“Till You’re Gone”
Written by Walt Aldridge and Tommy Brasfield
#1 (1 week)
July 17, 1982
Barbara Mandrell followed her gold-selling Live album with the lead single from In Black and White, earning her third consecutive No. 1 hit.
“Till You’re Gone” was co-written by Walt Aldridge. One of the fun discoveries of this series has been hearing No. 1 hits written by songwriters I more closely associated with the nineties. Aldridge wrote my favorite singles ever by Reba McEntire (“The Fear of Being Alone”) and Pam Tillis (“Deep Down”), so it’s a thrill to hear the songs that put him on the map as a songwriter.
This composition isn’t the same league as those two classics, but his skill for structuring a solid lyric is already evident. It’s really the arrangement that holds the song back. Mandrell goes for a saxophone-laden nightclub feel, and it isn’t a good fit for the song’s melancholy longing. I’m sure it was a showstopper when she did this live and picked up the saxophone herself, but as a standalone record, it comes off as warmed over elevator music.
Mandrell followed “Till You’re Gone” with the top ten hit “Operator, Long Distance Please” and the top five hit “In Times Like These.” She’ll return to the top in 1983.
“Till You’re Gone” gets a B.
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