“A Place to Fall Apart”
Merle Haggard with Janie Fricke
Written by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Freddy Powers
#1 (1 week)
February 2, 1985
“A Place to Fall Apart” is a dark and depressing Merle Haggard ballad that is lifted up by a sweet harmony vocal by Janie Fricke.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that a song written by Haggard with an assist by Willie Nelson is so despondent, and it doesn’t waste any time getting to rock bottom:
I’ll probably never see you eye to eye againYou need to know my life has gone to hellThis letter’s meant to be my last farewell But you need to under-stand I’m nearly crazy
It’s all very bleak, so when Fricke shows up with her harmony vocal, she pulls Haggard back from the brink, as if a friend has shown up to validate his feelings and provide some emotional support. I’m usually not a fan of giving titular artist credits to stars who just do a harmony vocal, but she’s so essential here that the credit is very deserved.
Haggard will complete a streak of five consecutive No. 1 singles with the final single from It’s All in the Game, which we’ll get to a little later in 1985.
“A Place to Fall Apart” gets a B+.
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