Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Oak Ridge Boys, “Little Things”

“Little Things”

The Oak Ridge Boys

Written by Billy Barber


#1 (1 week)

June 22, 1985

The Oak Ridge Boys have such a contagious energy and spirited optimism that it’s almost painful now for me to criticize their work.

“Little Things” has its heart in the right place.  The sentiment of the song is beautiful, and the performances are heartfelt.

That being said, the lead vocal on this one is uncomfortable to listen to.  It’s just too high.  The recording of the harmonies isn’t done well, either. 

Everything about this record sounds dated, and I think that the underlying problem is that they simply stayed with producer Ron Chancey for two albums too long.  They clearly wanted to stretch as vocalists, and he couldn’t make it work in the studio.  An upcoming producer change will help.

They will have one more No. 1 single with him from this album, and it’s a much stronger entry. We’ll get to it before the end of 1985.

“Little Things” gets a C.  

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. This Oak’s hit demands some listener patience.

    Joe Bonsall trys to match Richard Sterban’s low notes with his straining lead to open the song . Duane Allen and William Lee Golden hold the centre as the quartet glides through this doo-wop influenced single.

    I appreciate how the Oaks experiment with their harmonies and over-all sound here.

    They settle into familiar territory and vocal range by the final verse.

    Like I said, stay with this one because it is sneaky good.

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