Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Restless Heart, “I’ll Still Be Loving You”

“I’ll Still Be Loving You”

Restless Heart

Written by Pat Bunch, Todd Cerney, Mary Ann Kennedy, and Pam Rose

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

February 20, 1987


#1 (1 week)

March 21, 1987

“I’ll Still Be Loving You” is a crossover classic with a catchy and compelling chorus.

That chorus builds to a crescendo that mirrors the increasing intensity of the protagonist’s commitment to his partner.  Even on first listen, I have no doubt that country fans knew that a new wedding standard had been born.

But dear Lord, do the verses drag.  There aren’t quite enough lyrics to fill out the verses, so Restless Heart is forced to elongate the few words that they have to work with.  But the bigger structural problem is that the verses don’t cover any ground that the chorus didn’t already capture.  Perhaps if they had explored some of the reasons that his partner might doubt his love, or explored his own history of commitment, there would’ve been more payoff.  Has he or his partner had his heart broken? Does he have a past of not committing to love and this a new experience for him?

We don’t know because the entire song hits the same emotional beat.  It’s just more effective in some places than others.

But damn, what a great chorus.  That alone is enough to bump up its grade.

“I’ll Still Be Loving You” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I mostly agree with this review. I’ve always had a soft spot for Restless Heart and I suspect they would consider this their signature record. It sounds pleasant throughout but I agree that the chorus hits considerably stronger than the verses. It surprised me a bit that they had some crossover success here as, by 1987, cross-pollination of country songs on the pop charts was becoming increasingly scarce. They had a number of songs I liked better but as love songs go, this was above average.

    Grade: B+

  2. I’m neutral on this song. Like I can appreciate the song for what it is and that it is well performed but it’s not one of my favorites from Restless Heart. Good song, Good performance but not all that interesting to me.

  3. Great song but I agree about the long, drawn out verses. Yje chorus is amazing. I think the grade you gave is just right.

    Bunch, Kennedy, and Rose also wrote the superior Me Against The Night, the fourth single from Crystal Gayle’s Cage The Songbird album.

  4. I do love the “My looove” into the chorus. That’s a great transition. And yeah, this song is all about the chorus.

  5. Restless Heart rivals Exile for having the most anodyne promotional band photos, seemingly intentionally curated to communicate zero personality or artistic inclination. The publicity images could be used to sell any genre, no?

    As could Restless Heart’s music, which may actually be the point of the band.

    An early variant of country music for people who don’t like country music.

    Admittedly, they were at their absolute best when the lead vocals, harmonies, instrumentation, and production all came together to soar as they do on the chorus here.

    The problem for me was that I just was never terribly interested in what they were offering sonically nor emotionally invested in their lyrics.

    Nothing ever felt like it was at stake while listening to a Restless Heart song, either for them or for me.

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