Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: John Conlee, “I’m Only in it For the Love”

“I’m Only in it For the Love”

John Conlee

Written by Deborah Allen, Kix Brooks, and Rafe Van Hoy

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

September 2, 1983


#1 (1 week)

September 10, 1983

So much talent came together to make this song.

John Conlee is here at the peak of his vocal power, while promising young artists like Deborah Allen and future Hall of Famer Kix Brooks are two of the co-writers.

So why is it so much less than the sum of its parts?  I’d put it down to the production, which is a little too busy.  Conlee’s voice doesn’t work as well with brass instrumentation, so he gets a bit lost in the mix.

Conlee made so many great records with Bud Logan, but this isn’t one of their best efforts, despite all the talent involved.  It’s still an entertaining listen, but how annoying that this made it to No. 1 while so many of their earlier collaborations did not. 

“I’m Only in it For the Love” gets a B-.   

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Spot-on review. This recording of this song just did not fit John Conlee at all. He had 14 charting singles prior to this song. I could sing 13 of them in my sleep, and they were all better than this one. If it weren’t for 1987’s ”Domestic Life,” this would be my least favorite of his singles.

  2. Conlee, and Charley Pride a few hits later, show signs of reaching the limits of this production style from this era. In this instance, there is no need for a vocalist as brilliant and powerful as Conlee to be held back by anything. Whatever he is reaching for, he fails to cleanly get a hold of here.

    That being said, I will gladly listen to near misses by John Conlee all day.

    Despite my criticism, I still sort of love the song.

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