“I’ve Been Around Enough to Know”
Written by Dickey Lee and Bob McDill
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
October 19, 1984
#1 (1 week)
November 10, 1984
How does a television star whose biggest hit was a torturous, Teen Bop cover of “It’s Now or Never” end up recording one of the better country singles of 1984?
By securing Jimmy Bowen as his producer.
I know y’all are getting tired of hearing this man’s name, but this might be his most impressive accomplishment in the studio since he revived the recording careers of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in the sixties.
Bowen dug up a minor hit from the mid-seventies by Jo-El Sonnier, got Schneider to sing in a lower register that actually suited him, and then surrounded him by a new traditionalist production that foreshadowed the best work of Ricky Van Shelton. He even hoodwinked country radio into playing it by sending the song out without Schneider’s name, wary that he wouldn’t be given a fair shot because of his Dukes of Hazzard past and mediocre earlier records.
“I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” is a fantastic song that should’ve been a hit the first time around, but truth be told, Schneider’s recording blows the Sonnier version out of the water. Schneider sounds great, but if you listen closely enough, it’s clear that it’s the production that makes this record work so well. Schneider doesn’t get in the way of the song. He just delivers it with sincerity, and lets the musicians do the rest.
Bowen worked with so many brilliant talents that his success as a producer could be framed the same way. He just didn’t get in their way. But “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” demonstrates his talent behind the console even better than the legendary recordings he’s most known for co-producing during the eighties. If it was Strait or McEntire singing here, it would be a stone cold classic. Bowen really spun straw into gold here.
“I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” gets a B+.
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