Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Lee Greenwood, “Hearts Aren’t Made to Break (They’re Made to Love)”

“Hearts Aren’t Made to Break (They’re Made to Love)”

Lee Greenwood

Written by Steve Dean and Roger Murrah

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

June 6 – June 13, 1986


#1 (1 week)

July 12, 1986

“Hearts Aren’t Made to Break (They’re Made to Love)” is Lee Greenwood at his most agreeable.

It’s a mildly moving mea culpa from a man who has taken his wife for granted and is now determined to never break her heart again.  He sings with sincerity and restraint, the combination that typically results in the best Lee Greenwood records.

The slip up here is a surprising one.  The song makes the rare choice of opening with its chorus, which only works if the chorus is strong enough to feel like a climax again each time it comes back around.  The ultimate pop example of this is “Dancing Queen,” and two of the best country examples are “Delta Dawn” and “After the Fire is Gone.”

Unlike those two classics, the chorus isn’t interesting enough to sustain the choice of opening the song with it.  There’s also so much added instrumentation in the later choruses that the unadorned opening chorus is the best version of it, meaning the record peaks in its opening seconds.

“Hearts Aren’t Made to Break (They’re Made to Love)” gets a B. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Reba McEntire, “Whoever’s in New England” |

Next: Judy Rodman, “Until I Met You”

Open in Spotify

1 Comment

  1. If we had an equivalent ability to determine a country star’s heat rating while listening to their music similar to the Scolville scale used to identify how hot a pepper is on the tongue, Lee Greenwood would indeed rate as “mild”.

    As this performance indicates, at his best Greenwood’s music occasionally offers only mild heat and subtle warmth.

    Greenwood is the poblano-ancho of the eighties.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.