“Going Where the Lonely Go”
Written by Merle Haggard
#1 (1 week)
January 15, 1983
The creative renaissance of Merle Haggard continues with “Going Where the Lonely Go.”
It’s a sign of his confidence in the material that his performance is so understated and restrained. There’s an intimacy to the record that heightens the emotional vulnerability of the lyric.
Because it’s about a man who is giving in to his loneliness, knowing that it’s here for good and he might as well just roll with it, there’s no need for any drama. Even the brass instrumentation in the long musical outro is subdued, as the rest of the musicians play loosely and without intensity. Every instrument gets a spotlight but the solos are subtle and never stand out too much from the rest of the backing track.
This one’s been overshadowed by the second single from the album, which we will cover later in 1983, as well as by the meteoric impact of Big City and its classic singles. It is every bit as good as the more high profile hits of this era, and if someone wanted to make the case that 1982-1983 Haggard was on par with sixties Hag, I wouldn’t argue with them.
“Going Where the Lonely Go” gets an A.
Previous: Reba McEntire, “Can’t Even Get the Blues” |