Tuesday, February 28, 2023

"The Last Worthless Evening" by Don Henley

Song#:  4062
Date:  10/07/1989
Debut:  91
Peak:  21
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Henley took a less synthesized approach with his third solo album The End of the Innocence and fans took to it well sending the Grammy-winning title track first single into the Pop Top 10 (#8). In turn, the album would also sail up to #8. To keep the momentum going, this next single was issued out. While it stopped short of the Pop Top 20, the song would be a hit at Rock (#4) and AC (#5). During this song's run on the chart the album would be certified platinum.

ReduxReview:  This was a good follow up to the Americana leaning "The End of the Innocence." It had a more organic soft rock band sound that eschewed the manufactured bells and whistles of the time. It also had a memorable chorus and was a prime single candidate. I was surprised it stopped short outside the Top 20. It was a significant hit at Rock and AC and that action should have been enough to push the song either near or into the Pop Top 10.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Henley has mentioned in concert several times the inspiration behind this tune. It seems he was at a party and spotted a beautiful actress sitting on a couch talking to Jack Nicholson. She was just recently divorced and Henley was also single at the time. It seems she was smoking a cigarette and Henley decided to try and meet her and walked over and asked to bum a cig. Without looking at him, she reached in her purse, grabbed one, and just shoved it his way. Basically, she blew him off. As he walked away, Nicholson apparently said "Well played, Henley." While Henley has never really confirmed who the actress was, it is assumed to be Michelle Pfeiffer. She was sort of a hot commodity at the time who had just gotten a divorce and had just co-starred with Nicholson in a movie (The Witches of Eastwick). Being spurned by Pfeiffer gave Henley the idea for this hit.  2) The album's next single, "The Heart of the Matter," would do nearly the same business peaking at #21 Pop/#2 Rock/#3 AC. Two more singles would follow with each peaking at #48 Pop. The LP would contain six tracks that would make the Rock Top 10 and that certainly helped sales. The album would eventually become Henley's biggest solo seller getting to the 6x platinum mark. Unfortunately, at the peak of his solo success, Henley and his label Geffen Records entered into a bitter dispute. Lawsuits would follow. In the meantime, Henley would join a reunited Eagles for a tour. It would spawn the '94 #1 live album Hell Freezes Over. It would go on to sell over 9 million copies. Finally, after everything with Geffen was settled and things wrapped up with the Eagles, Henley signed on with Warner Bros. and put out his fourth solo album, 2000's Inside Job. It would reach #7 and go platinum thanks to the #1 AC/#58 Pop single "Taking You Home." He would move over to Capitol Records for the 2015 country flavored LP Cass County (#3).


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