Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Eddie Rabbitt with Crystal Gayle, “You and I”

“You and I”

Eddie Rabbitt with Crystal Gayle

Written by Frank J. Myers

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 19, 1982


#1 (1 week)

November 13, 1982

Eddie Rabbitt’s run as a multiformat star was waning when he paired up with Crystal Gayle on “You and I.”  It became the final top ten pop hit for both artists.

There is no rhyme or reason to what constitutes an official duet, and what Gayle does here is essentially a beautiful harmony vocal, with a few lyric repetitions in the mix for good measure.  She gets full billing on the record for it, which might demonstrate her star power more than anything else.  Vince Gill will do the exact same thing on an upcoming Rosanne Cash chart topper, but as it’s well before his heyday, you won’t find his name on the 45.

Still, her presence elevates this yacht rock ballad. Its generic nature is masked by the warmth that Gayle brings to her line readings and her harmonies.  They sound great together.

This was a bigger pop hit than its #7 peak suggests.  It spent 29 weeks on the Hot 100 and came in at #12 on the year end chart, much higher than any other record that also charted country.  The Urban Cowboy era was starting to fade, and it would take an even bigger superstar pairing to score one last big country crossover hit in 1983.

“You and I” gets a B

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I’ve read two different stories about how this song came together. One is that producer David Malloy wanted Crystal to sing an duet, including a verse, but it wasn’t in her key so she decided to do the echo part, which Malloy loved.

    The other version was Malloy asked her to sing harmony on the song but she wanted to do more.

    Regardless, what she did worked. It was huge. The girls at my high school couldn’t get enough of the song. And it just kept moving up the pop chart.

    It’s a beautiful song and their voices blended well together. I understand the B grade but I would’ve given it an A.

  2. Beautiful song but I had wondered, too. I know there are a few other songs I wouldn’t consider duets that are credited as such.

  3. I think this is what casual music fans think of as ’80s country, yacht rock power ballads with twang and slick production.

    I would actually be fine with this song as an ambassador for the decade because it does sound great and a listener would be rewarded for deep diving into either artist’s impressive discography The catch is, “You and I” in no way is representative of the diversity of sounds and styles that have found the top of the charts so far. Even the mainstream image of these two artists belies all the wonderful tributaries feeding into the big muddy that is Nashville.

    ’80s country music has proven to be so much more than our most common assumptions.

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