Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: B.J. Thomas, “New Looks From an Old Lover”

“New Looks From an Old Lover”

B.J. Thomas

Written by Lathan Hudson, Red Lane, and Gloria Thomas


#1 (1 week)

October 1, 1983

B.J. Thomas earns his final No. 1 hit with a song co-written by his wife, Gloria Thomas.

“New Looks From an Old Lover” sounds lascivious from a distance, but up close, it’s a pretty heartwarming song about reconnecting with an old lover and realizing you’ll be together for good this time around.  The song serves as an unofficial theme song for B.J. and Gloria’s marriage.  They married in 1968, but hit a rough spot in the mid-seventies when B.J. struggled with substance abuse.  They both became Christian in 1976 and their marriage lasted until B.J.’s death in 2021.

Thomas sounded better when he used his lower register, so the belting in the chorus doesn’t do it for me, even though I appreciate the busy uptempo production overall. It’s not one of his stronger country efforts, but his time with the genre is just a footnote anyway.  He had a much bigger impact on the pop, AC, and Christian charts.

Thomas had two more top ten country hits: “Two Car Garage” and “The Whole World’s in Love When You’re Lonely,” both reaching their peak in 1984.  His last major hit in any genre was “As Long as We’ve Got Each Other,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes that served as the theme song for the eighties sitcom Growing Pains. It went top ten AC in 1988.  

“New Looks From an Old Lover” gets a B-

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Ronnie Milsap, “Don’t You Know How Much I Love You” |

Next: Alabama, “Lady Down On Love”

Open in Spotify

1 Comment

  1. I love B. J. Thomas as a vocalist but I have no real sense of him as an artist or personality. He seemed equal part country, pop, and soul. That’s what made his singing stand apart. He was no Charlie Rich or Ray Charles but he was also no Mickey Gilley or Ronnie Milsap. He had his own style, sound, and sensibility that stood just outside mainstream Nashville.

    I always loved the sense of renewal and rediscovery with this song.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.