Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Crystal Gayle, “Our Love is On the Faultline”

“Our Love is On the Faultline”

Crystal Gayle

Written by Reece Kirk

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

June 3, 1983


#1 (1 week)

June 11, 1983

Can a woman who had 34 top ten hits actually be underrated as an artist?

We tend to look at big superstar acts with a bit of side eye. Surely someone that radio friendly can’t be recording sophisticated material.  They don’t even write their own songs!

Crystal Gayle is a crossover country artist that peaked during the era least respected by country music critics and historians, and her path to stardom was paved by an older sister who’d be in the Hall of Fame before this decade was through.  She doesn’t fit the typical profile of an acclaimed artist at all.

And yet, “Our Love is On the Faultline” followed “Til I Gain Control Again” to No. 1, her second in a string of four chart topping hits that are as complex and intelligent as what Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris got on the radio back in the day. 

The couplet that gives the song its title is brilliantly constructed, and its impact his heightened by Gayle’s delivery of it, which is equal parts fear for the future and contempt for the man whose presence is still present:

Baby, our love is on the fault lineAnd you’re sayin’ that the fault’s mine

Her voice shakes and quakes as she builds to the bridge, where the disaster she’s been sensing is finally revealed:

I feel it in my bones, I see it in your eyesComin’ up behind, here it comesHold on tight

It’s such a cool and interesting record. Gayle may be best remembered for her countrypolitan crossover hits, but it’s this eighties run that is most worthy of rediscovery.

“Our Love is On the Faultline” gets an A.   

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. This has always been on of my favorite early 80s songs period. The production is more rocking than country but I don’t mind as it adds to the drama of the situation. From 82 to 87 is my favorite crystal Gayle period of music!

    • It’s so great! And as much as I loved this and “Gain Control Again,” I love the next two No. 1 hits of hers even more. The final one in this streak is among my favorite records of all time by any artist.

      • Kevin, I am looking forward to the write-up of “your favorite”, as it is also one of mine.For 40 years, I will stop what I am doing when “it” comes on.

  2. This would be Crystal’s final top 10 record with producer Allen Reynolds. After 10 albums together, they parted ways (but remained friends). They would reunite for one more album in 1989 but with no hits.

    This was an incredible song to go out on. Great production and sound. Crystal sang the heck out of this song. There’s a line in one of the verses that says “whipping up a gale” that is kind of a wink to the audience.

    Her Warner Bros years are definitely my favorite of her career. She just kept getting better and better for awhile. It’s so exciting to revisit this era. Too bad that most of these songs are ignored by oldies stations today.

    Definitely an A for me.

  3. The immanent risk of an emotional natural disaster in this song essentially casts the narrator as a relationship storm-chaser. The punchy melody crackles with a skin-prickling energy. It sounds inevitable that something is going to break.

    The record sounds so alive and dangerous. It certainly does sound cool and interesting.

    I agree whole-heartedly that Gayle has been one of the great discoveries of this feature and era.

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