Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: George Strait, “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together”

“Let’s Fall to Pieces Together”

George Strait

Written by Dickey Lee, Thomas Rocco Jr., and Johnny Russell

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

August 17, 1984


#1 (1 week)

September 1, 1984

George Strait’s final pre-Bowen hit finds him channeling Johnny Paycheck.

I’m getting sentimental for this early Strait era coming to an end. We’ve been able to hear his influences so clearly while his own influential voice begins to emerge.

“Let’s Fall to Pieces Together” is a dated record, sounding like something lifted right out of an early seventies Music Row studio.  The song isn’t quite there either, with a killer opening verse that the rest of the composition never lives up to.  

There’s an alternate timeline somewhere out there where Jimmy Bowen never takes over MCA and Strait production duties, and he has a respectable career for a few years before fading away by the end of the decade.

Thank God we don’t live in that timeline, because Strait gets so much better than this with his next album.

“Let’s Fall to Pieces Together” gets a B

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Dolly Parton, “Tennessee Homesick Blues” |

Next: Ronnie Milsap, “Still Losing You”

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  1. I always liked this song a lot; in fact, it’s my absolute favorite GS tune to this day. Such a killer arrangement and vocal performance, and that just makes the whole thing for me.

  2. Not to be a “smart as” here but I think you have your dates wrong; at least if you are going off of Billboard. This song did not hit #1 until Sept 1, 1984. Your last feature Tennessee Homesick Blues hit #1 Sept 8 not in August. And your next feature Still Losing You hit #1 in late August BEFORE Let’s Fall To Pieces did. At least on Billboard. Not sure about Radio and Records. Maybe that’s where the confusion is. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hot_Country_Singles_number_ones_of_1984

    • The songs are listed chronologically inclusive of both charts, so the timeline is dictated by the date that the song went to No. 1 earliest. Songs tended to go to No. 1 earlier in Radio & Records, so Billboard only No. 1 singles will sometimes appear before songs that went No. 1 on both charts.

  3. One of the biggest surprises to me so far in this series has been your rather lukewarm assessments of Strait’s early, pre-Bowman, number-one hits. Aren’t these the songs that propelled him to superstardom?

    Perhaps my perspective is clouded by having lived as a young adult in Texas during the time of Strait’s emergence. I seem to recall all of his earliest hits absolutely dominating the country radio airwaves and country dance halls in the state, which were all the rage. (There was no song more popular to waltz to than “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together.”) The women swooned over this handsome newcomer to the scene from their state, and the hoards of dancing, wanna-be cowboys nearly all attempted to emulate his look. Is it possible that, at this early time in his extraordinary career, the rest of the nation had not yet completely fallen under Strait’s musical spell?

    Loving all of Straits’ earliest hits, I am trying hard to understand the point of view that they are generally inferior to the hits he had later after Bowman took charge, but I truly can’t see what makes them so.

  4. I see that I mis-identified Jimmy Bowen as Bowman. Argh! My apologies to him. (And, to be clear, I love nearly all of the hits that Strait had afterwards with Bowen, as well! I have no doubt he was greatly influential in Strait’s sustained success.)

  5. This lyrics in this song opened my young ears to the endless possibilities of simple wordplay.

    Strait doesn’t so much get better, as he simply refines his outrageous talents as a generational vocal stylist who knows exactly what he wants to do musically.

    His musical influences provide perfect ballast to resist the constant pressure to be something he is not.

    This is easily one of my favourite George Strait singles.

    I imagine there are worse things for a song than sounding like it was lifted from Music Row in the 1970s.

    I guess we will have to wait for the exploration of that decade’s chart toppers to know what that means.

    Until then, the ’80s continue to be a pretty amazing decade to spend some time in.

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