Considering that at the time of this album’s release Don Henley had only produced a paltry three solo albums since The Eagles originally disbanded, it seemed a bit premature for a greatest hits collection. However, since all three of his albums are merely decent-to-good and are all quite patchy, this will save you the trouble of having to wade through the mediocre material to get to the singles, which are excellent for the most part. This collection was compiled by Henley himself, who does a fine job, picking “Dirty Laundry,” the lone hit from this first solo album, I Can't Stand Still, and then plucking the four top 40 hits from Building The Perfect Beast: the danceable but silly synth pop track “All She Wants To Do Is Dance,” the tuneful mid-tempo pop of "Not Enough Love In The World," the atmospheric ode to freaks and losers down at the “Sunset Grill,” and “Boys Of Summer,” a brilliant evocation of love lost and moving on that stands as Henley’s greatest song ever (yes, including The Eagles). The four hit singles are then among the five songs culled from The End Of The Innocence, including the memorable title track, which matches the instantly recognizable keyboards of Bruce Hornsby to Henley’s weary vocals. “New York Minute” features a catchy backing chorus and lyrics challenging everyone to seize the moment, while “The Last Worthless Evening” and “The Heart Of The Matter” are instant easy listening classics where his lyrics are damn near definitive statements about lost love and how accepting that loss and finding an inner peace is the only way to overcome such a loss. “I Will Not Go Quietly” is also included from that album and is the most questionable choice here among the previously released songs, many of which were co-written by collaborator Danny Kortchmar. It would’ve been nice had Henley’s hit duets with one time paramour Stevie Nicks (“Leather and Lace”) and Patty Smyth (“Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough”) been included (I’m not crazy about the latter tune but at least it was a hit), but on the plus side Henley smartly groups the songs from each of his albums together, making the album flow in as cohesive a manner as possible. Alas, as is usual with these types of endeavors, the two new songs, “You Don't Know Me At All” and “The Garden Of Allah,” fail to measure up to the others, as does the Leonard Cohen cover (“Everybody Knows”), which had previously appeared on the Tower Of Song tribute album. Still, at least they’re tacked onto the end of the album, and the first ten songs are largely unassailable provided you can overlook some sterile '80s production sounds. Fact is, if I could do it all over again I would skip his first three solo albums and instead simply purchase this enjoyable career summation.
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