THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time. The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so. Today, I’m doing a whole bunch of GOATs all in a row. A bunch of posts, a bunch of cover versions!
Aaaaah. The soothing sound of Australia’s Air Supply. The perfect name for a band that made songs so thin that they all sound the same. And yet, they were huge. HUGE.
So why am I giving a G.O.A.T to a band who made the Bee Gees sound like heavy metal?
Because I’m actually a fan. Partly, it’s nostalgia: Theirs are the songs that thrilled my prepubescent ears during Kasey Kasem’s countdown every Sunday. But also because it’s impossible to listen to their best-crafted songs without feeling a surge in your heart—the same way you can’t ride rollercoaster without feeling butterflies. It’s basic sensory mechanics. But it’s a technically perfect use of them.
“The One That You Love” is my G.O.A.T. pick because it’s basically the same song as “All Out of Love” and “Here I am.” I mean, the chorus is even “Here I am, the one that you love…” But I guess if you have the formula right, then just rinse and repeat, right?
“The One That You Love” was #1 on the charts for the week of July 19, 1981. Just one week. It knocked Bette Davis Eyes off the top of the charts, and then was taken down by monster hit, “Jessie’s Girl.”
Further listening: Several songs were contenders for this G.O.A.T.: 1979’s “Lost In Love” got eliminated because, at bottom, it’s just a standard pop song. “Even the Nights Are Better” was one of their last hits, and one of the better ones. Their final chartmaker was “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” which didn’t get picked because it basically sounds like Meatloaf leftovers. (Get it? Meatloaf? Leftovers?) And can you imagine how much better it would have been if it’d been sung by Mr. Loaf?