Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Mickey Gilley, “A Headache Tomorrow (or a Heartache Tonight)”

“A Headache Tomorrow (or a Heartache Tonight)”

Mickey Gilley

Written by Chick Rains

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 17, 1981


#1 (1 week)

April 25, 1981

Mickey Gilley’s hitmaking run this decade has largely been defined by smooth countrypolitan material, usually of previously recorded material.

“A Headache Tomorrow (or a Heartache Tonight)” deviates from that norm, with a fairly traditional country arrangement accompanying Gilley’s game attempt at a honky tonk vocal performance.

It’s perhaps a little too out much out of his wheelhouse, as his phrasing isn’t up to his usual high standard. But it’s good to hear his willingness to push himself out of his comfort zone, and a lyric this solidly country makes the effort worthwhile.  This wouldn’t have worked as well with his usual style anyway.

It’s something that George Jones would knock out of the park, really.  Kudos to Gilley for tackling it.

“A Headache Tomorrow (or a Heartache Tonight)” gets a B.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. My favorite Mickey song! Someone once burned this on a CD for me with about 20 other of the best heartbreak songs in history. I had never heard of it before that and fell in love on first listen. I was going through a really hard time and this song and that disc really helped heal me!

  2. I can’t quibble with much of anything I hear here.

    These early ’80s artists are proving more versatile than the conventional take on this era often fails to admit or acknowledge.

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