Saturday, November 21, 2015

"I.O.U." by Lee Greenwood

Song#:  1469
Date:  05/28/1983
Debut:  77
Peak:  53
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Country Crossover, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Greenwood's music career began in the early 60s with his band The Apollos. After a name change to the Lee Greenwood Affair, he got a chance to make records courtesy of the Paramount label. A couple of singles were released, but nothing came of them. The band later broke up and Greenwood spent time on the casino circuit. He could be found dealing blackjack during the day and playing music at night. It was at a casino in Reno that Mel Tillis' manager saw Greenwood and took him on as a client. Greenwood was then signed to MCA and in 1981 he released his debut album "Inside Out." The album would end up being a gold seller thanks to three Country Top 10 hits. For his next effort, "Somebody's Gonna Love You," Greenwood added a bit more crossover appeal via this first single. It paid off quite well with the song hitting #6 at Country and #4 AC. It couldn't quite reach the top half of the Pop chart, but the extra exposure was enough to get Greenwood his second gold album.

ReduxReview:  This song is without a doubt reaching for the Kenny Rogers audience. It sounds exactly like something Rogers would record at the time and even Greenwood's vocals sound similar to Rogers'. It didn't quite hit like a major Rogers crossover tune, but it did do well and expanded Greenwood's fan base. It's a lovely tune with a solid chorus that definitely made it hit-worthy. I'm not a big fan of Greenwood's vocals (they are a bit too laid-back for me), however it is a quality tune.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Greenwood's most famous song would end up hitting the Pop chart seventeen years after it was first released. His 1984 single "God Bless the USA" would initially be a #7 country hit, but the song would be a lasting patriotic anthem that would gain in popularity during significant historical events. The song saw popularity during Operation: Desert Storm in 1991 and then again after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The song became such a popular anthem in 2001 that it was reissued as a single. The song would find its way to #16 on the Country chart, #12 AC, and #16 Pop. The Top 20 showing would make the song Greenwood's biggest hit at Pop.


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