"The Heart of the Matter" is a song by American rock singer Don Henley from his third solo studio album, The End of the Innocence (1989). Written by Henley, Mike Campbell, and J. D. Souther and produced by Henley, Campbell, and Danny Kortchmar, the song was released as the album's third single, reaching number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in early 1990.
The song was covered by American soul singer India.Arie in 2006 on her third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship. Her version of the song is used in the second episode of Brothers & Sisters, entitled "An Act of Will", and in the theatrical trailer for the 2008 film adaptation of Sex and the City. It is also played briefly in a scene of the film.
Released in 1989, The End of the Innocence is the third album by Don Henley. It is his best selling album, selling over 6 million copies in the United States, peaking at #8. In 2003, the album was ranked number 389 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Donald Hugh "Don" Henley (born July 22, 1947; Gilmer, Texas) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and drummer, best known as a founding member of the Eagles before launching a successful seven time Grammy Award-winning solo career. His solo hits include "The Boys of Summer", "Dirty Laundry" and "The End of the Innocence". In 2008, he was ranked the 87th greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Henley has also played a founding role in several environmental and political causes, most notably the "Walden Woods Project". Since 1994, he has divided his musical activities between the Eagles and his solo career.
Henley's album, 1989's The End of the Innocence, was very successful. The song "The End of the Innocence", a collaboration with Bruce Hornsby, is a melancholy, piano-driven tale of finding bits of happiness in a corrupt world, and reached No. 8 as a single. The hit follow-up, "The Heart of the Matter", is an emotive chance remembrance of a lost love. Both songs use the effective technique of varying the words in the chorus each time it is sung, to advance the song's narrative. The album's "The Last Worthless Evening" and "New York Minute" were among other songs that gained radio airplay. Henley again won the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy in 1990 for the album. Also in 1989, Henley made a brief appearance on MTV's Unplugged series.
In live shows, Henley would play drums and sing simultaneously only on certain Eagles songs; on his solo songs he would either play electric guitar and sing or just sing. Occasionally Eagles songs would get drastic rearrangements, such as "Hotel California" with four trombones.