“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)”
Written by Harlan Howard
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
September 14 – September 21, 1984
#1 (1 week)
October 20, 1984
Harlan Howard did quite well in the eighties by pairing his material with new traditionalists like Reba McEntire and the Judds.
As if to further prove his remarkable ability to change with the times, Conway Twitty took a Howard song and arranged it as if he was one of those new traditionalists, and he pulls it off with his usual skill.
Twitty was a powerhouse vocalist, but he knew when that was in service of the song. Such an approach wouldn’t have worked here, where the lyric needs to be heard clearly so the listener can follow the storyline. He gives a subtle performance that evokes the understatement of Don Williams.
The conceit of having a conversation with the man in the moon could be too cloying in the wrong hands, so the soft vocal delivery and stripped down production work together to keep “The Moon Song” from being too corny. It’s still a little corny, because only so much can be done with that lyric. But Twitty does his best in front of the mic and behind the console to keep things as tasteful as possible. This allows the sentiment to shine bright, and brings the loneliness of the lyric to the surface.
By the end, the moon itself doesn’t even seem relevant. He could’ve had this conversation with a barkeep as easily as with a satellite orbiting the earth. They’d be speaking the truth either way.
“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)” gets a B+.
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