Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Shenandoah, “I Want to Be Loved Like That”

“I Want to Be Loved Like That”

Shenandoah

Written by Phil Banhart, Sam Hogin, and Bill LaBounty

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

January 14, 1994

Shenandoah returns to the top for the first time in four years.

The Road to No. 1

Since the last time we saw Shenandoah, they ran into some legal problems with their band name and it helped spur a label change.  An eighties band changing labels during the early nineties boom was never going to be easy, but they remained a somewhat steady presence on radio with their first RCA album, Long Time Comin’.  It produced a top five single with “Rock My Baby,” and two moderate hits that fell short of the top ten.  Their next label project, Under the Kudzu, launched with the top fifteen hit “Janie Baker’s Love Slave,” and was followed by the band’s two most recent No. 1 singles.

The No. 1

“I Want to Be Loved Like That” is, by a wide margin, the better of their two No. 1 singles from this album.

It’s one of those three act vignettes that has the narrator observing the kind of love that he wants to have: the Natalie Wood-James Dean relationship from Rebel Without a Cause; the love of his parents; and the devotion of an elderly widow still placing flowers on his wife’s headstone, seven years after her death.

It’s understated and underproduced, which is better than the alternative, I suppose.  But really, this record is saved by Marty Raybon, who gives a fantastic vocal performance that suggests an almost desperate loneliness, as if what he’s yearning for will remain forever out of reach.

He elevates the material to a higher level through his work here.

The Road From No. 1

I’m not even going to speak about their next No. 1 single until I absolutely have to.  We’ll get there soon enough.

“I Want to Be Loved Like That” gets a B.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: Clay Walker, “Live Until I Die”

4 Comments

  1. This song does serve as a showcase for Raybon’s vocals. Given what Kevin shared about how one half of the biggest duo’s from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s produced the best vocalists of their decade, my mind turns to the stellar lead singers that fronted 90’s country bands.

    Raybon is among them. I think Diamond Rio’s Marty Roe is wildly underappreciated as a vocalist. Natalie Maine’s from the Dixie Chicks was without peer for the range of emotions she brought to a lyric. Raul Malo of the Maverick’s is simply a once in a generation pure singer. The best of the bunch.

    As for this song, I am still swept away by Raybon’s wistful admiration and longing for the perfect love. I think it is an absolutely gorgeous, pleading performance. The song is mysterious in that we only know of his desire and nothing of what is keeping him from experiencing it.

  2. Yay! We’re finally at the point when I started listening and loving country music! This is the Shannendoah song that was climbing the charts on that first countdown that I listened to that started my country music obsession! This is the first number one from that time period. I loved this song and really wanted it to go number one.

  3. For my money, Marty Raybon was the best male vocalist of any of those operating in a group or duo setting. The material he recorded while with Shenandoah was a mixed bag qualitatively.

    Like Ricky Skaggs, Marty emerged from the world of bluegrass (his first band was essentially a family band) and largely returned to it after leaving Shenandoah. In recent years he has toured with a reunited Shenandoah while also keeping his bluegrass career going.

    Leeann mentioned this was the point at which she got interested in country music. This was the point at which I started losing interest in the genre, although I hung in there with mainstream country radio for another decade before mostly giving up on it

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