“New Looks From an Old Lover”
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-.