Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Charley Pride, “You’re So Good When You’re Bad”

“You’re So Good When You’re Bad”

Charley Pride

Written by Ben Peters

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 5, 1982


#1 (1 week)

November 6, 1982

Like many Generation Xers, my first introduction to this Charley Pride classic was courtesy of Designing Women.

In one of the best episodes of the series, the song was used as the reconciliation soundtrack after the women and their vacation partners had gotten into a battle of the sexes for the ages. (The ladies won.)

How Dixie Carter didn’t get an Emmy for this episode is a mystery to me, as her reluctance to join the dance floor in the Pride-soundtracked scene features no dialogue but she communicates a wide range of emotions with just her body language and facial expressions.

A big part of why the scene works so well is because of how fantastic the song is, and it’s strong enough to be played in its entirety.  “You’re So Good When You’re Bad” is a reminder of how underrated Charley Pride’s work is, especially from the later years. 

This is the type of song usually associated with Conway Twitty, and Pride knocks it completely out of the park.  His line readings range from sultry to witty as well as from humble to grateful, as he celebrates a woman that leaves him in awe.

This should be a modern standard already, and it’s well worth rediscovering this enduring classic from Charley Pride.

“You’re So Good When You’re Bad” gets an A. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I remember that DW episode well. All four of those actresses were incredible. Dixie always brought her A game in every episode. She was exceptionally good in that one.

    Charley Pride was such an amazing singer. I’m trying to think of another artist who could’ve pulled this song off. I’m sure there’s some but I doubt they could’ve done it at the level Charley did.

    Pride was one of a kind. 29 number one hits. How blessed we are to have grown up hearing him on the radio.

  2. I kid you not, when I saw that this song was being discussed and hadn’t yet clicked on the article, I thought of Designing Women lmao. And yes, Dixie Carter was terrific in the scene.

  3. I am pretty sure I lost my country virginity to Conway Twitty and Charlie Pride at too young an age, meaning they seduced me with sounds and suggestions of situations I couldn’t even imagine, or fantasize about, as a pre-teen. I was in over my head listening this stuff. I was still playing with Star Wars figures. What the hell were my parents thinking as they heard their prepubescent youngest son singing along to these randy songs on the radio?

    It would be years before I actually realized what many of these songs were about. I have a lengthy list of revelatory “oh…..” Songs.

    As an adult, I love the subtly and tact Pride brings to this performance without losing any of the intensity or passion.

    You can just hear him absolutely owning this new style and sound he adopted.

    A classic!

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