“Bet Your Heart On Me”
Written by Jim McBride
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
November 27 – December 4, 1981
#1 (1 week)
December 5, 1981
After missing the top twenty with “Rode Hard and Put Up Wet,” Johnny Lee previewed his next studio album with its title track.
“Bet Your Heart On Me” is a pretty good song that needed a pretty great singer to make it something special. Johnny Lee is, at best, an occasionally good singer.
So the song has nowhere to hide, and we’re stuck enduring clunky lyrics like this:
You can bet your heart on meHoney, you can be a winner Forget about the last time out You were just a beginner
Because Lee isn’t much of a stylist, he can’t do much with that awkward phrasing. A better singer would’ve downplayed that “winner/beginner” rhyme, but he emphasizes it instead, drawing out the note to bring additional attention to the weakest part of the song.
This is the last of his No 1. singles that were produced by Jim Ed Norman, though his work with Norman produced a few more hits. From this album, the title track was followed by the top ten hit “Be There For My Baby” and the top five hit “When You Fall in Love.”
His next album, Sounds Like Love, produced two top ten hits: “Cherokee Fiddle” and the title track.
Lee will return to No. 1 in 1983 with his first single produced by Jimmy Bowen, who thus far has shown a knack for drawing the best out of the artists he works with. We’ll see how he does with Lee.
“Bet Your Heart On Me” gets a C.
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