“Love On Arrival”
Written by Dan Seals
#1 (3 weeks)
April 21 – May 5, 1990
The first dud of the decade has arrived.
The Road From No. 1
Before becoming a major country star, Dan Seals had made a name for himself as the “England Dan” of England Dan & John Ford Coley, a duo that had plenty of success on AM radio in the seventies. They released seven albums before disbanding in 1980, and today are mostly remembered for their gold-selling hit, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”.
Seals started over again in Nashville, signing with Capitol Records in 1983 and slowly building a new fanbase. After a handful of top ten hits, he earned his first chart-topper in 1985 with “Meet Me in Montana,” a classic duet with Marie Osmond. He followed this right away with “Bop,” which won CMA Single of the Year, and another signature hit, “Everything That Glitters (is Not Gold.)”
These were the first three of a run of nine consecutive No. 1 singles, which ran from 1985 to 1989, until “They Rage On” stopped at No 5. But Seals was soon back on top with the lead single and (almost) title track of his 1990 album, Love On Arrival.
The No. 1
And that lead single and title track is remarkably terrible.
The thoroughly implausible plotline has Seals receiving a letter signed “LOA,” which the backup singers reveal to mean “Love On Arrival.” See, this lady misses his loving, and has decided to prep him for her homecoming with a series of acronyms that require a phone call from him to decipher.
Oh, but he’s ready for her when she gets home. He’s a love machine, you see.
I said ooh baby I do love you
And I’m always amazed the way we fit
And I T.G.I.F
Thank God I found you when I did, oh yes I do
Them three letters by your name
I will just give you just the same
When you get home, oh yes I will
He delivers these lines with the juice of a withered prune. Seals was way better with the playful flirtiness of “Bop” than he was with being seductive, though I don’t think even Conway Twitty could’ve made this ridiculous lyric work.
The Road From No. 1
Dan Seals still has one chart-topper left, and it’s his next single, so he’ll be returning soon.
“Love On Arrival” gets a D.
Previous: Travis Tritt, “Help Me Hold On”