In honor of the 40th anniversary of The Motels’ fantastic album, All Four One, today’s Song of the Day is “Only the Lonely”. The album, released on April 6, 1982, featured this Top 10 hit, and the follow-up hit single, “Take the L“. “Only the Lonely” number 9 on July 17, 1982 where it spent four weeks in that position. The video earned the award “Best Performance in a Music Video” at the American Music Awards.
According to Songfacts, The Motels spent the late ’70s making a name for themselves in the Los Angeles music scene, and their first two albums, released in 1979 and 1980, met with critical acclaim and cracked the charts in America and Australia. All Four One was their third album, and it contained their breakthrough hit “Only the Lonely,” which was written by their lead singer Martha Davis. She explained the song in an interview with Beyond Race magazine. Said Davis: “‘Only the Lonely’ was one of those songs that was sitting on my guitar waiting for me. It literally wrote itself. It’s a song about empty success. It came about while the Motels were experiencing critical acclaim, traveling the world, riding in limos, and yet I was probably as sad as I had ever been. I was in a horrible relationship and had not yet recovered from my parents’ death (I doubt one ever does). The contradiction of these two worlds was where “Only the Lonely” lived… bittersweet.”
One thought on “Song of the Day: “Only the Lonely” by The Motels”
1) If you were to make a list of under-appreciated/under-rated bands of the 1980s and the Motels are not on it…it simply isn’t valid.
2) I had a buddy who made a sports jeer out of a Motels’ song. We had seats near the Chicago White Sox bullpen, and at the time they had a relief pitcher named Gary Glover. The whole time he was warming up, my buddy is serenading him with “Take the GL out of Glover and it’s OVER!”
3) There’s a reason why “suddenly Last Summer” was the second installment of a series on my blog called “Misty Water-Color Memories”
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