“You’re only as good as your last record”
This hackneyed phrase has haunted many artists through the years. In 1983, it pertained to Steve Wariner. After “All Roads Lead To You” reached number one, four subsequent singles failed to crack the Top Ten. Only “Kansas City Lights” even came close, topping out at No. 15.
In an effort to turn the slump around, Wariner decided to toughen up his sound. He selected Tony Brown to produce his new album, Midnight Fire. The title track was the first of Wariner’s single on which he played his own guitar solo. It brought him back to No. 5. Also, his remake of Bob Luman’s 1972 hit “Lonely Women Make Good Lovers” reached No.4.
Wariner like the song so much, he can’t let it go…..
In the process of making the new album, Steve considered a John Scott Sherrill song called “Some Fools Never Learn”. However, Wariner and Brown felt a little edgy about it. This song told a story and Wariner had never done a “story-type” song before. In addition, it contained the line, “Damn my eyes”. The two men both wondered if Wariner’s fans would give him flak for that.
They ended up passing on the song at that time which ended with them filling the Midnight Fire album with other material. However, Wariner liked “Some Fools Never Learn” very much. Having said that, he wasn’t ready to let it go for good. Wariner carried the song in his briefcase for over a year and a half. He thought someday he might decide to use it. Fortunately for him, another artist didn’t come along and snap it up. John Scott Sherrill hadn’t authorized a “hold” on the song, so a steal could have happened while Wariner was waiting around.
He recorded the song after moving into a new label…..
By 1985, Steve’s contract with RCA was coming up for renewal and since his old mentor, Chet Atkins had already departed from the label. With that event, Steve Wariner was thinking about maybe switching labels too. When the time came, he moved over to MCA. By the time Steve signed the new deal, the hesitations he initially felt about “Some Fools Never Learn” had subsided.
It was one of the first songs he decided to do at his new label. One of the label’s staff producers, Jimmy Bowen was assigned to Wariner’s sessions. However, a clause in Steve’s new contract allowed him to incorporate co-producers if he desired. So Wariner retained Tony Brown’s services from his RCA days and brought him into work with Bowen on Steve’s first MCA album, One Good Night Deserves Another. This project bore a considerable amount of success, three Top Ten singles. “What I Didn’t Do” was released first, reaching No. 3 and marked the beginning of Steve Wariner’s long list of nineteen Top Ten hits for MCA between 1985 and ’91. Then, the song “Heart Trouble” peaked at No. 8.
The song that returned Wariner’s name to the No. 1 position after an absence of nearly four years, “Some Fools Never Learn”. It was the second of his eventual ten chart-toppers.
As Steve was leaving the studio after recording it, he turned to Tony Brown and said,
“That’s gotta be a number one record”
His prediction was exactly right. “Some Fools Never Learn” reached the No. 1 pinnacle of Billboard’s country singles chart on November 2, 1985.