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This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - Deborah Allen - "Baby I Lied"

By July 14, 2013

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deborahallen-baby-i-lied.jpg Both in this space and whenever other opportunities arise, I've frequently decried the current state of contemporary country music and what passes today as country pop. I have a feeling that intensive listening to such music would hardly change the opinion I've formed from admittedly minimal exposure, but nevertheless a recent sampling of late-'70s and early-'80s crossover country pop has made me wonder a bit about the personal nature of music evaluation. The fact of the matter is I rather enjoy a great deal of the music that dominated country music around 30 years ago. I don't know if this is because I was exposed to this music in my childhood home or possibly in spite of that reality. I don't even know if it's because I actually enjoy the music or am simply fascinated by the heavy, mysterious sense of melancholy many of these songs seem to drape across my soul when I listen to them. All I know is that for all my devotion to hard rock, underground rock, punk rock and roots rock - to name just a few favored genres - '80s country pop sometimes does it for me in a deep way that's moderately unsettling.

Personal crises aside, I recently heard the sparkling track "Baby I Lied" on my beloved Sirius XM and enjoyed another one of those surprisingly woozy music-lover moments all of us who draw basic living energy from music can't get enough of. Singer Deborah Allen parlayed her considerable beauty and underrated talent into a highly successful career during the first half of the '80s, but this song justifiably remains her signature moment. To her credit, she also co-wrote the tune with a couple of Nashville's veteran composers, which wasn't all that common for crossover hits of that era. As a Top 10 hit on the adult contemporary charts and a Top 30 entry on Billboard's pop charts, this accessible, genre-blending minor classic clearly demonstrates that genuinely high-quality songs find their way to appreciative audiences - even 30 years after what many deemed a random day in the fleeting pop music sun. The hooks plunge deep, especially if you sit back and graciously let them grab hold.

Single Cover Image Courtesy of RCA


July 15, 2013 at 1:50 am
(1) HERC says:

It seems we are in agreement on both the current state of country music as well as the country genre back in the late Seventies and early Eighties. I grew up listening to those songs on the jukebox at the steakhouse slash auction barn my grandaprents worked at in Texas. The music has stuck with me through all these years and “Baby I Lied” is a personal favorite.

However, as is sometimes the case, Spotify only offers inferior re-recordings of that original song. A search did turn up a 1984 version by Tracey Ullman from You Caught Me, the follow-up to her You Broke My Heart in 17 Places.

That version has been added to the unofficial Forgotten Gems of the 80s Spotify playlist:


July 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm
(2) Blaine says:

I always liked that tune.

July 22, 2013 at 8:50 am
(3) Shemp9971 says:

Yeah, I would just like to say, with the exception of Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert and a few others, country music these days is a piece of crap, pure and simple. The songs all tend to sound the same, particularly Taylor Swift’s. Country music has gone the way of rock music in general at the end of the 1980′s: Rampant arrogance, rampant bombast and so far removed from real life, the same way that rock music was before punk rock came along in the mid 1970′s. I wouldn’t be surprised if those people who grew up on Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc. moved over to country music. Country just lacks sincerity these days.

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