"The Heart of the Matter" is a song recorded 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. A radio edit version cut out about 1:40 from the LP version including omitting the "I'm learning to live without you now, but I miss you baby" and skipped directly to "I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter". In 1994 Henley, along with the Eagles, played an acoustic version of the song at their reunion concert; the performance was omitted from the Hell Freezes Over live album, but was included in the concert DVD.
The song has often been speculated to have been influenced by the 1948 Graham Greene novel of same name. In 2010, best-selling author Emily Giffin released preview copies of her novel, also titled 'Heart Of The Matter', which many sources believe to be loosely based on the song's core lyrics.