The End of the Innocence (album)

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The End of the Innocence
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 27, 1989 (1989-06-27)[1]
StudioA&M (Hollywood)
The Complex (Los Angeles)
Don Henley chronology
Building the Perfect Beast
The End of the Innocence
Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits
Singles from The End of the Innocence
  1. "The End of the Innocence"
    Released: June 6, 1989
  2. "The Last Worthless Evening"
    Released: October 3, 1989 (US)
  3. "The Heart of the Matter"
    Released: January 2, 1990
  4. "How Bad Do You Want It?"
    Released: June 1990
  5. "New York Minute"
    Released: November 6, 1990 (US)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauC+[3]

The End of the Innocence is the third solo studio album by Don Henley, the co-lead vocalist and drummer for the Eagles. The album was released in 1989, on Geffen Records, and was his last release on that label. It was also his last solo album before reforming the Eagles and it would be eleven years before he released another solo project, 2000's Inside Job.

The album is Henley's best selling release, selling over 6 million copies in the United States alone, peaking at No. 8. The album featured three Top 40 singles "The End of the Innocence", "The Heart of the Matter", and "The Last Worthless Evening". Those singles reached No. 8, No. 21, and No. 21 respectively. The album also featured "New York Minute" which reached No. 48 on the charts and was recorded by Henley and the Eagles for their live album Hell Freezes Over in 1994. Henley won another Grammy and an MTV Video Music Award nomination for the title track. In 2012, the album was ranked at number 389 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[4]


The song "I Will Not Go Quietly" features harmony vocals by Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose, who at the time was also on the same label.

Critical reception[edit]

Rolling Stone magazine wrote of the album at the time, "Returning to the theme of "Desperado," the former Eagle hitched some of his finest melodies (especially on the gentle title track) to sharply focused lyrical studies of men in troubled transition – from youth to adulthood, innocence to responsibility."[5]

Reviewing retrospectively for AllMusic, critic Vik Iyengar has written of the album, "Henley took some time before completing his highly anticipated third album, The End of the Innocence. Although he manages to duplicate much of the magic of his previous album, Henley has backed off of the synthesizers and expanded his musical palette." They also add that "Throughout the album, he manages to balance being cynical yet hopeful, and his great melodies allow his poignant lyrics to penetrate. This album is highly recommended for those who like their pop music with a message."[6]

Track listing[edit]

1."The End of the Innocence"Henley, Bruce Hornsby5:16
2."How Bad Do You Want It?"Henley, Danny Kortchmar, Stan Lynch3:47
3."I Will Not Go Quietly" (featuring Axl Rose)Henley, Kortchmar5:43
4."The Last Worthless Evening"John Corey, Henley, Lynch6:03
5."New York Minute"Henley, Kortchmar, Jai Winding6:37
6."Shangri-La"Henley, Steve Jordan, Kortchmar4:55
7."Little Tin God"Henley, Kortchmar, J.D. Souther4:42
8."Gimme What You Got"Corey, Henley, Lynch6:10
9."If Dirt Were Dollars"Henley, Kortchmar, Souther4:34
10."The Heart of the Matter"Mike Campbell, Henley, Souther5:24



  • Producers – Don Henley (tracks 1-10); Bruce Hornsby (track 1); Danny Kortchmar (tracks 2, 3, 5-7, 9 & 10); John Corey (tracks 4 & 8); Stan Lynch (tracks 4 & 8); Mike Campbell (track 10).
  • Engineer – Shelly Yakus
  • Basic track recording (tracks 5, 7 & 9) – Greg Ladanyi
  • Assistant engineer – Brian Scheuble
  • Additional engineers – Marc DeSisto, Rob Jacobs, Eddie King, Mark McKenna and Bob Vogt.
  • Technicians – Dale Asamoto, Stephen Barncard, Bob Borbonus, Fred Bova, Jonathan Little, Lars Lyons, Gary Mannon, Mike Morengell, Gary Myerberg and Mark Opie.
  • Additional assistant technicians – Tom Banghart, Greg Goodman, Ed Goodreau, Randy Staub and Randall Wine.
  • Mixing – Shelly Yakus and Rob Jacobs
  • Mix assistant – Robert "R.J." Jaczko
  • Mastered by Stephen Marcussen at Precision Lacquer (Los Angeles, CA).
  • Art direction – Jeri Heiden
  • Front cover photo – Ken Nahoum
  • Back cover photo – Stephen Danelian
  • Inner sleeve photos – Stephen Danelian and Albert Tolot


Chart (1989) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[7] 40
Canadian Albums (RPM)[8] 8
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[9] 60
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 87
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 37
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[12] 15
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 11
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 17
US Billboard 200[15] 8


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[16] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1989 The End of the Innocence Best Male Rock Vocal Performance[19]


  1. ^ " The End of the Innocence: Music: Don Henley". Archived from the original on 2 December 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  2. ^ The End of the Innocence at AllMusic
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: Don Henley". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  4. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  5. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". 31 May 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  6. ^ "The End of the Innocence - Don Henley | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  7. ^ " – Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "RPM100 Albums" (PDF). RPM. 28 August 1989. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  9. ^ " – Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  10. ^ " – Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  11. ^ " – Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  12. ^ " – Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  13. ^ " – Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  14. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  15. ^ "Don Henley Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Don Henley – The End of Innocence". Music Canada.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Don Henley – The End of Innocence". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The End of Innocence in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Henley, Don – The End of the Innocence". Recording Industry Association of America.
  19. ^ "Don Henley". 23 November 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2021.