Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Doug Stone, “Too Busy Being in Love”

“Too Busy Being in Love”

Doug Stone

Written by Gary Burr and Victoria Shaw

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

February 6, 1993

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

January 22, 1993

Doug Stone finally lives up to his reputation.

The Road to No. 1

Doug Stone launched his third studio album, From My Heart, with “Warning Labels,” which went top five. His second single from the project returned him to the top.

The No. 1

And it’s a mess.

The lyric is already bad enough.  “Hey honey, I could’ve been really successful but you distracted me with your love.”

But the syrupy performance makes it so much worse.  This is where he adapted his signature “love song” style, where he sounds like a toddler on the verge of tears, as if his voice is shaking and his upper lip is trembling.

It’s maddeningly irritating.  And this is one of the better hits of his in this vein.

The Road From No. 1

Stone went top five with “Made For Lovin’ You,” then was back on top with the final single from this album.

“Too Busy Being in Love” gets a C.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: Travis Tritt, “Can I Trust You With My Heart”

 

10 Comments

  1. Aww, I personally love this song, and it’s actually one of my all time favorite Doug Stone songs. Nostalgia may be blinding me here once again, but I just get a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I hear this one, and even the intro just immediately takes me back to great times. I know Doug’s vocal style on songs like this may not be for everyone, but I’ve always liked his tender performance on this particular song. The lyrics have never offended me either, and I find it to be sort of a clever and witty way for the narrator to say that he’s happy and content with the life he’s made with his true love. I never heard it as the woman distracting him, but it was his own love for the woman that kept him from writing all these poems, songs, etc. based on his love for her. I even like some of the little bits of humor here and there (ex: “Could’ve given ol’ Mr. Shakespeare a run for his money” “Oh no, too bad. There goes the chance that I had!”). This song also still has one of the prettiest melodies I’ve heard in a country ballad, and I even love the production featuring some lovely fiddle and steel, even if some of it sounds a bit dated now.

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, this is the Doug Stone song that once again takes me back to some of the earliest times my parents and I had in our current house and the great times we had back then. Apparently, our main station really loved this song, because it’s the one that ended up on most of the tapes I recorded all throughout the late ’92/early ’93 period. I remember hearing it and liking it all throughout the holiday season in ’92, and like Randy Travis’ “Look Heart, No Hands,” it also reminds me of the snow we had in early ’93. Because I still have those memories attached to it, this is yet another song that I still love to pull out and enjoy every Fall and Winter season. :)

    As I said, this song ended up on so many tapes I recorded then, but one of my favorite ones it’s on is on another one of those colorful My First Sony tapes. Doug kicks off side A of that tape, followed by “You Can’t Stop Love” by Schuyler, Knobloch & Overstreet, “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait, “Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine” by the Kentucky Headhunters, “Nobody Wins” by Radney Foster, “All These Years” by Sawyer Brown, “Drift Off To Dream” by Travis Tritt, and just a little snippit of “Could’ve Been Me” by Billy Ray at the end. As I mentioned in the “I Cross My Heart” entry, my step dad picked out this tape and played on the little pink radio on the table beside my bed one night to help me sleep better, because I was still not used to sleeping by myself in my new room at the time. Given how many soothing ballads were on the tape, he actually made quite a good choice. :) Every once in a while when I’m in a nostalgic mood (which is pretty often lately), I still like playing it at night before I fall asleep.

    Finally, I’ve always adored the video for this song, as well, and I think it compliments the song very well.

  2. I’ve always loved this song and I still do. I don’t take it as him being real that he could’ve been wildly successful. I figured he was exaggerating for humor. I agree with Jamie on his voice as well. It sounds tender to me.

  3. Stone’s stuttering whimper does not capture the playful sense of confidently standing by your choices that the song lyrics offer him. They just sound limp and lame on his trembling lips.

    I still stand behind my comment from a previous Stone song, that he just fails the sincerity contract with me as a listener. I don’t believe much of anything he sings.

    And it really is his pandering vocals that derail many of his performances for me. I can hear this song working better in the hands of many other artists from this era.

  4. I just listened to this song again to see if my opinion of it has changed. The only thing I don’t like about it is the generic background vocals, which is something that I’ve noticed plagues all too many recordings that I hear from the nineties.

  5. I’ve been listening to it again, as well (both with the video and on my tapes), and I still really love it. I have to respectfully disagree with Peter, because I always thought Doug’s performance on this song sounded sincere. The background vocals have never bothered me, either.

    Or perhaps maybe I’m just flat out unable to be objective towards most country songs I’ve liked since I was a kid. :P

  6. This is what I enjoy so much about this feature and the comments: the respectful sharing of opinions, memories, and experiences with these songs. I think its amazing that listeners care enough to revisit songs based upon other’s takes on them. For example, I know I have developed a new found admiration and respect for Reba McEntire based about what I have read on this site, certainly for “For My Broken Heart” album.

    I wish I could say the same about Doug Stone, but I respect and love the process, nonetheless, of revisiting and revaluating an artist’s output based upon other’s shares.

    Jamie, I still continue to wonder if I will either always carry a flame for a certain artist or have an axe to grind with them for perpetuity. It’s the challenges of nostalgia and sentimentality. It’s also a special aspect of country fandom, that the fans love the artists as much, if not more than, the individual songs they release. Traditionally, Country fans were fans for life.

  7. Rather sappy but still acceptable. I saw Doug perform this song live in concert with just his own guitar as accompaniment and it works better that way

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