Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Lee Greenwood, “Don’t Underestimate My Love For You”

“Don’t Underestimate My Love For You”

Lee Greenwood

Written by Steve Diamond, Steve Dorff, and Dave Loggins


#1 (1 week)

March 29, 1986

Lee Greenwood has a dud of a song here, and his attempts to sell it make the record nearly unlistenable.

Greenwood’s vocal performance on “Don’t Underestimate My Love For You” is painful to listen to.  It’s an unholy union of Michael Bolton and Michael McDonald, delivered with the kind of bizarre phrasing choices you usually only get when an artist is phonetically singing in a language that is foreign to them.

Jimmy Bowen fell down on the job here.  I don’t know what either of them were thinking.

Grade: F

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. This doesn’t sound that bad to me. Cheesy but it doesn’t get under my skin.

    Then again, I thought Conway Twitty’s cover of “The Rose” was absolute dogshit, so what do I know.

  2. …i said “smile” not “smug” might have crossed the photographer’s mind after looking at the result of that shooting there with mr. greenwood.

  3. Greenwood is an unskilled vocalist. Like a huckster, he depends upon tics and tricks to sell his product.

    It sounds like his vocal chords repeatedly spasm throughout much of this song, the sound of something alternating between slipping and regaining traction.

    His reliance on a gargling vibrato for emotional emphasis again adds an element of uncomfortable and insincere sleeziness to the entire performance.

    Greenwood has little to be smug about here.

    • …thanks for your elaborate answer on the conway topic, mr. saros. i find a solid argumentation and eyewitness testimonials from other commenters often very useful and entertaining.

      what often amazes me, is the multitude of currents that come to the fore as soon as you start looking at country music eras/periods a little more closely. even though most periods can be attached to outstanding protagonists in various fields (stars, songwriters, producers, label heads etc.), there’s always been plenty going on at the same time on the side or underneath. when the outlaws were big, so was ronnie milsap, kenny rogers or mickey gilley and dolly and emmylou…. at the pinnacle of the “urban cowboy”/cross-over era the first neotraditionals raised their heads. not to mention garth, who gave the neotraditionals a whole other spin. or the terrific ms. twain later on. perhaps country music is less of a tree and more of “a pipe-bomb ready to blow” (jason isbell, “24 frames”) at any time anywhere. like now, when one can hardly keep track with the pace it is churning out new – really fine – talents and material.

      by the way, here in europe, thanks to mr. trump, lee greenwood is actually a rather popular feature in the news programmes providing regularly the soundtrack of the ongoing primaries’ coverage. not that many people would make the connection – still. god bless the usa in any case.

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