Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Janie Fricke, “He’s a Heartache (Looking For a Place to Happen)”

“He’s a Heartache (Looking For a Place to Happen)”

Janie Fricke

Written by Larry Henley and Jeff Siblar

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

July 29 – August 5, 1983


#1 (1 week)

August 13, 1983

Janie Fricke borrows heavily from the Juice Newton template here, and you know what? It works.

“He’s a Heartache (Looking For a Place to Happen)” is heavily influenced by the production on “Queen of Hearts,” with a turbo charged acoustic guitar hook as the record’s engine. 

But it’s got a much easier storyline to follow, and it’s a surprisingly liberated one for its time.

The gist is this: Janie is warning a female friend of hers that the guy she’s eyeing isn’t in it for the long haul.  She warns not to fall in love with him, because he doesn’t stick around.

But here’s the kicker: she tells her friend to hook up with him anyway. 

If he wants to hold you, let it beDon’t pass up the opportunityTo know himYou won’t forget him all your life

Sure, he’s a louse. But he’s great in bed and as long as she doesn’t catch feelings, she can have a whole lot of fun with him.  Heck, Fricke herself “wouldn’t mind just one more night” with him.

I’m so happy that this exists.

“He’s a Heartache (Looking For a Place to Happen)” gets a B+


Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Great song! This is the Janie song I remember being played still in recurrents in the early 90s on my local station. Essential Janie that people who don’t know much early 80s country even know!

  2. I didn’t even connect this song with Queen Of Hearts when I first heard it back around the time it was first out, but I see/hear that now so well. I love both songs and it’s the pure fun aspect of them that I think works so well. I still listen to both and enjoy them.

  3. This rivals Sylvia’s “Nobody” as the quintessential female ’80s single for me. It was inescapable on Twin Cities country radio. And for good reason. As Joanne mentioned, it is just such a fun song. I have only known Fricke as a single/radio artist. I am thinking I should dig deeper into her discography.

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