“I Guess it Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes”
The Oak Ridge Boys
Written by Randy VanWarmer
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
April 6 – April 13, 1984
#1 (1 week)
May 5, 1984
It makes sense that so many soft rock acts transitioned into country in the eighties, either as songwriters or as artists themselves. A few window dressing changes and any soft rock hit can become a country hit.
Randy VanWarmer was most famous for his biggest hit as a singer-songwriter: “Just When I Needed You Most.” I’ve see many critics deride that song for being wimpy, but I’ve always appreciated it, and I adore the Dolly Parton cover from the mid-nineties.
VanWarmer’s writing style is a good fit for the Oak Ridge Boys. On “I Guess it Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes,” the lead vocal sounds like it could’ve been modeled off of VanWarmer’s demo recording of his own song.
What gives their version some added muscle muscle are those intricate harmonies, bringing depth and nuance to a delicate melody and making the material more resilient on record than it is on paper.
This chart topper kicks off a string of five consecutive No. 1 singles for the Oaks, a career high for the group.
“I Guess it Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes” gets a B+.