The End of the Innocence (song)

"The End of the Innocence" is the lead single and title track from Don Henley's third solo studio album of the same name, released in 1989. Henley co-wrote and co-produced the song with Bruce Hornsby, who also performed piano; both artists perform the song live in their respective concerts. Henley's version peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his fifth solo top ten hit on the chart. "The End of the Innocence" also became his fourth number-one single on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and peaked at number two on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart.[1]

"The End of the Innocence"
Single by Don Henley
from the album The End of the Innocence
ReleasedJune 6, 1989
GenreSoft rock
Songwriter(s)Don Henley
Bruce Hornsby
Producer(s)Don Henley
Bruce Hornsby
Don Henley singles chronology
"Sunset Grill"
"The End of the Innocence"
"I Will Not Go Quietly"
Audio sample
"The End of the Innocence"

Music videoEdit

The black and white music video for the song was directed by future film director David Fincher (Alien 3, Seven, Fight Club) and earned Henley an MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video in 1990.[2]

Henley ensured there would be two political comments in the video. At the line "armchair warriors often fail," it shows a TV set showing scenes of the congressional testimony of Oliver North. At the line "they're beating plowshares into swords, for this tired old man that we elected king," it shows a series of posters of President Ronald Reagan.

Chart performanceEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 114.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 8, December 23, 1989". RPM. December 23, 1999. Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "1989 The Year in Music: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 101 (51): Y-22. December 23, 1989.
  5. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1989".