The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)

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"The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)"
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side "Ride 'Em Cowboy"
Released October 24, 1981
Format 45-rpm vinyl single
Recorded 1981
Genre Country, pop
Length 3:58
4:06 (7")
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Otha Young
Producer(s) Richard Landis
Juice Newton singles chronology
"Queen of Hearts"
(1981)
"The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)"
(1981)
"Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me"
(1982)

"The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" is a country-pop song written by Otha Young (a.k.a. Robert O. Young). Young (who died August 6, 2009) was the long-time musical partner of Juice Newton and wrote the song for her in the mid-1970s.

History[edit]

"The Sweetest thing (I've Ever Known)" was originally recorded and released in 1975 on Juice Newton's debut album, Juice Newton and Silver Spur (RCA), with Silver Spur being the backup band, which consisted of Otha Young, Tom Keeley and other musicians. The 1975 version was not issued as a single, although it was the B-side of two singles. In the meantime, Dottsy recorded a version in 1976 and took it to No. 86 on the country music charts and used it as the title track to her album The Sweetest Thing.[1][2]

Newton re-recorded the song on her 1981 album, the career-launching Juice, which was Newton's third solo album and featured three of her five biggest pop hits: "The Sweetest Thing", "Angel of the Morning" and "Queen of Hearts". While "The Sweetest Thing" is often the least-recalled of the three hits from the Juice album, it was arguably the biggest hit at the time. In early 1982, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart,[2] No. 1 on the Billboard country chart,[2] and No. 7 on the Billboard pop chart, where it remained in the Top 40 for eighteen weeks.[3] The single is the only of Juice Newton's to reach the Top 10 on all three charts. On Billboard's year-end Top 40 chart, the song charted at No. 21 of all the singles of 1982.

The first pressings of the Juice album featured a different arrangement of the song, with a more prominent steel guitar part and no oboe. After the unexpected crossover success of "Angel of the Morning" and "Queen of Hearts", a pop version was mixed and replaced the country version on all future pressings of the album. The revamped version was also used for the single (which, somewhat ironically, became her first No. 1 Country Single). (The 1981 country version can be found on the United Kingdom best-of CD Country Classics and BGO's two-CD "Juice/Quiet Lies/Dirty Looks" boxed set.

Chart performance[edit]

Dottsy version[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 86

Juice Newton version[edit]

Chart (1981–1982) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 7
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 25
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 128. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 258.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 454.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night"
by Conway Twitty
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

January 30, 1982
Succeeded by
"Lonely Nights"
by Mickey Gilley
Preceded by
"Yesterday's Songs" by Neil Diamond
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
January 30, 1982
Succeeded by
"Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg
Preceded by
"I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World"
by Ronnie Milsap
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

February 6, 1982
Succeeded by
"Have You Ever Been Lonely?"
by Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves