Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: George Strait, “You Look So Good in Love”

“You Look So Good in Love”

George Strait

Written by Glenn Ballard, Rory Bourke, and Kerry Chater


#1 (1 week)

January 7, 1984

We’re getting into classic Strait territory now.

He’s still growing as a vocalist, but his phrasing will sound familiar to longtime fans.  Part of the reason he’s finding his voice so well on “You Look So Good in Love” is that it’s him establishing his own point of view, one that would define him so effectively that he was namedropped on Maddie & Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song” decades letter.

Like Conway Twitty before him, George Strait loves and respects women, and they are often the heroines of his songs.  Here, he’s beating himself up for not treating a woman right, now that he can see how she’s come alive in her new relationship.  He’s wistful as he sings, “I wish you still wanted me,” but there isn’t any hat-in-hand, knee on the curb begging for her to come back to him.

Because she’s truly happy now, he love her enough to let her go.  He had his chance and he blew it.  You just know that the next opportunity he has to treat a woman right, he’s going to take it.

It’s the best of his four pre-Bowen No. 1 singles, just edging out the excellent “Fool Hearted Memory.”

“You Look So Good in Love” gets an A

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. This song just never did it for me. Maybe it’s the awkwardness of the spoken part, I’m not sure. I generally skip over it for the dozens of George Strait songs I like better.

    Strait is one of those rare artists who stayed so consistently good for so long that it’s hard to pick a favorite era, let alone a favorite song. But for me, “Unwound” is the best thing he recorded before the Jimmy Bowen era.

    I’ve never seen the picture you used here either. Is that a Barbara Mandrell cardboard cut-out in the background?

    • Yes, he’s lounging at the MCA offices. This was around the time when Mandrell was a bigger act on the roster than Strait!

      There are a couple of huge Strait hits that I never quite got either. But he has so many hits that I guess that is inevitable. Like you said, he’s been so consistently good for so long!

  2. As I’ve commented before, George strait was the king of good-to-very good. There is nearly nothing I regard as great but there is nothing I dislike. This one in an endless string of good/very good songs and performances from crown Prince George (King George will always be George Jones.

    When people ask me which George Strait album to buy I tell them, buy any of them or all of them – you’ll not be disappointed

  3. How many acts Strait’s age were confident enough to dive into a sappy recitation so early in their career?

    Red Sovine had to have been smiling in Hillbilly Heaven.

    The next recitation that hit me with the same urgency, intimacy, and sincerity of this hit would be Rick Van Shelton’s “Somebody Lied” which I believe was originally a Conway Twitty song.

    I don’t know if Strait has ever cited Twitty as a musical influence but Kevin called it out and and it seems to complete the circle here as to his influence on young singers.

    Damn Strait!

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