Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Earl Thomas Conley, “Don’t Make it Easy For Me”

“Don’t Make it Easy For Me”

Earl Thomas Conley

Written by Earl Thomas Conley and Randy Scruggs


#1 (1 week)

April 7, 1984

Earl Thomas Conley has been operating on such a high level so far that an objectively solid entry still feels like a step down.

“Don’t Make it Easy For Me” is an uptempo number that Conley delivers with flair, and it has his signature turns of phrase that distinguish his songwriting from his peers. He brings a fresh perspective to the “hard to get” motif, where he’s actually asking the woman he’s suiting to hold him to a higher standard before welcoming his love.

What holds it back is a couplet that undercuts the overall message of the song, striking a discordant note:

Down on my knees, take a look at meI’m easy to please, why can’t you be?

The rest of the song is all about wanting her to be hard to please, so these lines don’t quite fit with the rest of the lyric.

That being said, it’s still a good record, thanks to Conley’s performance and the rambunctious production.  It would be one of the better efforts from most of his peers, even if it’s mid-tier ETC.

“Don’t Make it Easy For Me” gets a B

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Another gem from ETC.

    While I love the lyrics, the vocals, and the production, my favorite part of the song is the music. I especially love the musical fade out at the end of the song.

    It was pretty brave to release a single that rocks as much as this one does. I didn’t expect it to hit #1 country but I’m sure glad it did.

  2. I’m a fan of ETC. Enjoy his soulful voice. I like this song alright but like you mentioned not up there with his best efforts. Despite all the #1’s still think he is underrated overall as a artist.

  3. I think this is an ultimate bluff song, Brer rabbit asking not to be thrown in the briar patch.

    The guy is terrified of the girl in this song. She holds all the cards. He pretends he doesn’t want her to make it easy for him despite being down on his knees, in the dark, and falling apart. Does that sound like a guy prepared to battle for a woman’s attention?

    He has to pretend to be tough. That’s why the aggressive production and instrumentation work so well here. The instruments strut into this song. He has to come on strong and appear confident, be big and loud.

    He maintains he is up for the fight and doesn’t want things to be easy only because he knows he is a too-easy-to-please-roll-over romantic bully full of false bravado and macho posturing.

    The discordant couplet is the narrator’s only honest moment in the song.

    Isn’t it telling that every option he presents is positioned as her choice. He has almost no volition. He is fully at her mercy.

    Simply said, he desperately wants it to be easy.

    Even if my interpretation is wrong, the simple fact that the lyrics can sustain the possibility of such analysis is example of why ETC was frequently described as “thinking man’s” country.

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