Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Kenny Rogers, “Morning Desire”

“Morning Desire”

Kenny Rogers

Written by Dave Loggins

Radio & Records

#1 (3 weeks)

November 22 – December 6, 1985


#1 (1 week)

January 11, 1986

“Morning Desire” is yet another reminder that Kenny Rogers did pop country better than just about anyone.

The production on this record is so cool, and you couldn’t pull it off with a traditional country arrangement.  It’s all about the atmosphere here, as Rogers sounds like he’s moving through a lust-drenched fog.  Ann Wilson of Heart could’ve just as easily sung over this track, though Rogers’ approach to the material couldn’t be any further from her power vocal performances.

It’s all done in practically a whisper, as he contemplates not going into work on time so he can act on his morning desire.  He wants her so badly, but he also doesn’t want to wake her up.  The sound effects amplify the tension, as if all of his senses are heightened as he lays there longing to act on those morning desires.  It’s all just so moody, and it quietly fades away without resolution, leaving all that tension still hanging in the air.

This is instantly one of my favorite Kenny Rogers singles of all time.  A pox on the house of anyone who called 1985 the nadir of country music.

“Morning Desire” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Such an exquisite song performed perfectly by the master.

    It really is mind-boggling just how many ridiculously great songs Rogers released in just 10 years (1977 – 1987).

    It was one of those songs where you didn’t want the DJ to interrupt or come in until the complete song was finished. It could’ve lasted for 10 minutes or more – you just wanted to hear that entire song.

  2. It seems unfair that Rogers is often not considered in the same breath as other country legends and greats.

    It’s as if songs this well performed don’t count on the authentic country music register because of the pop influences and sensibilities he so capably incorporated into his style and sound.

    This feature has made clear how expansive country music was in the ’80s. Pop-country was not a pejorative descriptor. Its roots were every bit as deep and legitimate as traditional country music, and, perhaps more importantly, it seemed to point to a new frontier of possibility and experimentation ahead beyond the rigidity of the familiar.

    As of 1985, so many of the chart-topping hits were pointing the way.

    New Traditionalism would change both the direction and magnitude of what was considered real country music and, in doing so, effectively stunt the growth of this limb of country music’s tree.

    This is an underappreciated gem from Kenny that does not receive the recurrent rotation it deserves.

    Just such a cool sounding record.

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