Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Dan Seals, “I Will Be There”

“I Will Be There”

Dan Seals

Written by Jennifer Kimball and Tom Snow

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

May 8, 1987


#1 (1 week)

June 6, 1987

This might be the liveliest bop in the “Bop” singer’s catalog.

“I Will Be There” is a fresh and upbeat pop record that showcases Dan Seals’ ability to deliver a great melody.  He tended toward understated delivery on his most familiar hits, so this one is a breath of fresh air.  It’s cool to hear him as a power vocalist for this one number.

The song was co-written by Tom Snow, who had a big hit with Dolly Parton (“Don’t Call it Love”) but was primarily a pop songwriter, writing bops for Olivia Newton-John (“Deeper Than the Night,” “Make a Move On Me”) and Deniece Williams (“Let’s Hear it For the Boy.”)  Those joyous records are a good indicator of why “I Will Be There” is such an entertaining listen.

Seals will forever be remembered for his mellower efforts – even “Bop” wasn’t that much of a bop – but he could deliver a solid uptempo pop record quite well.  This one’s worthy of a listen if you haven’t heard it before.

“I Will Be There” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Agreed completely on this one. In some ways, the song feels out of Dan Seals’ wheelhouse but his vocals and the busy production both work here to bring the record to life. The background vocals by Bailie and the Boys on the song’s outro kept the pulse of the record elevated until the final moment. I don’t put “I Will Be There” in the same league as “Bop” for which I have as much nostalgia as “Bop’s” narrator has for “old time rock ‘n’ roll”, but it kept Dan Seals’ momentum going as one of my favorite country stars of his era.

    Grade: B+

  2. Add this song to the short list of titles from this feature that I couldn’t summon either the melody nor any of lyrics without having my aging memory prompted by the YouTube recording.

    I recall not thinking much of it in the moment as a 13 year-old, but hearing it now, I can’t help but imagine a young Radney Foster singing the tar out of it. The melody has a fun, dynamic, and rolling lilt to it.

    Seal’s limitations as an upbeat vocalist or strained here, but he holds his own.

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