Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Crystal Gayle, “If You Ever Change Your Mind”

“If You Ever Change Your Mind”

Crystal Gayle

Written by Bob Gundry and Parker McGee


#1 (1 week)

November 29, 1980

After wrapping up her Miss the Mississippi album with the top ten hit “The Blue Side,” Crystal Gayle earned her second No. 1 of the eighties with the lead single from her first new album of the decade, These Days.

“If You Ever Change Your Mind” is reminiscent of earlier Gayle piano ballads, with “Talking in Your Sleep” being especially similar in arrangement.  It’s a musical setting that always worked well for Gayle, given her ability to use so many subtle shades of her voice.  She was never a power singer, but she really stood out among her peers because of her exacting technique.

Unfortunately, this particular record doesn’t give her enough to work with.  The tempo of the song is a couple of beats too slow, and the melody meanders more than wanders.  Gayle sounds unusually distant and almost uninterested, like the eternal invitation to return is being given out of courtesy and not desire.

The next release from the album, “Take it Easy,” was a Delbert McClinton cover that went top twenty, Gayle’s first official release to miss the top ten in five years.  But it would be followed by a string of eighteen consecutive top ten hits, starting with the final single from These Days in 1981.

“If You Ever Change Your Mind” gets a B-.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Ronnie Milsap, “Smoky Mountain Rain” |

Next: Alabama, “Why Lady Why”


  1. These Days was a particularly brave album for Crystal to record as it did not have a single country sounding song on it. Yet she still managed to get two #1 singles from it.

    I loved the album when it came out. It was full of jazz, blues, and pop. However I rarely listen to it now because it doesn’t sound nearly as good as some of her other albums.

    I did love If You Ever Change Your Mind. I thought it was beautiful and felt it complemented her voice quite well. We wouldn’t hear her voice sound this strong again until 1986’s cover of Cry. I feel this should have gotten an A.

  2. I don’t hear the distance you hear in this song. I find it to be another winner and lyrically very relatable. Crystal sounds awesome and the slower tempo works for me!

  3. …”gayle sounds unusually distant…” – now that you mention it, kevin, that’s exactly the slight shortcoming in the delivery of this hopelessly hopeful plea. yet, listening to crystal gayle and a piano is still something most enjoyable, quite soothing.

  4. Only shattered dreams hope on a magic place and time for a lover’s return.

    Gayle is steadfast that his plans were the ones that changed even as she has to change her accordingly. She shares hating goodbyes, but here she is saying it even as she makes the “eternal invitation to return.” She is too pragmatic and practical to not know what is in store for her.

    He left, but she has to do all the ongoing emotional heavy-lifting and hard work of living with what that means.

    What has been described as a distant, almost disinterested vocal could just as easily be described as weary recognition of the impossibility of what lay ahead. Despite having lost her will to climb, she bravely begins the ascent up a terrifying mountain of loneliness.

    This song is impossibly sad and impeccably performed with a subtle strength and stoic vulnerability.

    This song reminds me so much of Matraca Berg’s “Lying to the Moon.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.