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Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits

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Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits

Current Status:
In Season
Don Henley

We gave it a B+

Bashing Don Henley, long a popular sport, reached its peak last year when the singer practically painted a bull’s-eye on his chest by participating in exactly the sort of moribund Eagles reunion he swore he wouldn’t. So the solo-career recap Actual Miles: Henley’s Greatest Hits arrives at a moment when it’s useful to remember that, along with Bruce Springsteen, Henley is one of just two ’70s superstars who’ve managed to maintain a career as a great singles artist for grown-ups. His pronouncements on innocence’s end sound smug in some quarters, but at his best he has displayed a gift for making the world’s sense of loss seem personal. If you’re too hip to let ”Heart of the Matter” get to you, you’re too hip. B+

Actual Miles logs a good number of career highs, though the chronological selection of hits won’t win any awards for creative anthologizing. Two so-so new tracks add only marginally to the resale value: The meandering ”The Garden of Allah” (with a prominent Big Guest Vocal from Sheryl Crow) has the right idea, but its devil-goes-down-to-West Hollywood theme ultimately comes off as one piece of L.A. mythologizing too many. The thumping kiss-off ballad ”You Don’t Know Me at All” is interesting, primarily if heard as a veiled farewell to David Geffen. Or didn’t you know that like nearly every best-of collection, this one’s a contract fulfiller? /p>