Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Barbara Mandrell, “One of a Kind Pair of Fools”

“One of a Kind Pair of Fools”

Barbara Mandrell

Written by R.C. Bannon and John Bettis

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 11, 1983


#1 (1 week)

November 19, 1983

Barbara Mandrell played the other woman so many times that it’s a little startling to hear her role reversal on “One of a Kind Pair of Fools.”

The jaunty production already sounds like an amped up version of “If Loving You is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right).”  Color me surprised when it turns out she’s the one being cheated on, and she’s speaking to the other woman in this song.

Granted, it could be that she’s still the other woman but she didn’t know it, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt here!  This is where we get to find out how Mandrell would handle being lied to and cheated on, and she passes with flying colors.  All of her anger is directed at the cheating man, and she feels a sense of obligation to – and even camaraderie with – the woman that he’s also been lying to.  

He better watch his back, ’cause they’re coming for him:

Honey, we could talk this outLike the best of friendsBut we’re not to blame for the painThat, that man has put us in
When we break the newsThat you know about me and I know about youAfter what he’s doneHe better start to run

The thing I love about covering the eighties is discovering the records that made artists who I’m less familiar with have Hall of Fame-level careers.  Along with “Years,” this is the very best of Barbara Mandrell.

“One of a Kind Pair of Fools” gets an A

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I like this song a lot and it is always interesting when the perspectives flip and a singer does just as good a job either way, as I think Barbara absolutely does here. It also reminds me a little of Trisha Yearwood’s “Your Husband’s Cheating On Us” – but that’s because they both cover the same subject matter more or less. Still, both great examples of it.

  2. Mandrell continues to show that she was so much more than her public persona.

    Her music matters, especially when establishing connections and lines of influence between female artists.

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