cover of the 1950 “Guys and Dolls” Broadway staple ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ on the 1992 “Leap of Faith” soundtrack. The song was a departure for Henley, but was reworked as a gospel tinged soul track that worked well as a standalone single.
The following decade found the Eagles reforming for a reunion album and a string of successful tours breaking sales records throughout the 2000’s. In the midst of this reunion, Henley released another solo album, 2000’s “Inside Job” on Warner Brothers Records. A modest hit, the album stands as a reminder that, with songs like ‘Taking You Home’, ‘Workin’ It’ and ‘Everything is Different Now’, Henley remains a consummate musician capable of producing works of both musical and lyrical consequence.