Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Earl Thomas Conley, “Nobody Falls Like a Fool”

American country music singer Earl Thomas Conley (1941 - 2019) performs at the Poplar Creek Music Theater in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, May 26, 1985 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

“Nobody Falls Like a Fool”

Earl Thomas Conley

Written by Peter McCann and Mark Wright

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 15, 1985


#1 (1 week)

December 14, 1985

Earl Thomas Conley reached the peak of his popularity as he released Greatest Hits, which included two new singles that both went to No. 1.

The new material, coupled with the classic hits, were enough to make Greatest Hits a No. 1 country album, and it sold consistently well throughout the year, making it the No. 2 album of 1986.

“Nobody Falls Like a Fool” is every bit the peer of Conley’s strongest hits to date, proving he could pick sophisticated material as well as he could write it.  What makes this song so interesting is how it approaches the titular fool.  Yes, nobody falls like a fool, so they’re more likely to get hurt.  But they’re also more likely to love deeply and end up in a great romance because they’re willing to risk getting hurt.

We don’t find out what happens to this fool.  The song is all about the falling.  But there’s no doubt that this guy will eventually find a love to last a lifetime, even if that doesn’t happen this time around, because he’s willing to take the fall.

“Nobody Falls Like a Fool” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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1 Comment

  1. It feels absurd to consider, but I wonder how much the contemporary and urban wardrobes Gary Morris and Earl Thomas Conley wore on their album covers affected their legacy.

    They looked decidedly non-country insofar as they didn’t wear cowboy hats and blue jeans. None of the visual country signifiers are in place, and once the new traditionalists and hat acts arrive, there will be a renewed emphasis on cowboy accessories and more traditionally country clothing.

    Historically, meeting expectations – both visually and sonically – tends to get equated with authenticity and sincerity.

    Visually, it is easy to dismiss the music of either Morris or Conley as trifling ’80s pop-country not to be taken seriously.

    Which is an absolute shame, because Conley is in top country vocal form here. You can readily hear why Blake Shelton would identify Conley’s singing as so influential on his career.

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