“Never Been So Loved (in All My Life)”
Written by Wayland Holyfield and Norro Wilson
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 16, 1981
#1 (2 weeks)
October 24 – October 31, 1981
Charley Pride followed his hit Hank Williams tribute album with Roll On Mississippi, which featured the top five hit “You Almost Slipped My Mind” and the top ten title track.
Pride returned to No. 1 with “Never Been So Loved (in All My Life),” the token new track on his 1981 Greatest Hits set, which was actually his fourth standard hits collection for RCA, following The Best of Charley Pride, Vol. 3. If the single is any indication, they were looking to give Pride a fresh start for the new decade.
This is the first of many hit singles that paired Pride with producer Norro Wilson, and it is a very eighties record, with a backing track that could’ve been lifted directly from John Conlee’s Friday Night Blues album. Pride sounds reinvigorated in the new musical setting, drawing on R&B influences as he sings in a lower register that suits him quite well.
It’s a song sung by a man with some experience, so when he’s making the declaration that this is the best love he’s ever had, he’s got quite a few past love affairs to choose from. His vocal performance communicates that he’s traveled enough miles to be weary, but he’s pretty sure he’s reached his final destination and he’s damn thankful for it.
The arrangement amplifies the emotional intensity of the record, with effective use of strings for dramatic effect. The change in producer was just the jolt that Pride’s sound needed, and it kicked off a final string of big singles for the veteran hitmaker.
“Never Been So Loved (in All My Life)” gets an A.
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