Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Oak Ridge Boys, “Make My Life With You”

“Make My Life With You”

The Oak Ridge Boys

Written by Gary Burr

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

January 18 – January 25, 1985


#1 (1 week)

February 16, 1985

In an era when having new tracks on a hits collection was a rarity for country artists, the Oak Ridge Boys managed to top the charts with two new songs from their Greatest Hits 2 collection.

“Make My Life With You” is the lesser of the two hits, but anything was bound to be a step down from the sheer euphoria of “Everyday.”  It’s a maudlin ballad that borrows heavily from the Anne Murray template of this era during the verses, then sounds like a lost Statler Brothers track on the chorus.

That switch over from the solo verse to the chorus harmonies is jarring, but what really holds this record back is that it’s just not Oaks enough.  I’ve become a fan of theirs through this feature, and I’ve gotten to the point where I can hear them smiling as they sing, something I’ve only ever experienced before with Jennifer Nettles.

I do appreciate the vulnerability of the lead vocal, which I think supports the uncertainty of the lyric quite well.  I’m just really missing their collective personality on this this one.

“Make My Life With You” gets a B.   

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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1 Comment

  1. I love how expansive this song sounds and how intentionally it is constructed.

    Without all of the Oak Ridge Boy’s contributing their parts, this becomes a Gary Morris song.

    Thankfully, Duane Allen’s tentative and tender lead spectacularly gives way to the swelling four-part harmonies in the chorus, evidencing strength is indeed found in numbers.

    The supportive “oohing” and “aahing” of the other three boys in the second verse gently asserts their presence while not overwhelming Allen who is still making his case, but they are inescapably there in a way they were not in the first verse.

    The dramatic dropping out of the musicians to allow an a capella reprise of the chorus toward the song’s end is the very sound of love the narrator mentions coming over him when with his lover.

    The effect is full, swelling, and fabulous. It rings with the sincerity and intensity of a religious testimonial, a multitude of the heavenly host!

    The ascending reentry of the band takes the song theatrically skyward until the quartet ends the song once again “oohing” and “aahing” just beneath the instruments.

    They quietly retreat after having wonderfully made their point.

    I obviously love this song!

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