Written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
August 6 – August 13, 1982
#1 (1 week)
August 21, 1982
Sylvia earns her second No. 1 hit with her signature song.
Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan co-wrote five consecutive singles for Sylvia. “Nobody” followed the top ten hit “Heart On the Mend,” which was the final single from her Drifter, and the top fifteen hit “Sweet Yesterday,” which served as the lead single for her second album, Just Sylvia.
“Nobody” went to radio next, and immediately became the biggest hit of her career, selling over a million copies and crossing over to the pop and AC chart.
So what made “Nobody” so special?
Just take a listen to BRELAND, who brilliantly sampled the track on his recent album cut, “County Line.” The core musical hook of “Nobody” is a total earworm. It’s remarkably difficult to keep it from repeating in your head after you hear it.
Lyrically, the song is pretty boiler plate. It’s a fantasy about how a woman would react to being lied to and cheated on. In real life, most women wouldn’t see infidelity as a reason to up their own game to get their man’s attention again. A kick in the groin would be far more believable.
But God bless her, Sylvia sells this one, making an implausible reaction to adultery seem completely believable. However much the song is dated by its point of view is balanced out by the timeless performance and that enduring hook.
Sylvia will top the chart again with her next Fleming-Morgan single. We’ll cover it when we get to early 1983.
“Nobody” gets an A.
Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties
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Indeed “Nobody” was a very big hit on the Hot 100, peaking at #15, which is kind of remarkable when you consider how big a deal MTV had become by that time. It is absolutely a record of its time (which I suppose is a politically correct way of saying that it is Dated [LOL]), but it was definitely also catchy, for lack of a better term.
I have yet to find a person who doesn’t love this song. Even if they’ve never heard it before the fall for it hook line a sinker. A classic!
An absolute classic, catchy and fun. A little dated, yes, but the fun and probably the nostalgia factor outweighs that. I like to think there was no real ‘Nobody’ and that the girl in the song did talk to her guy, though.
Couldn’t sing you one note to a Sylvia song before this feature. Have to say she brought some really cool atmospheric country pop to the charts. This song I instantly liked and thought it was catchy as all get out.
There was a syndicated country music variety show I remember airing on Saturday early evenings in the Twin Cities that seemingly always had Sylvia performing this song. I think of that show it as being hosted by Bobby Bare, but I really don’t trust any of my memories around this.
Anyhow, this song is a cornerstone of country music. I hear a better constructed lyric than does Kevin. Their is a conversational precision to the lyrics, a knowing resilience and confidence by the narrator. The song may be about “Nobody” but the woman knows she herself is somebody. Just listen to the sass and snarl in Sylvia’s delivery.
This song was endlessly played on KEEY K-102 in the Twin Cities in the early ’80s.