When songwriter Johnny MacRae was in the process of writing “I’d Love To Lay You Down,” he and frequent collaborator Bob Morrison had been trying to write a song for Johnny Duncan. At that time, Duncan had earned his biggest hits with songs that contained suggestive titles and lyrics. This indicates that MacRae was purposely trying to come up with something considerably less-innocent. MacRae’s idea was in comparison with what Twitty considered “I’d Love To Lay You Down” to be.
How did he come up with this song? While MacRae was driving home one evening, he started writing the first verse and chorus of the song. The continued composing the remainder of the track while he was jogging the following morning. He suggested that Morrison add a new melody, but Bob insisted he keeps what he had.
When Johnny Duncan was presented with the song, he took one look at the explicit title and politely refused. It was then that MacRae thought of Conway Twitty, who was certainly no stranger to controversial subject matters. These include his chart-toppers: “You’ve Never Been This Far Before”, “I See The Want To In Your Eyes”, and “I Can’t Believe She Gives It All To Me”. As a result, they sent “I’d Love To Lay You Down” over to him and he had not had any second thoughts about it.
Conway’s treatment of “I’d Love To Lay You Down” features an extremely unusual series of key changes. The song progressively lowers in key instead of the musical standard of changing keys upwards. At that time, the record gave Twitty his breakthrough. He got the all-time lead when the single became his 29th to top Billboard’s country singles chart surpassing Eddy Arnold’s 28th. Conway charted 40 number ones in his entire career. However, George Strait’s passed his tally in 2006 with his “Give It Away”.
Released in January 1980, “I’d Love to Lay You Down” was the first single from the album Heart and Soul. “I’d Love to Lay You Down” was Conway Twitty’s 24th number one on the country chart. For a week, the single stayed at the top spot.
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