“Somebody’s Gonna Love You”
Written by Don Cook and Rafe Van Hoy
#1 (1 week)
November 12, 1983
Lee Greenwood’s first No. 1 hit is a doozy, and we’ll get to it soon enough. As this is his first entry, we need to cover some of his biography first.
Greenwood grew up in California, and like many future recording artists, his public singing experience began in church as a young child. While he worked briefly in the country field, his young adulthood was dominated by his time in Las Vegas, where he fronted a band that recorded a few pop sides in Los Angeles. Once the band broke up, he moonlighted as a Vegas singer while dealing blackjack during the day.
He found an enthusiastic supporter in Mel Tillis bassist Larry McFadden, who helped him land a record deal with MCA. His first single, “It Turns Me Inside Out,” went top twenty, and was followed by his first top five hit, “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands,” which would later be a top ten hit for Reba McEntire in 1996. His debut album, Inside Out, featured these hits plus two additional top ten entries: “She’s Lying” and “Ain’t No Trick (It Takes Magic).”
His debut album would eventually go gold, as did his second album, Somebody’s Gonna Love You. Its lead single, “I.O.U.,” went top ten. MCA followed it with the album’s title track, which became his first No. 1 country hit as an artist.
And oh, what a record it is. Perhaps there’s some alternate timeline where a more nuanced singer was able to tease out some sincerity and humanity from this lyric, but I don’t think even the best singer of this era could do much to redeem a song about a neighbor down the hall monitoring the activity of a single woman and insisting that somebody’s gonna love her, whether she wants it or not.
Honestly, what were these writers thinking with this?
Lonely lady living down the hallDon’t you have any friends at all I never hear a knocking at your door Could it be you just don’t try anymore?
You’ve been hurt so seriouslyYou act so cold but it’s so easy to see You’re a waste of real good love But you can’t hide or run fast enough
Throw in Lee Greenwood’s lecherous delivery and that “swap left immediately” album cover photo, and this pickup attempt comes off like a misdemeanor:
Somebody’s gonna love you, no matter what you doSomebody’s gonna find all the pieces of a broken heart hidden inside of you Somebody’s gonna touch you, it’s just a matter of time And if you’re ever gonna try love again, it might as well be mine
Lock your doors, ladies. Lee Greenwood is on the loose.
“Somebody’s Gonna Love You” gets an F.
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