The Heart of the Matter (song)

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"The Heart of the Matter"
Single by Don Henley
from the album The End of the Innocence
Released 1989
Format CD single
Genre Soft rock
Length 5:21
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Mike Campbell, Don Henley, J. D. Souther
Producer(s) Mike Campbell, Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar
Don Henley singles chronology
"The Last Worthless Evening"
"The Heart of the Matter"
"How Bad Do You Want It?"
Audio sample
file info · help
"The Heart of the Matter"
Single by India.Arie
from the album Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship
Released September 4, 2006
(U.S. smooth jazz radio)[1]
Length 5:15
Label Motown
  • Mike Campbell
  • Don Henley
  • J. D. Souther
  • India.Arie
  • Frank "Blame" Macek
India.Arie singles chronology
"There's Hope"
"The Heart of the Matter"
"Beautiful Flower"
Audio sample
file info · help

"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 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.

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.

Stage and television actress Megan Hilty recorded a cover on her 2013 debut solo album It Happens All the Time.

Canadian singer Nikki Yanofsky recorded a live acoustic cover for her 2010 DVD "Live in Montreal."


Don Henley version[edit]

Chart (1990)[2] Peak
U.S. Billboard Billboard Hot 100 21
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 3

India.Arie version[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
U.S. Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs[3] 7
Chart (2008) Peak
Canadian Hot 100[4] 33
Swedish Singles Chart[4] 46
UK Singles Chart[5] 79


External links[edit]