Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Lee Greenwood, “Mornin’ Ride”

“Mornin’ Ride”

Lee Greenwood

Written by Steve Bogard and Jeffrey Tweel

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

February 6, 1987


#1 (1 week)

March 7, 1987

Lee Greenwood’s final No. 1 hit is a mellow affair that suits him well.

“Mornin’ Ride” starts off like it’s going for a double entendre, but that fades away by the chorus, where we learn that the mornin’ ride Lee Greenwood is looking for with his partner really does involve a horse and the countryside.

The arrangement is more organic than his earlier hits, and his voice sounds better in that context.  It’s one of his better efforts, and a nice record to hold the distinction of being his final chart-topper.  The title track of this album, Love Will Find its Way to You, will find its way to No. 1 later this year by one of his MCA labelmates.

Greenwood remained a steady presence on the radio until the early nineties, working with Jimmy Bowen as a co-producer and following Bowen to Liberty Records at the turn of the decade.  There, he had his final big solo hit with “Holdin’ a Good Hand” in 1990, and his final radio hit was a duet with Suzy Bogguss on “Hopelessly Yours.” It went top fifteen and earned Greenwood his sixth and most recent Grammy nomination.

Greenwood has continued to record and tour, and is well known for his support of the armed forces through concerts and charity events.  Much like Mariah Carey every Christmas, moments of national unity revive his evergreen “God Bless the U.S.A.,” which reached new top twenty peaks on the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart in 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Mornin’ Ride” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. A good share of Lee Greenwood’s catalog are snoozers for me, and unfortunately this is one of them. The lyrics are good and I suppose the relaxed vibe of the delivery is suited to those lyrics, but I feel like another performer’s interpretation (Dan Seals is the first to pop into my head) might be better suited for motivating me out from the under the covers for this “morning ride”.

    Grade: C+

  2. …if it didn’t exist before, the expression “benefit of the doubt” might have been created upon this release of mr. greenwood.

  3. Greenwood should have taken more of these lascivious morning rides because they suit him.

    This is one of his best musical moments. Even his sleazy vibrato is appropriate to the quivering anticipation and energy about what is to come between these two lovers.

    I hear absolutely nothing suggesting a horse in these lyrics, or a literal ride of any sort whether it by by plane, train, or automobile.

    This is a song in direct thematic line with Faron Young’s “Four in the Morning” and Kenny Roger’s more recent “Morning Desire.”

    Mountain and morning dew take on lustful possibilities when considered in context with the rest of the lyrics.

    This is a raunchy, ribald, and relatable song from the first go round to the hoped for next one the narrator’s partner is waiting for him to take her on again.

    This song is also further proof that ’80s country was still geared for adults.

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