Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Restless Heart, “Wheels”


Restless Heart

Written by Dave Loggins


#1 (1 week)

February 6, 1988

The latest chart topper from Restless Heart benefits from a change in subject.

It’s a celebration of those wired to live out on the road, and it has a cool recurring plea: “Wheels, stay under me.”  As if our main character would be broken apart if he stayed in one place for too long. Which just might be true.

There’s more noticeable country instrumentation on this track too, and with a twangier lead vocalist and a few light bluegrass flourishes, this could be a hit off of Diamond Rio’s first album three years down the road. Perhaps Restless Heart has been more influential than they’re traditionally given credit for.

“Wheels” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I guess I didn’t think it was even up for debate that Restless Heart was extremely influential on the course country music would ultimately take. I enjoyed this one for the same reasons cited in your review. A trucking song was a good thematic change of pace for them and it definitely sounded more country than any of their previous singles. That guitar solo at the bridge was probably my favorite moment of the record. I wouldn’t rank “Wheels” among the top tier of their work, and my favorite Restless Heart cuts are definitely still yet to come, but this one was a worthy entry.

    Grade: B

  2. This has always been my favorite Restless Heart song, or at least my favorite of the singles released from their albums.

    Fun fact: this song was originally recorded & released by the Bellamy Brothers ~3 years earlier on their 1985 album Howard & David. (It wasn’t terrible, but RH’s version is considerably better.)

  3. I’m with Pistolero and love this song. It’s either this or “You Can Depend On Me” just pure joy from start to finish

  4. I wish I found joy in the music of Restless Heart.

    As a country music fan, there has always been a band I wish would just go away, from Alabama to Restless Heart to Little Texas to Rascal Flatts to Old Dominion.

    I can hear the connection to Diamond Rio here, so maybe I need to get over myself and take my foot off of Restless Heart’s neck and allow for the likelihood they were more influential than I give them credit for in my corner of country music fandom.

    Dave Loggins keeps cranking out chart-toppers.

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